More of a personal blog from me this month. My family and I are making preparations for my grandmothers visit to see us here in the UK coming all the way from Australia. It’s a special visit as she is due to turn 90 this month. In truth I have actually only known who my grandmother is since six years ago and still would not know who she is today if it was not for the wonderful world wide web.
My father was born during the war in 1942 and grew up with a lovely couple, my grandparents, the Nobles. It was only when at the age of eighteen when planning to go abroad with his friends that he found out he was adopted when he was unable to locate his birth certificate. It was then my grandparents had to sit him down and explain that he was adopted.
It was different in those days as my grandma even went as far as wearing a fake bump to pretend she was having a baby so there was no shock to the neighbours when the little one arrived. My father told myself and my family when I was eleven that he was adopted and that we had another grandmother out there somewhere. He was always curious to know who his mother was but did not start searching until he was in his sixties mainly due to the lack of resources of how to find someone.
My father located his documents, adoption certificate, birth certificate and all he had for his search was his mother’s name, his real birth name and place of birth. He was eventually able with the use of the internet to trace records of his family members from birth and marriage certificates carefully researching the years they could have married, had children and died. It took months to build up a picture. My father was also able to trace whether his mother was listed with a UK GP, this would show whether his mother was still alive or indeed living in the UK. When there was no trace, given her age we did think we may have been too late.
There was one thing we did find out that my great grandfather served on a well known navy ship during the war. We could not access any naval documents and so again thought all was lost. Having used the internet for many things it is possible to locate all sorts of information. From a few simple searches using his name and ship google produced a link to a forum. There in black and bold I saw my grandfather’s name among a blog posted by a name I did not know. He was writing about researching into his great grandfather’s medals and that he has served on the same ship. I thought this can not be a coincidence, the same name, the same ship and my grandfather has a distinctive name so the odds of being more than one were slim. The fact that this person was referring to him being his great grandfather too, could this be my cousin? There was an email address to the write of the blog giving us a chance to find out.
After some emotional emails and finally telephone contact my father was able to speak to my cousin, and his mother (my father’s sister) who then put him in touch with their mother, my grandma in Australia (the reason she was not registered in the UK). His mother had kept this secret from his brothers and sisters and thought my father would never want to contact her having giving him up in the war as she was young and out of wedlock. Since emotional meet ups we now have her and the rest of my fathers family in our life. My parents have been to visit over there and my grandmother is making her third trip to see us this month.
The internet is a wonderful thing, sometimes in life I wonder how we ever got on without it, making applications, booking holidays, finding out information, keeping in touch with people. To enable me to find that missing piece in my family’s like, for me it is a wonderful world wide web.
At BCL Legal I focus on private practice recruitment in the East Midlands and Home Counties, specialising in recruiting partners, directors, senior associates, associates, solicitors and newly qualified solicitors across all commercial disciplines. If you would like to talk about your job and perhaps fill in the missing piece in your life then contact me either via the internet or on the good old fashioned telephone.