My wife’s father died in 1942 at the age of 35. At the time, my wife, Audrey, was only six years old. Ever since we met and married 35 years ago, she has longed for a photo of him – all of the photos and paperwork of him were destroyed in the London Blitz.
Audrey was very ill at the time and I was freshly retired, so I joined Ancestry in November 2010 to see if I could learn more for her. My achievements were gradual at first – we didn’t even know how many brothers or sisters Audrey’s father had. I would slog away and every now then would run upstairs to Audrey with another newly-printed sheet of paper asking questions like “Did you know your father had a sister?” or “Do you know who your grandfather was?”
I started assembling Audrey’s family tree. By matching trees and following various hints I found that her grandmother had married again after being widowed in 1909 and had three more children. This fact led me to an amazing discovery, and one that neither Audrey nor I can still quite believe. Barbara, an Ancestry.com member in America, was the granddaughter of one of these children. She even had photos of Audrey’s father, Thomas, taken by his half-sister.
This discovery was, and still is, better than winning the lottery! Now at 75 years of age my wife has her father’s picture in a silver locket that she wears around her neck and a photo of him by her bedside. A smile comes to her face every time she looks at them.
—Ancestry.com member, Geoff Copson
Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com subscriber, Barbara Moseley