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tracing a long lost parent - where to start?

(9 Posts)
loler Mon 15-Aug-11 18:41:29

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but not quite sure where to start in this whole thing!

My biological father (who walked out on my DM when I was 5) died last week. I never got to see him or got 30 years of questions answered. DH and I had long conversations about this and it's made him want to find his mother who walked out on him when he was also 5. He's never wanted to find her before but I don't want him to have the feelings I've been left with so (with his consent) I thought one of you clever people might be able to help.

She has a very very common name, we have no idea where she lives (or even if she's still alive). She never divorced DH's DF, but we know that she has gone on to have more dc so may have changed her name or gone back to her maiden name.

DH's GP died a few years ago - she didn't go to their funeral and none of the other relatives there knew anything about her or where she was living.

Any ideas? Give up now?

moonbells Mon 15-Aug-11 19:00:43

does you DH know her birthday? Or even birth year? And maiden name? There is a free project called BMD which aims to digitise all births marriages and deaths, though unless she's about 60 they may not have got to late enough yet!
If you know someone who is on Ancestry.co.uk (or feel like going for their 2-week no limits trial) then you can probably track down the birth and marriage easilyand they have BMD info to 2005.
Then it gets tricky, but you could then try putting in the first married name and seeing if you can find the children (her name will be recorded even if its different to theirs). If that doesn't work, try the maiden name. Usually it's the maiden that is registered.

if you have got at least one of the children, then Friends Reunited may kick in. They probably will have more of a presence online and you can try and use facebook too.

somewherewest Mon 15-Aug-11 19:04:26

I'm in a slightly similar boat. My mother split up with my biological father before I was born. According to her (not necessarily accurate) version of events he didn't know she was pregnant when she left him and returned to her home country. I've never met him and know very little about him bar my now deceased mother's sketchy and not necessarily truthful side of the story. I would suggest that your DH think clearly about his own hopes and expectations before he goes looking for her. Is he on some level looking for resolution or for some kind of relationship? Is he prepared for the potential hurt if she rejects him? Sometimes its better to leave things lie.

loler Mon 15-Aug-11 19:22:41

Thanks - some good ideas there - one complication is that part of the story takes place in the Isle of Man, but that might be a bit of help too.

We don't know any of her new family's names so can't do children. Might try friends reunited - looked at facebook and it's a bit of a non-starter.

Will try and find her date of birth - we should be able to work out the year.

loler Mon 15-Aug-11 19:29:01

We've talked through the rejection side - I don't think he really wants a relationship with her, just to put some colour in a really sketchy picture (DH's DF is very vague and his stories change depending on how much he's had to drink).

My father rejected me yet again, just before he died and I was written out of his life during the eulogy at his funeral - dh is completely aware of the chance of being rejected after seeing me go through it in the last couple of months. However, I'm glad I tried and it my father that lost out not me! We both think that the not knowing is worse.

Forgottensomething Mon 15-Aug-11 19:31:51

Did you try facebook? I found a long lost cousin there

ChaosTryingToGetOrganised Mon 15-Aug-11 19:39:16

Have you had a look at your DH's birth certificate and his parents' marriage certificate? These (should) have her full name on them, including middle name(s) and her date of birth. This info should help you follow the advice given by other posters (ancestry.co.uk etc).

loler Mon 15-Aug-11 19:45:44

Had a look at his birth certificate (I thought it would have her dob on but who knew they don't!). Not a chance of looking at their wedding cert via FIL. Should be able to get a copy through the registry office though shouldn't I if I know the year (not exact date?).

Her name is slightly more popular than Mary Jones - Facebook really isn't the answer this time confused

ChaosTryingToGetOrganised Mon 15-Aug-11 19:59:21

Try this link

www.freebmd.org.uk/

You can search between dates - ie. choose a "start date" a year or two before you think the actual date and an "end date" that is (for eg.) when your DH was born - assuming they married before his birth - and a fair few may pop up but if you've got MIL and PIL's names then you should only get their marriage. I'm not sure how far back these records go though - it's a free service where volunteers upload the info, so some years are fully loaded and some only partially.

Sorry, that's a bit of a ramble but there's plenty of info on the site.

Good luck!

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