An interesting turn of events in a current ongoing case here at FinderMonkey.
It really shows how what we do can change lives and offer resolution in reconnecting people, even if they are not the person we’re looking for.
This story is told by our senior researcher and intermediary specialist Sue Harrison who has been dealing with this first hand.
Recently we were commissioned to find a client’s biological father via our managed DNA service.
She only had her father’s possible surname and five potential first names and a photograph of him from when he was about 25.
She had been told a lot of different stories about him over the years but was never sure which (if any) of the stories were factual. She had therefore turned to DNA to hopefully solve the mystery of her paternal heritage.
Once we got her DNA results back we discovered that our client had links (via a 3rd-4th cousin) to a family with the very surname she had always been told was her Father’s family name.
She thought that her father had been born in 1934 or thereabouts and we were able to identify a gentleman born in 1934 who would have been a member of the relevant family. He had, sadly, passed away and so we contacted his son *David. We wanted to discuss the family history with him and see if we were able to identify someone in the family of the same generation as his Father who could potentially be our client’s biological Father.
He was unable to identify the individual in the photograph we had of our clients father but told us that there was another family member, born in 1934, whom he had no knowledge of their physical appearance or even their name.
After his Paternal Grandmother passed away he became aware of a family secret. His paternal grandfather had fathered a child with his wife’s sister and that child had been born the same year as his own Father.
He knew that the child had been a son and that his mother would have been one of his Grandmother’s sisters but otherwise knew no further information but did believe that the child had been in contact with his Grandfather. He had always been intrigued as to the identity of this male, who would have been his Father’s half-brother but had never found any further information.
As this son had been born in 1934, and would have been the right age to be our client’s Father, we felt it was important that we identify him so that we could establish any relevance.
We therefore researched this using the information provided to us. We knew that he was the illegitimate son of a sister to *David’s grandmother and therefore we looked into her birth, identified her parents and siblings and then researched each female sibling. We identified that only one female sibling had been the mother of an illegitimate son. He had been born in 1934. He had never used his Father’s name and had kept his mother’s maiden name throughout his life until he had passed away in the late 1980’s.
It seemed unlikely that he would be relevant as he had never used the surname our client had been given for her Father but to be certain we looked to identify a living relative.
We contacted his daughter *Helen who was able to confirm that the man in the photograph was not her Father and she did not recognise him but she felt that he did bear a resemblance to her Father and so could be a relative. However she knew nothing about her Father’s side of the family. I then disclosed how I had come to identify her Father as potentially relevant and described some information I knew about his Father which included his hobby of collecting/repairing clocks and watches.
She then told me, “Well, when I was small, my parents used to take me to visit someone, my dad’s aunt and uncle, and I can remember him having these clocks all over his house and mending them. And actually my dad went on to have the same hobby, mending clocks and a love of clocks” She said that if her Dad had been aware that this was actually his Father then he had never disclosed this.
Ultimately he is not the gentleman we were looking for but we have now been able to put *David and *Helen in touch so *David can help Helen finally build up a family tree on her father’s side of the family and so that *David can finally learn all about the half Uncle he never got to meet.
As you can see, we never set out to do any work for these two people, but holding this information in our hands, how could we not share that with these two people? We’re her to help and reconnect people after all.
It is clearly going to make such a difference to them and that is what we do ultimately. We hope that this gives each of them peace and a longstanding family connection and once our search is complete we can introduce them to our client and explain exactly how she relates to them also.
Sometimes a search can lead us down many paths and touch many lives and we can end up reconnecting people in more ways than one, sometimes even solving family mysteries that have long since been given up on.
One thing is for sure no two days or cases are the same!
In the meantime, the search for our client continues…
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.