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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum


Good evening everyone. I am trying to locate a relative who passed for white/Italian. This is her story:

My ggAunt was born Sarah Short in Waeler, Texas, in Feb. 1900. Her mother was murdered by her father in a murder suicide in October 1910. Sarah was 10. Sarah was sent to live with relatives and somehow made her way to Chicago. Family lore has it that Sarah became mixed up with the Al Capone gang. Sarah was sent to prison in Chicago and PA, I don't know what the offenses were just yet. Soon after she gave birth to a child she named Pearl. The baby was adopted and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I think I know who the child/woman is but I'm seeking some sort of documentation linking her to Sarah before I contact her.

A couple of years later Sarah gave birth to two add'l kids, a boy and girl. Social Services contact Sarah's siblings and asked if they would take the children. The agency explained that the children had seen several wrong doings and were witnesses to criminal events. There was some discussion of a hit being placed on the kids. The family declined to take in the kids for fear of their safety. The kids were eventually adopted out in Chicago.

I was just informed recently that Sarah changed her name many times. The last name she'd used was "Sylvia Lafeda". Sarah died as Sylvia in Portland in November 1949. She was listed as 38 years old. She was actually 49.

I'm trying to determine who I should contact in Chicago with Sarah's name in the hope of unsealing an adoption record. I would also like to determine if there is any validility to the story of Sarah having spent time in jail and so forth.


Thanks in advance.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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