Saturday, October 24, 2015

What Happened to Raymond Lawrence Sellers?

My aunt will be turning 90 at the end of this month.  A lot of people, when they get to around that age, try to wrap up loose ends in their lives.  One thing my aunt would like to do with whatever years are left to her is find the son she gave up for adoption 70 years ago.  She has asked for my help.

Raymond Lawrence Sellers was born on September 23, 1945 in Bridgeton, Cumberland, New Jersey.  His mother, Dorothy Mae "Dottie" Sellers, was not married to the father, Clarence Newcomb "Zeke" Lore.  I was told that Dottie's father, my grandfather, was less than pleased with the situation and convinced Dottie to give up the baby for adoption.

I have heard two different stories about Raymond's adoption.  Several years ago I was told that he was given to friends of the family in an informal adoption.  Their names have variously been reported as Eckert or Eckman.  The other story, told more recently, is that Raymond was given to an adoption agency and that the adoption was a formal one.

The adoption probably happened in either Cumberland or Burlington County, New Jersey.

Another story I was told years ago is that sometime in the 1960's or so, Raymond somehow managed to track down Dottie and came around to the house to meet her.  She wasn't home at the time, and the person there didn't know about Raymond so sent him away.  If that story is true, it would seem to lean toward the informal adoption being the accurate scenario, as it would have been extremely difficult for Raymond to learn his birth mother's name at that time if the adoption had gone through an agency.  I'm not ruling anything out, though.

New Jersey adoption records are sealed after 1940, so it's almost impossible to get access to them.  I've tried looking through Burlington County court indices to see if there are any deleted entries that might refer to this adoption, but I didn't find any likely candidates.  I've searched the Social Security Death Index but didn't find any likely possibilities there.  I'm running out of relatively low-cost search methods.

I'm hoping that by sending this out to the universe someone who knows something about Raymond will hear about my search and respond.

Keeping my fingers crossed . . . .


  1. I hope that you'll be able to find information on your cousin. I had the link to an adoption database, but cannot find it at the moment. I will share it with you whenever I do find it.

    Have a blessed night!

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the adoption database. I hope you find the info soon.

  2. I am still searching for my brother. TY for any guidance.

    1. I'm doing everything I can, Pattie. I think DNA is our best bet at this point.


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