Monday, 5 October 2009

First Meeting

John, Michael, Rosemary (John's wife)
On the 24th September two of my cousins, brothers, met for the first ime in their lives!!! How strange that must have felt for both of them. Unfortunately, it was on the day of their father's funeral.
My Uncle had been estranged from his first family since WW2 and discouraged his third son, by a different partner, from meeting his brothers. His eldest sadly died some years ago. I had neen looking for cousins John and Michael for some years, mainly using the Stokton telephone directory because that is where they lived with thier mother when I last met them. I was only a small child at the time and my parents had taken our grandmother to spend some time with the family. They were boisterous boys and I took little interest at the time. My interest began when I started to trace my family history.
Last summer, with Uncle John being 95, I decided I must get as much information as possible about his wife and her family in Stockton. He told me the names of her parents and siblings and straight away I entered the information on Genes Reunited. Within 24 hours I had contact with my Aunt's neice who was able to give me an address for my cousin Michael and his daughter. I wrote to them and the very next week while visiting my homeland of Northumberland I was able to meet my cousin and his family. How fantastic was that!!!
Michael, aged 70, had assumed that his father must have died years ago and, even though he had been 'abandoned as a child', was keen to meet his father. We cut our holiday short, realising that we needed to take Uncle John to meet his son as soon as possible. When he saw his son's photograph he would have left to meet him the next day but it took us time to make arrangements. Three weeks later they had their reunion and kept in touch each week.
Sadly, on a day trip to Eastbourne, Uncle John had a fall which broke his hip. After being transferred to his local hospital with a rehab. unit, sadly Uncle John died.
Hence, his two sons met for the first time at their father's funeral. Mixed emotions!!! The half brothers got on well and ended up spending three days together, the first at the funeral, then at the scattering of their father's ashes. The third day was Sunday lunch for myself, hubby and Michael at his brother John and wife Rosemary's home in Camberly.
My Family and The Stephensons.

On the day of our visit to Camberly we were taken on a visit to Winchester. What a bizare sight we came across. Great excitement by the river caused by a duck race. Hundreds of numbered yellow, plastic ducks released down the river in a race.

I know Michael was sad to go home but intends to travel south again as soon as he is able.