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This is my very last resort - ideas needed to help me find my dad, brothers and sisters

(669 Posts)

I haven't seen my Dad for over 25 years, my Mum left him and then came in with another bloke one day and informed us that this was our new Dad and that was that.

She won't give me his proper name but I know the name everyone called him and he was well known where he lived, she won't tell me where and when he was born, in fact we no longer speak so I'm never likely to be able to find the information out at all now all I know is he lived in a little Lincolnshire village.

About 16 years ago she did manage to track a phone number down for him (after years of harrassment) and I had a brief conversation with him but she decided she didn't like it and burned the number and his address that I had written down as well as the phone bill.

Back when I spoke to him he was waiting for pretty major surgery on his heart so I'm not even sure if he is alive now and if he is he is in his 70s and when we spoke he did tell me I had brothers and sisters (he said all in all he had 16 children by goodness knows how many women) but I don't know their names apart from a brother I had who died and three older sisters I have whos names are my middle names (although one of them died as well I don't know which one).

I have tried the salvation army, trawled through public records (which is hard because I only know the shortened version of his name not the full name) called local pubs and shops where he used to live some of who knew him but didn't know where he was now and the local police station who couldn't do anything to help, as well as going on missing people and family tree and similar websites.

What else can I do? I feel like there is a huge part of my history I don't know and I would like to even just know if he is alive or not and maybe try to track down his other children. There is also the fact that my sister died from SIDS before I was born (according to my Mother) as did my son and I had a daughter who died from a genetic illness which there is no trace of on my Mothers side of the family and I would like to know my family history from his side to be able to tell my children.

Could someone give me any more ideas of what I can do to try and find out where he is or is it a lost cause? I don't know where to turn anymore its like banging my head off a brick wall and I'm just about ready to give up sad

Hello everyone,
To retain some RL privacy, we've edited out some names and replaced them with a B. Hope this has no effect on reading this amazing thread.

foslady Thu 30-May-13 20:33:45

What area of Lincolnshire? I'm from a small Lincolnshire village? Have you tried an ad in the local press?

TVTonight Thu 30-May-13 20:37:06

Do you know the name of the village in Lincolshire? Could you try an appeal to the local newspapers/radio.

Was the phone with BT, is it on the same number, is it possibly still on their system?

Is it possible that he is named on your siblings' birth certificates?

RubySparks Thu 30-May-13 20:37:35

Does your birth certificate have his name or is their a marriage certificate that may have details or death certificate for your brother to see who registered death? Old neighbours who might remember him? Facebook may be able to help if you have any other names to look for? Sorry if those are obvious things just trying to think where you would get information.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 30-May-13 20:39:23

I was thinking that your brothers death certificate might be the way to go.

I hope you find them and I'm sorry for your losses

MacMac123 Thu 30-May-13 20:42:42

If it's a little village you should be able to find people who properly knew him, have you actually been there? I suggest take a day, go there. Start at the pubs and newsagents. Follow whatever leads you have.
I am (whisper) a journalist and I know from when i worked on national papers this pub/shop approach works, and then go to streets/areas they say they think he lived on and narrow it down from there.
Did you say you knew his surname?

Its a small place called Bassingham, thats where he lived when I lived with him and he was staying there when I talked to him 16 years ago too.

The phone bill with his number on it is a no go because it was in my Mothers name so she made sure I couldn't trace it again.

I hadn't thought of the papers, I'll go and look at what the local paper is just now and see about putting an advert in.

My Mother didn't want him on our birth certificates so I have no way of tracing him through those either, and the problem I have had with my brothers and sisters birth/death certificates is that I don't know if they had his or their Mums last names so I've come to a bit of a dead end there too.

Thank you for your replies flowers

mymatemax Thu 30-May-13 20:46:14

you can search for marriage & birth certs with your mums details.
If not ad in the local paper is the way to go.

Good luck!

ThreadPirateFanjoBeard Thu 30-May-13 20:47:59

Appeal on local radio?

