Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's time to talk about George

On the passing of Harriet Kurtz, Lizabeth Craig, Reva Palmerton Kurtz and Bill Nelson it's time to reveal that i have a half-brother born in 1943 who is the son of my mom before she met and married my dad.

Mom didn't talk until 2009 when she was outed by her sister, Liz after Dad cut off what i now believe was blackmail that Mom was paying.

It's an evolving story and this blog is as good as anywhere to tell it.

These letters were forwarded to me in 2009 from my maternal cousins, Jane Mountain Nielsen and Mary Mountain, daughters of Norma Craig Mountain. I have edited them:
Mary has been doing some genealogy online for both sides of our family and she was contacted by a man that says he has a friend that knew your mom from Wyoming. he had the correct names and says he emailed Twig and didn't hear back from her so he then emailed Mary. this man sent Mary a long letter with details and we didn't know what to do. if you like i can forward the letter to you. it has some interesting and rather shocking information in it, so may be you don't want it. and of course, with the internet it could be a hoax. Let me know what you want to do.

Dear Ms. Mountain:

I am writing in hope that your genealogy and family history interest will allow you to join forces with me and solve a mystery.

To begin, by way of introduction, my name is Charles P. Moriarty (Charlie).   
My wife Mickey and I have two children and five grandchildren. I have just recently retired from a 42 year career at the Omaha Public Power District, retiring as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. I relay all of this in an attempt to show my honesty and seriousness.

I was born and grew up in Omaha. I lived at 4705 North 29 Street along with my parents and eight siblings.

Now, I will get into the heart of the matter.

Growing up across the street at 4702 North 29 Street was a Schmitz family. There were three children in the Schmitz family -- two girls and a boy. All the Schmitz children were adopted at the Saint James Orphanage in Omaha Nebraska. The boy's name was George B. Schmitz. George was and is my best friend. Our friendship extends well beyond 50 years. George was born in May 1943.

George Schmitz is 65 years of age and lives in St. Louis Missouri. He and his wife Rosalie have been married over 40 years and have three children and ten grandchildren. George is a successful business owner of the Surety Refrigeration Company.

About 1990 following the deaths of his adoptive parents George began an interest in learning of his natural parents. This led him to meetings with the Catholic Social Services Saint James Orphanage. He was given several pieces of information about his mother. Those pieces of information and a year's research led me to suggest that George's mother was a Harriet M. Craig, now Harriet M Kurtz of Elkton South Dakota.

George contacted the Orphanage and relayed my findings. Harriet M. Craig was confirmed as George's mother. George excitedly asked the Orphanage to attempt a meeting with his mother. The Orphanage contacted Mrs. Kurtz who indicated that she would not meet and did not wish any further contact.

George has honored his mother's wish for 18 years. He will continue to do so. George is not the kind of person who would interrupt another's life. It is a difficult acceptance.

A year ago, George Schmitz again contacted the St. James Orphanage seeking information about his natural father. He was given a few facts -- Harriet conceived George in Wyoming while visiting there rather than in Columbus or Omaha Nebraska. The father was a serviceman. Harriet relayed the father's name to the Orphanage and it is part of the official file.

George asked the Orphanage to attempt a contact with the father. The result of the attempted contact was -- the father could not be found -- the father was not in the Social Security Death Index -- and the father's surname was so rare that in a white pages search the name resulted in only six listings in six different States.

Saint James Orphanage has also relayed that the entire Adoption File will be released to George after the deaths of both the natural parents. And, as you can deduce, if the father is not found, the file will never be released.

This leaves George in the state of having only one source to ever know who his father was -- Mrs. Harriet Craig Kurtz. However, George is adamant that neither he nor the Orphanage contact Mrs. Kurtz.

Now, you know the "why" of my inquiry.

I hope that I have not relayed something of which you did not have previous knowledge.

Can you be of assistance? I believe your mother was the sister of Harriet Craig.

My first hope would be to simply learn the name of the father - now.

However, a scenario by which the name is determined, written down and kept for relay to George at a future date would be acceptable.

The worst thing would be to have the name of George's father never be determinable.

Please help.

Ms. Mountain, I have tried to be straightforward in this effort -- and so I must also tell you that I wrote a letter of introduction to Leslie Kurtz Leech a couple weeks ago. I did not relay the above story to her. I simply asked if she would exchange e-mails on the Craig family. I have had no response.
George Schmitz built Surety Refrigeration in St. Louis. We've talked on the phone: he's Republican, catholic and has a big family.

My sister Leslie (Twig) has met George and they enjoy a cordial personal relationship.

I had a whiff of the story in 2005 after my Aunt Frances died but after Dad cut off my Aunt Liz Craig's 'allowance' Mom had set up she caved in 2009. It solved so many mysteries in my own history.

Mom gave George up for adoption with Catholic Social Services in Omaha and when she spilled her guts to Dad and me she intimated that his conception was not consensual but she was not a reliable witness after 2009.

My Aunt Liz's betrayal stuck a knife in my dad. Mom carried it for nearly 70 years and Dad only learned about it just months before he died.

Aunt Liz (we kids called her Babe) went to Spain with us in the late 50s to '61 on Dad's dime unbeknownst to him.

For some reason i deleted a post in late 2013 about Babe's funeral in Omaha that included pictures. Damned if i know why it's gone. There is reportedly a photograph taken in 1942 or '43 of a pregnant Harriet somewhere.

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