Day Old Baby Left On Doorstep
We've all heard stories of this happening, but this is the real deal!
In 2000 the children of Rose Panyard of Fort Wayne, Indiana obtained documents and newspapers articles from the Catholic Diocese concerning her adoption in 1938. The Munster Times (now The Times - NWI.com) and The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel newspapers ran articles in September 2003 about the family search for the biological parents of their mother Rosalie Ann Roethele Panyard. Rose passed away in 2005 without knowing anything about her biological parents. Born in 1938 Hammond, Indiana, Rose was adopted by Anton and Anna Roethele of Fort Wayne, Indiana through the Associated Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne in 1940. If you know anything about this event please contact the family or leave a comment on my guestbook.
It is hoped that with the increasing use of DNA in genealogy, perhaps this will allow the family to eventually find her biological families. Family Tree DNA has an Adoptee's web site. They point out Richard Hill was successful in his 26 year search for his biological father. His story was profiled in the May 2, 2009 Wall Street Journal. Richard explains how DNA testing can help find birth parents. Male yDNA testing is more successful than mtDNA for females because the male "y" chromosome is passed father to son and surnames don't change. Female mitochondria mtDNA comes from your mother, so males can test for their mother too, the problem is you don't known which mtDNA came from which female line whose surname changes each generation. A woman's mtDNA comes from her mother and her father, so you could be testing your father's mother's line rather than your mother's mother's line. With mtDNA you also have to match an already tested line of unknown surname that will allow you to work from many generations in the past to the more recent present. More complicated than male yDNA genealogy, but certainly better than nothing as was in the past.
THE HAMMOND TIMES NEWSPAPER
"DAN BROWN FINDS DAY-OLD BABY GIRL ON FRONT PORCH
Park Superintendent Takes Infant to Hospital as the police Seek Mother
Hammond police today were seeking the mother of a day-old baby girl left last night on the front porch of the home of Dan J. Brown, Hammond park superintendent, at 5959 Hyslop place. The infant, dressed with a cap and gown and wrapped in a blanket, was left on the front porch of the Brown's between midnight and 12:15 a.m. Mrs. Brown said today. I had just retired for the night when cries of the youngster came to my attention. Mrs. Brown told the Times today. She said the baby was crying but did not seem sick. Police were called and the baby was taken to St. Margaret's hospital. At the hospital today the youngster quickly made friends with the nurses."
JULY 27, 1938
"Where's My Mama!!
Looking with interest into the world in which she arrived but three days ago is Ann, tiny waif abandoned on a Hammond doorstep yesterday. Holding the baby, which hospital attaches announced in perfect health, is Nurse Mary Weigle of St. Margaret's Hospital. The infant was left at the home of Park Superintendent and Mrs. Daniel J. Brown, 5959 Hyslop Place."
An update was published in The Munster Times
and THE NEWS-SENTINEL
September 9, 2003 in Fort Wayne, Indiana
"WOMAN LEFT AS BABY IS IN SEARCH OF HOPE"
The 2003 articles repeat the 1938 newspaper information above with some comments from Rose. She wanted to talk to her mother to ask her why she left her on a doorstep. For years Rose called herself Little Orphan Annie. She returned to the region over the years hoping something would happen, but it never did. 1999 was the last time she visited, going to the county library, police stations, local hospitals, and the courthouse with no success. A woman at church once walked up to Rose when she was a child and said, "I know who your mother is". Rose replied, "No you don't, Nobody does. I'm adopted". The lady walked away leaving Rose to regret the incident some 50 years later.
Her adoptive parents chose July 10, their anniversary, as her birthday. In the same July 27, 1938 Hammond Times newspaper as her story is another about a Chicago woman named "Rosalie" Krause who was killed in a car crash in Lansing, Michigan. Krause died July 10, was this a coincidence, we may never know. Her daughters mailed letters, searched the internet and made phone calls. Rose's family would like to know their grandmother and the other half of their family. Somewhere somebody knows or knew something. The family tried Americans for Open Records and AbolishAdoption.com a family advocacy group. Perhaps in the future with DNA testing becoming more common in genealogy research some new doors may open.
February 8, 2005, less than two years after the newspaper articles, Rosalie Ann Roethele Panyard passed away without finding anything more about her mother. If you know anything about this event please contact the family or leave a comment on my guestbook.