I've had a few people ask why I didn't start my family blog with Gunter. One would think that would be the most logical choice. I thought I should take a post to explain that a bit further. The answer is pretty simple. Gunter is not my real surname. I carry on the surname of my older sister's father, Emory Willie Gunter.
So what do I know about who my father is? About as much as you. My mother said she met 'Bob'....and the rest is history! 'Bob' would have been stationed in Mountain Home AFB in Jan/Feb of 1970. My mom said she remembers that he was on his way home at the time she met him and that he lived somewhere in the South. She believes she recalls that he was the son of a preacher. She never got his last name.
So what have I done to find this mystery man? Last year I decided to take a step towards finding him by trying to determine what my surname is. I was going to try and do this by taking a DNA test. I was hoping that I would match with a large number of the same surname individuals. That would at least give me a surname - and a place to start. So - I sent away for the kit - as a Father's Day gift from my wife and kids. I received the kit a few weeks later, swabbed my cheek immediately and mailed it back. The wait for a result was agonizing! It took about 6 weeks to get the results. The results were a bit disappointing. I got probably 100 matches with about that many surnames!! Apparently my DNA is about the most common of European descent. The only real information that I got was that my father was most likely of Irish or Scottish heritage. So now I know why I am so lucky!!
So - that was a bit of a blow to the plan. Next I decided to contact the Air Force to see if I could get a list of the personnel stationed in Mountain Home, ID in 1970. I could then cross reference that list with the matching surnames from the DNA test - and of course only look at the Bob, Bobby, Rob, Roberts...etc. So I put in the request and it only took about 3 days to hear back from them. The roster list from 1970 has been destroyed - apparently they only keep certain records for so long. A second blow to the plan. The picture below is me when I was 18 entering the military - maybe he looked something like this?
I'm getting ready for strike three. I submitted my information to 'The Locator'. We'll see if they are interested in helping me find someone who is almost impossible to find!!
That is the quick story of search for my father - and why I didn't start this blog with some Gunter ancestry.....not to say that I won't go down my sister's line....because I will! I started with Parker because that is my mother's surname.
For now - I will remain the fatherless child.
Happy St Patricks Day!!! I will continue with some family ancestry on the next blog!!