Siblings Reunited Within 7 Days

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Updated: January 24, 2019 

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Siblings Reunited Within 7 Days

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Posted: 2/28/2009
Note: Names, Identifying informaiton and details may have been altered to protect personal identities.

/images/stories.asp?i=20110523132846.0.jpgGeorge wasn't really sure it was possible to find his birth father. He had never met him and had very little information. In fact, all he knew was his name, Ottis Etherly, and that he was probably born in the 1920s. After speaking with the staff at Search Quest America, he decided to take a chance. His case was solved in less than 7 days.

For Cindy, SQA researcher, the first step to finding Ottis was searching on Ancestry.com. There was no record of Ottis Etherly being born in the 1920s, so Cindy altered the spelling and expanded the search and hit pay dirt. She found someone else looking for information on Odis Eatherly. Her name was Coleta and she wrote the following:

My father was Odis Eatherly, brother to Gustava Eatherly. He married my mother in Marshall, Arkansas in the late 1930's. They had two children, myself and my sister Ann. Otis left my mother when I was very young, I know little about him. I would like to know more.

This simple message was the key to solving George's search. Cindy contacted Coleta and asked what her father's occupation had been. Odis had worked for the railroads on the Kansas, Tulsa line. She also remembered that he had been married previously, and was remarried after divorcing Coleta's mother. When Cindy explained that George was also searching for his father, Coleta related a childhood memory. Odis brought a pretty redhead to visit his mother and children. "My grandmother got madder than a wet hen because she was afraid that George and the redhead were there to take the girls. I remember that vividly." Cindy thanked her for the information and called to let George know what she had learned.

The first thing George blurted out after hearing the story was. "THAT REDHEAD WAS MY MOM!" He remembered hearing the same story as a child, and had neglected to mention that his father had worked on the railroad. All the pieces fit together and Coleta and George were reunited--half siblings.

George learned that Odis passed away in 1974, but he was able to sit down face to face with his half sister and her husband. She provided him with several photographs that told the story of Odis's life and answered George's lifetime of questions. He also discovered that Odis had at least 6 more children, all George's half-siblings, 3 of whom are still living. George looks forward to getting acquainted with them and plans to keep in touch with Coleta.

Even though he misspelled his father's name and was more than 20 years off on the date of birth, his case was solved and he found the missing pieces he has searched for all his life. Thanks to Cindy, SQA researcher, he even got his hands on family pedigree charts dating back to the 1700s.

When asked what advice he would give to individuals just starting out on searches of their own, he replied, "The most important thing is to find the right company. I tried to do some searching on the internet, but I didn't know where to look, and I didn't want to get taken in by some dishonest company either! Cindy and the staff at Search Quest America were wonderful, just what I needed."

(Written by Mica Burton on George's behalf.)
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