We spoke a few years ago and discussed the oral history of my father Joseph Ottney B1901/D1965 who was born in the Jackson Michigan area as possibly being adopted. I’ve recently been working on my tree and dug much deeper into this mystery.
The story I was told by my mother Catherine (Ottney) Collin (1942-1997) was that her father relayed that he was actually adopted into the Ottney family. There were no obvious (to me) ties in the family tree, but a clue was that my mother believed the family name to be Dorr or Door.
I completed Ancestry’s DNA test a few years ago and in the last week or so have been searching completing several branches of my tree and started looking for a connection for my grandfather Joseph. Once I started using Dorr and Door in my DNA search, I started turning up 2nd and 3rd cousins via DNA that were part of DORER family trees.
I was able to narrow down to a few potential matches, then discovered the entire story by way of Ancestry’s library where I found my actual Great Grandmother’s death certificate.
Joseph (Dorer) Ottney was actually born to Joseph Dorer (1858-1952) and Kate Walter (1861-1901). Joseph was the 9th child of the family to be born in 12 years and Kate died of a post partum hemorrhage on the day of Joe’s birth - December 13, 1901 and was buried a couple of days later.
Some confusion follows, as it appears that EMMA WALTERS (1884-1932) - surely some relative of Kate’s - left a servant job where she’s been serving a married 70-something couple and moved in with Joseph to care of the 9 children or at least the 8 they kept. He was 43 and she was 17. Regardless of how it started, the two married two years later and had four more children of their own. This gave my grandfather Joseph 8 full siblings plus 4 half siblings.
The DORER family originally hails from Baden - just like the OTTNEY family and WALTER family, so there is likely some strong underlying connection as all three families ended up largely in the Jackson, Michigan area.