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Date Posted:

02-Aug-2014
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Surname(s):

COTTOM : COTTON : DORVILLE : NEWTON : RICH  

Query Text:

PHYLLIS JOAN NEWTON (her birth name) was born on April 8, 1928 in TERRE HAUTE, VIGO COUNTY, IN. She was adopted at about 10 months old from the Glenn Home (aka "Vigo County Home For Dependent Children," which closed its doors in 1979) in the town of Glenn, just five miles from Terre Haute. She may have been born at the Glenn Home, but she doesn't know. Now 86-years-old, Phyllis is short, about 5'2" in height, with brown hair and brown eyes, and she lived for part of her childhood with her wonderful adoptive parents in Vincennes, Indiana and Mesa, Arizona. She now lives in Chautauqua County, Kansas. Phyllis ordered her birth certificate, and the state of Indiana sent her an original! This gave her the names of her BIRTH PARENTS, they were: JAMES T. NEWTON -- BORN IN MARSHALL COUNTY, ILLINOIS [Missouri was recorded on Phyllis's original birth certificate, but it is now believed James was born in MARSHALL COUNTY, ILLINOIS] and LIVED IN TERRE HAUTE, VIGO COUNTY, INDIANA AND MARY A. COTTOM aka COTTON -- BORN IN HAMILTON, SULLIVAN COUNTY, INDIANA and LIVED IN TERRE HAUTE, VIGO COUNTY, INDIANA [Note: Mary had a brother named Chester Cottom (aka Cotton), Chester married Louise Hardison on April 1, 1935, and they lived in Terre Haute, Indiana. They had at least two children, Barbara Cottom (aka Cotton) and Robert Cottom (aka Cotton), with Chester's step sister Betty Hughes living in Chester and Louise's household in the 1940 Census, Ward 5, Terre Haute, Indiana.] ~~~~~~~ Phyllis's paternal grandparents were: RAYMOND NEWTON -- BORN IN NEBRASKA and DIED BEFORE APRIL 10, 1925 AND HIS WIFE, MARY C. (MAIDEN NAME DORVILLE) NEWTON -- BORN IN ILLINOIS, after she was widowed, she LIVED IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA ~~~~~~ Phyllis's maternal grandparents were: JOHN "JACK" H. COTTOM -- BORN IN KENTUCKY and DIED BEFORE APRIL 10, 1925 AND HIS WIFE, MAYME DAL (aka MIDA, MAIME, MAMMIE, MADIE) (MAIDEN NAME RICH) COTTOM (aka COTTON) -- BORN IN ILLINOIS and LIVED IN TERRE HAUTE and DRESSER, INDIANA. Mayme was married three times, and had at least five children; two with the surname of COTTOM or COTTON (Mary A. Cottom and Chester Cottom) and three girls with the surname HUGHES (Lillian F. Hughes, Margaret E. Hughes, and Betty J. Hughes); her last marriage was to JOSEPH HUGHES, a man twice Mayme's (or Madie's) age. ~~~~~~ In early 1929, Phyllis was adopted by Lester Thompson McClure and Jessica H. McClure, and her adoptive name became Phyllis Ellen McClure. Phyllis later got married and her surname then changed. UPDATE! As of August 1, 2014, Phyllis has discovered new names which were handwritten in some old notes. Her relatives (probably her two birth family grandmothers, and perhaps her birth mother) had sent letters to Phyllis at the Glenn Home, thinking Phyllis was being raised there. Those letters were forwarded to Phyllis's adoptive parents' home, but they did not give them to Phyllis and the letters were then returned to the Glenn Home. It is believed that Phyllis's adoptive parents were trying to shield their young daughter (during the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's) from sad details of her birth family. However, the return names on the letters were written down and kept at the home of Phyllis's adoptive parents, and those names are what Phyllis found yesterday! Also, Phyllis remembers from her youth that someone had told her that her birth father had the occupation of florist. There is a marriage record for James T. Newton and Mary A. Cottom, married in Terre Haute, Indiana, which image reveals surnames matching the surnames of those in Phyllis's old, handwritten notes -- the surnames of her grandmothers. Additionally, James T. Newton, on the date of his marriage to Mary A. Cottom, April 10, 1925, gave his occupation as 'florist.' So, now we have some preliminary confirmation that James T. Newton and Mary A. Cottom (aka Cotton) were Phyllis's birth parents (Phyllis had previous information which gave her birth mother's maiden name as Mary A. Jackson -- we now know that was incorrect). What we do not have is the contact information for any of Phyllis's living relatives. The State of Indiana's position is that once a person was adopted, the records were sealed. Phyllis has filed her Non-Identifying and Identifying information release forms with the State of Indiana, in the hopes that some relative might still be alive and come forward to seek contact with Phyllis. We are trying to get in touch with a person in charge of the Glenn Home records to see if Phyllis's letters still exist, and if they do, to try to have them returned to her. Wouldn't you love to have letters from two loving grandmothers you had never had the opportunity to meet 80 + years ago?! Phyllis is hoping that any potential sibling, aunt, uncle, or cousin, etc. might find these details on CousinConnect and related sites and contact her through me, a friend who has Internet access. She says, "There is NO time to waste!" and she is very anxious to find any biological relatives. Please contact me so I can call Phyllis and tell her that her dream has come true! Thank you for your help and kind regards, Search Angel Cindy P. in CA
   

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