Lemley Family History & Genealogy

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Dawn Barger Hello Everyone~

My name is Dawn(Lemley)Barger. I am 35 yrs old and I am a sister, wife, daughter and also a NEICE,to.. TWO very important men out there my UNCLES! I am looking for our family. My father's name is Marvin Lee Lemley. Born in Morgantown West Virginia. My grandmother's name was Bertha Marie Lemley also of W. VA.

The story goes as follows........My Father was born out of wedlock in 1946 15 months later my Gram gave birth to another son, and 30 months after that another son, out of wedlock. She placed my father in foster care for some time, but signed relinquish forms stating she was giving up all parental rights to my Father's two brothers. He found out that both of his brothers were also placed into foster homes in the Cheat Lake area in W.VA. When my Father was 5 yrs old my Grandmother regained custody of him. They then moved to Pittsburgh, PA and moved in with my Grammother's brother and his family. They lived there for a time - until they asked her to leave. She got upset with her family and disowned them, she later seen one of her brothers and told him that my Father had died of pneumonia and that they would never find his grave. She was leaving and moving to Germany to live with a soldier and that they would never hear from her again.... she was washing her hands of all of them. As my Father was growing up he would ask her who and where his relatives are and my Gram would put it off by saying that they were all dead.

When my Father was older he joined the Marines, served in Viet Nam, came home and got married. Started working for a drilling company and was working in Morgantown on a job. He went to the police station to see if they had any records for anyone with the Lemley name? He didn't find anything out, so he thought maybe my Gram was right ....our family was all dead.

But in Dec. of 1984 a man by the name of Clarence Lemley had passed away. Thinking that this man could be a realative my Father again went to my gram ans asked her again who and where were his realtives? She gave my Father 2 names and said tha they were both deceased. My Father later found out that the names she gave were not even her brothers names. My Father then sent for a copy of his birth certificate and also my Grams, when he received them he was surprised on what he seen on the paper....on my Father's it was listed for his name as Verna Lee Lemley but for his whole life his name was Marvin Lee Lemley and on my Gram's it had (a glimmer of hope) He had his Grandparent's names!!!! My Father was determined to find out who his relatives were.
My Father then asked my mom to tryand do some research for him....which she started to do and so she went to the courthouse to find some more information. She told the girl behind the desk what she wanted and stated thatshe was Mrs. Lemley. The clerk then asked my mother, Mary which son was she married to? In shock, my mother ansked that I (my father) was an only child, the clerk then stated No there were 3 Lemley boys born to Bertha. My mother then looked at the information and prceeded to look through all the files that are open to the public. She found out who my Father's aunts and uncles were. None of the names recorded were any name that my Gram had given to them. My mother then started retracking where my Gram lived at the time of my Father's birth and was surprised to learn that the lady- "Sara" that answered the door knew Bertha and also told my mom that my Father had died when he was a small child. My mother then showed her a few pictures that she had of my dad as a child, and she agreed that it was my Father but that the rumor was that he had died. (this is the point where we found out he was supposed to be deceased. From "Sara", my mom found out Bertha's brother --Sam, was married to Sara's sister Mary. My parents made contact with my dad's new Aunt Mary only to find out that she would not speak of the past. She did give my parents a few names to look up of other relatives who MIGHT still be living. They finally tracked down uncle-in-law that would not tell them anything, but was very happy to see that my father is still livng and that we only lived 15 miles from each other. My father then acquired a cousin's name off of this uncle and she was in shock that my dad was alive. Our family made arrangements for all of us to meet. It was afew days before Christmas in 1985. I can not tell you how happy my father was that day, when he finally met some blood relatives. He greeted his uncle, and his daughter and her family with tears in their eyes. They were all very surprised that we all only lived 25 minutes apart and that they used the same hospital right ther in our little town -- 6 blocks away from our home. My dad's aunt died in that hospital in the ealry 80's. They inturn put my dad in touch with his other cousins.
On Christmas day we went to visit my Gram and my father was afraid of hurting her so he didn't tell her of the information that he had at the time. However, my parents did go back down a few days later and again my dad asked her who my relatives were, the response he received was "Leave it Alone" so when my dad started to name her brothers and sister she knew he finally knew who some of is relatives were. She then tried to say that she did tell him who his relatives were. She denied the fact that he had 2 brothers however, my dad did leave copies of the information that he acquired from W.VA. When my parents left no one was happy. My dad then called her and she acted as if nothing had happened and just wanted to ignore the fact that he did acquire the information on his relatives. My dad did tell her that he loved her as he always did and that no one can change the past. But that he still wanted to find out who and where his brothers were, and who his Father was. My Gram wouldn't tell him anything and said that she did not want to be bothered with anymore. She also said that if they found out all of the above then they could find out who his father was. A few months later she acquired an unlisted phone number.

