I am looking for a 3rd cousin. I have been working on ancestry information, and came across a close family member Florence who was adopted out.

She was born in 1927 in Johnson City, Tennessee. In the early 1930's her parents divorced, and the mother took the 3 children they had together.

Her mother placed them on a Poor Farm for temporary care while she went to Washington DC to look for work. When she came back for her children, Florence had been adopted out.

I have been in touch with the Grandchildren of Florence's sister, Louise and what I know so far is:

  • I tried submitting to the state of Tennessee for them to give me her adoption records (with Florence's great nephew's listed on there in case they needed to contact them), and they denied my claim saying that I am not a qualified applicant. They continue to allude to the fact that she may have been a black market adoption (which is what I have suspected all along).
  • The Poor Farm that Florence and her siblings were put into was most likely run by an Uncle on their Grandmother's side, but they wouldn't have known it. Reason being that their father's mother put her own 2 boys up for adoption after their father was shot and killed and then split.
  • Florence & Louise's mother had another family with another man. All this happened in Johnson City, Tennessee.
  • The only reason I know that the Poor Farm was most likely one run by an Uncle is because I have made contact with my Great Great Grandmother's side of the family (she was 1 of 28 children) and have learned some that way.

She is likely now deceased, but I just want to know what happened to Florence C. ??? and who adopted her and name she took?

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    Hi AChan, there is a policy of not including identifying information about living individuals on this site, and as you do not know whether this person is alive you may have to remove her name and birth date. I suspect this is a very difficult problem to solve because the adoption probably left no paper trail, and she may not even have ever known her biological parents or that she was adopted. However someone with experience in research in the US may be able to provide you with some suggestions as to how to proceed.
    – Harry V.
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 21:27
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    @Achan Good detail for a first post. It is still under the 100 year rule so I did have to redact the last name but think this is still quite workable. I also reformatted a bit to make the pronouns more clear who you were talking about as the first time it wasn't clear; please double check.
    – CRSouser
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 21:46
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    Do you know the name / # / address of the Poor Farm or the name of the Uncle who owned and ran it.. the uncle would obviously be deceased and beyond the 100 year rule and something you could post. Just click edit and add it to the post.
    – CRSouser
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Your best bet to get the records from the State of Tennessee and circumvent the 100 year rule is find a direct descendant of hers and ask that person to submit a letter requesting records you have written on his behalf. Then ask him to forward the response once he receives it. If there is a money necessary prepay him (and round up $10+) I have had to do that with the daughter of my grandmother's brother. My cousin requested records about his mother for me.

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