Who is Patricia?


Recently we spent our family night looking at photos of my Grandpa while he was serving an LDS mission in New Zealand.  We also looked at a shoe box of letters he kept from this time and everyone read one.  I read a letter written by his Grandpa & Grandma Skeen.  There was one thing that jumped right out at me:


“The welfare man came and took Patricia to a couple who have’nt any children.  Well it just made me sick still I think it is better for her she would’nt have half a chanch ove[r] to Ethels”

Do you know how many Ethels are related to Grandma Skeen?!  A lot.  I have been going through my tree trying to figure out the most likely prospects and every one I have considered has been ruled out so far with one exception.  Grandma Skeen has a sister-in-law named Ethel.  I know a little bit about her.  I am beginning to wonder if Patricia is her grandchild or something like that.  This letter was written in 1947, Ethel would have been 68 – maybe age and health would have prevented her from caring for Patricia?  But that seems unlikely too.  Ethel and her husband seemed very stable.  He was an attorney, they lived in the same place for decades.

So now I’m asking myself if:

  • I’ve missed an Ethel I should be looking at?
  • If Ethel wasn’t a relative but a mother of a child who is a relative – girlfriend of someone?
  • If Ethel is a neighbor?
  • Who might be alive that would remember what happened?

I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of Long, Lost Family because I’m just wondering if Patricia has been searching for her birth family and I have this little clue buried in a letter in a shoe box.

I love the thought process that leads to a discovery as much as I love the discovery itself!

Now how am I going to discover Patricia’s story…?

14 thoughts on “Who is Patricia?”

  1. This is a great post! I love that you were looking at photos and reading letters for family night, and that you discovered a mystery to be solved. Best wishes on solving Patricia’s story!

  2. Is there any context to the comment? What else does the letter say? Maybe there’s a clue in there somewhere. Intriguing!!

  3. Have you read all of Grandma and Grandpa Skeen’s letters? Would there be any clues in earlier letters about Patricia?

    1. I have. There were only two and no other references. In fact, I read every letter by every person who is a Skeen or a relative of a Skeen and no mention of Patricia or Ethel. Hmmmmm…

  4. Wow – that’s cool. Always fun to find a family history mystery. Coincidentally enough, I’m blogging about the same kind of thing today, so have linked to your post 🙂

  5. What an intriguing mystery! The statement about the welfare man makes me really curious about how aid was provided to people who were needed back in the 1940’s.

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