Hi Lois, Thank you so much for replying. What a few days I have been having. I knew so little about my grandmother's family and I now feel overwhelmed with information. The Sanchez connection really took my breath away! Seeing also the photo of my grandmother's half sister also calledHelen, was quite strange to say the least. I have made contact with Liz, so you may have read my messages.
The placing of your grandfather for adoption is really sad. However it does sound as if Alexander took care to do what he thought was the best solution at the time. It seems he must have known the family he left John with as he didn't place John with an adoption agency or orphanage. He must havehad some trust in this family that they would care for his son. It does seem a desperate thing to have done but as you say they were difficult times.
I have traced Alexander on the 1911 Census. On the census dayhe was staying with his his wife's family and their 3 children Marion aged 7, Maggie aged 6 and Alexandr aged 2. What is interesting is that the 2 oldest children were born in Bradford and the youngest was born in Moreton Wirral Cheshire. As my grand mother was also living in Moreton in 1911 I now know she must have kept in touch with her father and I have had completely the wrong end of the story. On the Census it puts his occupation as Brickburner. This is the same as was on my grandmother's wedding certificate in 1914. I also know there was a brick works in Moreton as my grandfather Frank Lindfieldworked there. So I now wonder if Alexander lived in Moreton or nearby by 1911. I am a member of Ancestory.co.uk and while searching last night I have found a record of an Alexander Fell dying in Cheshire in the 1940's and a Priscilla Fell dying in Liverpool in the 1960's( i can't remember exact dates at the moment) so I am now wondering if this them, particularly as Priscilla Fell is an uncommon name. I will try and do more research on them.
This may not help you as to why Alexander placed John for adoption, but Alexander does appear to be the parent who took responsibility for his children. I am getting the impression that Margaet Hartin Fell, for what ever reason walked out on her husband and 3 children and seems to have never had any further contact with them.I don't know if my grandmother ever spoke of her mother or brother John to my father.She was young when her mother left them. However Catherine was older and must have rememberd her baby brother and maybe told Helen about him. It is hard to know if John or their mother were spoken about in the family or whether it was kept as a family secret. As you said, they were poor times and the family had a lot of hardship.
It must have been amazing for you to meet Margaret Sanchez and hear about her life and that of her brother and her mother and father.What different lives the 2 Helens lived. As they say, truth can be stranger than fiction!