Lifestyle

Tatura woman tracks down half brother

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Since heading down the family history lane, Margaret Foord has found more links to her father than she anticipated by finding a half-brother she never knew she had.

Five months ago, Mrs Foord joined up with Tatura Community House’s Family History Group after her sister-in-law sent her an AncestryDNA test kit.

‘‘I joined up and they did all the fancy stuff for me and we were off,’’ Mrs Foord said.

She really wanted to know about her dad, having left him behind in England in 1949.

‘‘Fourteen years ago, my sister-in-law and niece were going to England and they asked if I wanted them to find anything out about my family and I said my dad James Verdun Foord,’’ Mrs Foord said.

‘‘They got his birth certificate and his and my mum’s marriage certificate. Then when they got back home my sister-in-law rang me and said ‘do you know your dad is in NSW Australia?’’’ she said.

Mrs Foord said it was wonderful having the family history group help her out because she would not have known where to start.

‘‘They found out that my father had remarried and had had another two boys, from the passenger list from the boat they came across to Australia on,’’ she said.

‘‘Unfortunately, one brother was killed in an accident and my dad had passed away in 1974 at the age of 60,’’ she said.

Family History Group facilitator Garry Clough followed James Foord’s emigration to Australia, leading him to the possibility of a John in Brisbane being Mrs Foord’s missing half-brother.

‘‘Garry rang me and said, ‘What do you want to know about your father? Because I’ve just got in contact with your half-brother’,’’ Mrs Foord said.

‘‘I was glad I was sitting down, I couldn’t believe it, everything had happened so fast,’’ she said.

After a number of emails and discussions about John’s search for his father’s first family with no luck, a trip to Shepparton was planned for the siblings to meet.

‘‘We will be meeting at my second home, the Victoria Hotel, on Wednesday the 22nd (August) and we’ve invited Garry to come along,’’ Mrs Foord said.

‘‘He (John) will fill in some gaps about my dad because he was lucky enough to spend all that time with him that I didn’t,’’ she said.

Mrs Foord said news like this was really good for a town like Tatura and she was looking forward to showing her brother around the town.

‘‘Robin and Tony from the pub will make him feel welcome, they’re like family to me, and they were rapt when I told them, and it’s really good for the Tatura Community House also to have a success like this,’’ she said.

The Family History Group runs weekly on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm at Tatura Community House, 12-16 Casey St, Tatura. For more details, phone Tatura Community House on 58241315.