Through more searching my mom went back to Morgantown and searching for more relatives, she did acquire a few more names and some more documents of births. She also contacted the doctor that delivered my father's brothers and he(the doctor)acted as if it was yesterday. He said yes he remembered Bertha ( mind you this was going back 36 years and that my gram moved away), he then asked who he was speaking with? and when my mom said that she was Bertha's daughter-in-law he then no longer wanted to talk with her. She also contacted a friend of Bertha's from the 40's and her spouse answered, said yes he knew Bertha, she lived with him and his wife for awhile. That evening my parents went to their restuarant and wanted to speak with the Mrs. She was not there, however my parents left their number for her to call them. They did receive a call from her, but she denied ever knowing Bertha.
Two weeks later my dad went to this Doctors house and he acted like he didn't know Bertha, he also stated to go to the court house to find out who the delivery doctor was, and that he burned all of his records, so he wouldn't know if he did deliver any of them.

My parents also found out who my dad's Father was through a cousin of Bertha's and that he had passed in 1969.

My mom then wrote to the Dept. of Welfare and asked where my dad's brothers were. They wrote back stating that they were both adopted and that was all the information that they could give us. She wrote back asking for NON IDENTIFYING information and they would not give nothing.
My parents then put an article in our local paper, so we thought if we could get it in the Morgantown paper we possibly would get some response to it. The man that my mom spoke with read the article and said yes he was interested, however he would have to put a police reporter on it because of the secrecy. Six months went by and my mom kept after them wanting to know when they were going to run the story. Another cousin of Bertha's also was trying to find out when it was going to run. To my dad's surprise, they came back and told my mom that they would be depriving his brothers of their privacy. (which may or may not be correct, because we don't know if they have the same names or if they had been changed once adopted) They told Bertha's cousin that we would be depriving Bertha of her privacy also and that's why they couldn't do the story.( which is also incorrect because Bertha lived common-law with a man and took his last name and that there was no documents changing her name ...also this man is deceased.)

We learned that my dad's grandmother was in a T. B. sanatorium and that my brother had the T. B. germ at the age of 18 months and Bertha would not even tell my parents that my dad's grandmother had T.B. (my parents discovered my brother's T.B. about 6 month prior to finding out about my dad's relatives.) He had to take medication for 1 year and he is alright now, but will always test positive when he takes this test for T.B. because of the germ.

My gram did have plenty of chances to sit down and just tell us what whe wanted us all to know ..... not all the details that we have found out. However, she chose to let my dad find out almost everything about her past. We all love her still and miss her very much.
She passed away almost 10 years ago now.

Welfare also wrote that there was an error made at the Morgantown Court house, by not sealing the brothers original birth records. My family would possibly believe it if it happened once but some one made this error twice with the same last name in the span of 3 years!?!?!

We were told by a Judge in Morgantoen that if it is a medical need then there would be a very good chance that they could open the adoption records however, they were not adopted in Morgantwon, Monongahela County, W.VA.

There are so many untrue stories behind the birth of my father's brothers and no one wants to talk about it. There is just too much that isn't being told and is hush hush that tey vould have been grey market babies for all we know. WE DO NOT CARE about that, we just want OUR FAMILY!!

Please if you think you might know some information about the past or you may know someone who knows about my Father's brothers, please help us all become The Lemley Clan that we all share in our hearts and in our blood.

If my Father's brothers are out there and don't know that he's alive and healthy or that he wants to meet them. That is a piece of all of us that is lost and never to be put together and made whole. Please feel free to contact me at this address [contact link]

Many thanks and thoughts go out to you all.


Dawn Lemley (Barger)
Mar 26, 2006 · Reply