Lost Brother

Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Lost Brother

I recently lost my father and am feeling alone right now. However, before my father died, he told me I had a brother in France. I was shocked to say the least. Does anyone have any idea on how to locate someone like this?

The worst part is that this was such a long time ago, there are probably no records. I have some information, his mother's name, the town they met and possibly his name. My father was in Orleans, France during the Korean War.

I have contacted the Red Cross, the military and the Embassy; as well as doing a very thorough internet search.

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
kirafa500 is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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If you know, or think you know, the town or village or city he was born in, contact the mayor's office or hôtel de ville if the town is large enough to have one, and see if they have any records.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Try the Salvation Aemy Family Tracing Service.
Nonconformist is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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With the mother's name, you should be able to trace her birth records, and her file would give details of any children that she bore. This will allow you search further. Birth records are supplied free of charge by any municipality.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Salvation Army does not do searches without more info than the OP has stated she has.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Hello, kirafa, I am just throwing out a thought here and I have no idea if it is a good one or not.

In Italy often churches keep the baptism records and that is a help in tracking down ancestors and relatives.

I wonder if the churches in France do also. I also wonder since it sounds like the mother of your brother was not married whether your brother was even allowed to be baptised.

Anyway, you might check with the churches in the area where your brother was born and where his mother lived.

Best wishes to you and do let us know the results.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Honestly, from experience, all of these ideas are perfect except your chance of receiving an answer by mail or e-mail is low.They protect the people in their home town. If you go ther and hire an interpreter and stick to it, you will do much better. Don't let them tell you there are no records. In fact, in European terms, these are fairly new. DO NOT be rude, just politely and sweetly do not accept no for an answer. You have church records and official records. It may happen fast or take a couple of days but you will succeed. Make it a fun family vacation.

When I went to the village my grandparents came from to get information, I just stood my ground and told them it is very important to me. When they gave in most of the village and the police were standing outside the room. I didn't care, I just kept perservering. Good luck. Let us know how you do.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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If you know the last name, a long-shot (but easy to try) is "Yahoo Groups." I put my maiden name in and there was a "Yahoo Smith Group" (Not the real name). Through it I connected with my father's family in Northern Ireland. After conversing for months, they greeted me when we arrived,took me to my GGF home, had us to dinner--wonderful people.

I am having more difficulty getting my husband's grandfather's family in Italy.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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You are unlikely to find church records in France after 1905. It is the mairies that have all the records. I had no trouble getting my grandmother's birth certificate from her tiny village, and she was born in 1898.
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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It is obvious but not mentioned, if you know his name, you can look it up in the phonebook. Isn't that what people do looking for birth parents, they just clal everyone in the phonebook with that name. Of course you hvae to narrow it to an area, which you may not know. But that would work if the name wasn't that common (not Arthur Martin, I hope).
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Old Mar 19th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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Another long shot is to track down the Postmaster of the town they met in. The Postmaster gets to know everyone so may be able to supply "pieces of the jigsaw". Hopefully the Postmaster is still alive for his sake and yours You may need an interpreter though.
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Old Mar 20th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Nowadays the postmasters rarely stays more than 5 years in the same Post Office. Moreover, the postal employees are not allowed to give any information on the whereabouts of their customers, and they will certainly not do it by mail.

The two things you should do first would be to look up in the phonebook: http://tinyurl.com/82qskuo
You can narrow your search with "Où?" (where) box.

Then, the birth records. The birth certificates (acte de naissance) are delivered by the Mairies. Orléans takes application online: http://tinyurl.com/7odos73
They send the certificate back to you by postal mail.
For smaller towns or villages (Google Earth will help to find them) you will problay need to send your request by mail. The address should look like this: Mairie de (town) - Service de l'état civil - ZIP code - Name of the town - FRANCE.
Here's the directory of the ZIP codes: http://tinyurl.com/7odos73. Orléans is situated in the Loiret département. (all the ZIP codes of the Loiret start with 45)

You may check with the churches. They keep records of the baptisms. Mr le Curé de *town + ZIP code* should suffice.

At last, something that has not been suggested: you could contact the Clubs de Personnes Agées / Club du 3ème âge or Club des séniors..whatever they call themselves. These clubs where older people meet to play cards, dance, and other activities.
Your brother is probably a little bit too young to go in these kind of places but some people there may know him, or know/have known his mother. Even his mother might go to such club. I'm sure that these people will be more than happy if they can help you.
Here is a list of these clubs in Orléans (you may try also the smaller towns around) http://tinyurl.com/7buogrn
Orléans has 2 ZIP codes: 45000 and 45100, check this with http://tinyurl.com/7odos73

At this point I think that not knowing French is not a problem. The online translators such as Google translation or Babelfish have greatly improved over the last years.
You can also find help from the people of Wordreference: http://forum.wordreference.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3

Good luck and let us know.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 07:10 AM
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Having done this, I feel very strongly that contacting by mail and e-mail, in the most part, does not get answered. They do not know why you are contacting them. Even going there we had problems until they realized we only wanted to get information and meet family and did not want to take anything from them. I asked my cousin if he was a little stand-offish because he thought we wanted to claim property, etc. He said yes. Then he realized we just wanted to have the family connected and together. What Askar said is correct, but you are better off going there and doing it. Try by mail, but don't get frustrated and don't feel there is a wall you can't break through. My best advice is NEVER GIVE UP just keep trying.
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