MacMac123 Thu 30-May-13 20:48:13

Phone the local paper and ask them to do a 'do you know my dad' piece for the sake of your children because of your daughter that died. If he had so many kids by so many women he will be somewhat notorious and people will know him.
So you used to live with him? Am confused - was this when you were a kid? Can you remember the address? A private deceptive can track people forward from a historical address

foslady Thu 30-May-13 20:48:32

Why not go and ask at The 5 Bells? See if you can put an advert up in the local shop asking for info? Think the Local Paper is the Lincolnshire Echo - why not write a letter for their readers page?

Onetwothreeoops Thu 30-May-13 20:49:11

Would he have been on the electoral register at the address you lived at with him? You can go to the county archives and look up the names of who was registered at that address in that year.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Thu 30-May-13 20:49:42

Were they married?

You could try facebook - look for the local pages and groups for the local paper and for the selling pages too.

MrsGSR Thu 30-May-13 20:50:37

I second the ad in the local paper. One of my dad's cousins found my dad that way, and it was a very vague ad!

foslady Thu 30-May-13 20:50:47

According to Wicki it has a Methodist church and a C of E - why not ring the Reverend & Minister to see if they've officiated to him....might not be thr news you wanted to hear, but if he was normally known by another name, they'd know that

YDdraigGoch Thu 30-May-13 20:53:53

What was his name?
Start a post on here to ask if anyone from Bassingham knows him - but you'll have to give his name.

foslady Thu 30-May-13 20:56:20

The parish magazine - why not try these people?

MacMac123 Thu 30-May-13 20:57:47

Brilliant idea by Yd to start the post on here!

foslady Thu 30-May-13 20:57:50

Can you tell I'm bored?!!

Wigeon Thu 30-May-13 20:58:52

The charity Missing People might be able to help: see here

Or you can download a factsheet called "who can help you" here - see the last two pages of that document.

ChasedByBees Thu 30-May-13 20:58:56

Hopefully someone where he lived might know his last name, or the names of his children / partner(s) if he was well known in his village. Starting there seems an excellent idea like MacMac says.

What if you google the name of the brother who died (I know it's only the first name), Bassingham and the word obituary? Something from a local paper might come up.

The best of luck in your search, I really hope you find them.

I haven't been there, I was living in Scotland but have moved to the Midlands recently so I would be more able to get there a bit easier. I did have a ring around a couple of years ago and no-one had heard of him for a couple of years before that, I do know his last name and the shortened version of his first name but if its a good approach then I could go there the next time dh has a few days off work and try my luck.

The biggest problem I have is that I was only about 5 when my Mother left him so I don't remember anything about where we lived they weren't married and she has done everything humanly possible to make it impossible for me to be able to trace him. She moved to Scotland and told him that he would have to come up and see us which was obviously difficult for him but he tried for a couple of years and then she moved and didn't let him know where, the last time I saw him he had travelled up to see us and was just hanging about the streets hoping he would see us and my Mother went and had a go at him, I never saw him again after that.

I tried FB, I even messaged some people in the area who had the same last name (which is also really common) and it came to nothing.

He was well known, for all the wrong reasons, as far as I have been told so there were some people in the pub and shops I called who knew him but didn't know where he was now.

I'm just going to look at the Echo and see if I can find an email address, can't believe I have never thought of the local paper before now.

Than you all so much for replying.

Lioninthesun Thu 30-May-13 21:02:07

I found my mum's real family (she was adopted) by posting on one of those ancestry sites asking for help. A really lovely lady emailed me to say she found her husband's bio family and had 'got the bug' and helped me completely free of charge!
Thinking about it I should email her again now I have met them! Good luck OP.

Onetwothreeoops Thu 30-May-13 21:04:32

This might be a bit of a mad suggestion but have you considered approaching a nearby residential home for the elderly and asking if you could go in and chat to some of the residents to see if anyone there remembers him. If he is in his 70's now then it is likely he would have been known by people now in their 70's, 80's and 90's.

WhiteYFronts Thu 30-May-13 21:05:30

Try searching on for birth/death certificates with your siblings names. Maybe try different combinations of possible first names for your Father with a rough age to see if you get a hit.

If the village is pretty small I'd get yourself down there and ask. People are more likely to give you information face to face.

Good luck and I hope you find what you need.

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