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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (R)
Robertson, Helen Nelson

My husband, Bill, is the grandson of Helen Nelson Robertson. She was born in UK May 19, 1903. She bought her ticket in Glasgow and gave her last residence in Scotland as Cowdenbeath.  She arrived in USA on Sept 1, 1923.

She married Gerald B McCann from Canada on Feb 9, 1926.  On January 22, 1927 she had a baby girl they named Doris Elizabeth McCann. Doris married a man named Henri, in Jan 1944. They had 2 little girls, and divorced in July 1948. Some time during that time around the divorce the girls were kidnapped by a family member.  Doris then married a man named Charles and had 3 boys.  These boys grew up never knowing that their mother was married before or that they had sisters. Their mother cried every Christmas. Every time they went through family pictures their mom wouldn't tell them who the little girls were in the pictures.

Their mom died in 1978, their father in 1980.  As they went through the pictures, my husband said that his mom never had told him who the little girls were.  Bill's older brother said that their dad had told him, before he died, that the girls were their older sisters. Bill searched for his mom's ex-husband and found him in 1983. He told him that the little girls were given to his sister in the divorce, with the order for neither parent to have further contact with the girls. This was a lie but Bill didn't know it at the time.

Bill had a family of his own by then and couldn't afford to search for his sisters.  This past summer after a serious infection that put Bill in the hospital for 5 days, he decided he'd waited long enough. With the help of my Aunt Becky (who did the majority of the search) we found Bill's sisters. It was Aug 23, 2000 just about 3 weeks since my Aunt had begun to search for them on the computer.

We called the oldest one as soon as we got her phone number.  Sharon was as excited as we were.  She had been searching ever since her adopted mother died in 1992.  She said her sister, Patti, was mentally challenged but could live on her own, and she lived about 2 hours away from her. We had a very long conversation that still brings tears to my eyes.

Sharon said all this time she had been looking for the wrong  name. Her father had been getting forgetful and had told her the wrong name and that was who she was searching for. In the course of the conversation she told us that she wasn't given to her father's sister but that they had been kidnapped and given to a woman who later adopted them.

We got a chance to meet Sharon, and her husband Jim, on Oct 1, 2000, when they drove 4 hours to come see us. She is a very warm and caring person.  We all got along as if we had known each other all our lives. There was no awkwardness of a first meeting as one would expect.  She got to meet my Aunt Becky, our children Tyler, Billy, Patti, and Barbara. Also our son-in-law, Scott, and 2 of our 3 granddaughters Taylor and Alexandra. We then visited the graveyard to pay our respects to their mom.

Bill, Sharon, Jim and I then traveled north to see their younger brother Art. It was  very emotional meeting. Sharon got out of the car and walked straight into her baby brother's arms and cried and hugged him. There wasn't a dry eye there.  But the time came for Jim and Sharon to go home and we were sorry to see that happen.  We were unable to get together at Christmas because of work schedules but soon we plan to be together again.  We have talked several times on the phone and written back and forth too.

Somewhere out there in Scotland or northern England this newly joined family have more relatives. Most likely in the Cowdenbeath or Edinburgh area. We have a lot of love to share. WE pray that someday we are all reunited.  For some reason when Helen died in 1963 all contact with her family was gone.  We have no reason for this, as everyone that would know over here, has passed away.

If anyone reading this knows where this family may be please contact them, and read them this wonderful story, about a brother that found his sisters after they were kidnapped 52 years before. email me, Cynthia, at if you know them.

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