Family secrets still die as people pass away

Genealogy is popular today. It goes back in history to ancient times, trying to prove royal linage from gods to heroes.

Here’s a true experience that happened to our family this past week. A woman came to our home, tracing her family history which lead her to us.

Her father, George Schnexnaider, was one of three sons born to Emory and Lois Brushaw. The children were left in the custody of their grandparents who lived in the Milam County area when their mother died while in Houston.

After the mother’s death, the father picked up the children and carried them with him to Louisiana. This is where the first mystery begins. The surname of the three sons was the same as their parents Brushaw. The three sons’ names on their birth certificates were Brushaw. The marriage license of their parents is listed as Brushaw.

But why did all three sons use the name of Schnexnaider?

As the boys grew up they used Schnexnaider and did this even though their parents and their birth certificate were listed as Brushaw. After research in Louisiana and Texas, there is no birth certificate for Emory Schnexnaider, however that name does show up on this son’s death certificate.

Was there ever an Emory Schnexnaider or Emory Brushaw? Were these aliases?

These children were taken away from their father in Louisiana and the two younger boys were placed in state school there.

The sons grew up, married, had families and continued to use the name of Schnexnaider. When two of the boys needed passports, they had to do a legal name change (from Brushaw to Schnexnaider) to get a legal passport.

None of these boys ever knew which name was their correct name or where either of the names came from.

We found answers to many questions, names, birthdates, death dates, divorces, number of family members, the general type information you trace when doing family research.

The one question that remains a mystery is: Was there ever a man with the name of Emory Schnexnaider or Emory Brushaw or were these names alias?

Technology is opening doors to family information and revealing family secrets but at the end of the day, there may be more questions than answers with growing technology or many family secrets are dying with the people.

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2012-05-17 digital edition

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