Jacqui planted in me a love for herbs and old things and she has taught me how to make quilts and rag rugs and even took me to a Victorian rubbish dump to dig for old bottles and pots, great fun.
When I was 17 and visiting my elder sister Denise in California, she suddenly out of the blue asked me whether I knew that Jacqui was our half sister and not our aunt. I was flabbergasted as I couldn't imagine my Mum ever having made a mistake in her teenage years. A year later my Mum told me herself, when I told her that I already knew she asked me whether I was disappointed in her, I said "no, Mum, it made me love you more".
Mum was a young teenager during the 2nd World War and lived in the city of Kingston upon Hull, because It was an important port on the eastern seaboard the city was often bombed but it also had a lot of Merchant Navy men coming in and out of the port.
During this time Mum met and fell in love with a young handsome American Merchant Seaman called Wayne Frederick Webber.
Times of war are fraught with worry and the uncertainty of whether you will survive, Wayne departed from Hull on the S.S. Victor Herbert and my Mum discovered shortly afterwards that she was pregnant, she was 17 years old.
After telling her mother, I believe that my Grandfather was serving in the army in India at the time, my Nana went with her to the U.S. Naval headquarters in Hull. Unfortunately they were not received very kindly there and my Mum was asked whether she was sure that the baby was from Wayne Frederick Webber, they also refused to give her any contact details.
Thankfully my Grandparents decided to officially adopt the baby themselves, my Mum was sent off to my Nana's step sister in Bridlington to avoid any gossip in the neighbourhood and when her time of delivery arrived she traveled to a nursing home in Grantham for unwed mothers. Jacqueline Wayne Orwin was born on the 16th September 1944, she was given her Father's name as a middle name.
Jacqui discovered that she was adopted when she was a young teenager, she was very upset with this discovery but when she learnt that her favourite sister whom she called Dodo was her Mum then she was a lot happier though obviously she always wondered about her biological father and who he was.
Mum was able to tell her his name and that he sailed on the SS Victor Herbert, she thought that he was from Wisconsin and he had also mentioned to her once that he was an orphan and that he lived with a foster family, Mum also had a small photo of him which she was able to give to Jacqui.
About 10 years ago I started searching on Ancestry.com to see whether I could maybe find Jacqui 's father for her. I found several possibilities and two who fitted the match the closest, they were both born in 1923, one was from Wisconsin and the other was from Indiana and on the 1931 census it showed him as being a foster child.
At the time my younger sister Kim who lives in the U.S.A. decided to try and get in touch with both of these possibilities, but unfortunately without success.
Several months ago I decided to have another search and discovered that the Wayne Frederick Webber who lived in Wisconsin had died last year and that there was a photo of him. I immediately started comparing the photo with the small photo in our possession but Kim thought that his hairline was different, she decided to search on Facebook for a Wayne Frederick Webber and discovered that the Wayne who lived in Indiana was still alive and had recently joined Facebook. By looking through his photos she was able to find a photo of him from when he attended a Veterans Day Event, he was holding a photo of himself as a young man and even though our photo is very unclear he had the same wavy dark hair and the same hairline. Kim was so sure, and always the impulsive one, she decided to try and phone him straight away.
After a friendly introduction she asked him whether he had been in the Merchant Navy and had sailed on the SS Victor Herbert and whether he had ever been in Hull, he said that he had. She then asked him the golden question, whether he remembered a young girl called Doreen Orwin, he was quiet for a few seconds and then he said that yes he did remember a Doreen Orwin. As you can imagine it was a very emotional telephone conversation and even though I live at the other side of the world I was able to listen in on the conversation. Wayne told us several things about his romance with my Mum and that he remembered her running along the harbour to wave goodbye to him, he was also able to speak with my Mum on the telephone.
The next morning we rang Jacqui to tell her that we had found her father, and since then she has also been able to talk with him via Facetime and has also gained a brother and a sister by.
To make sure that we definitely had the right father for Jacqui, Wayne is 96 and my Mum is 92 and has dementia, we decided that it would be a good idea if both Jacqui and Wayne's son do a DNA test. Several weeks ago the results came back and they are half siblings from each other, after 74 years Jacqui has found her missing father and now has a connection with all her family on that side of her family tree.
A little extra bonus of Jacqui doing her DNA test was that I was able to find another missing father! My great, great Grandmother Emma Young was also born out of wedlock and there is no mention of her father on her birth certificate, she was born in Thorne Union Workhouse in 1839 and she was also brought up by her grandparents. After doing a DNA test Ancestry shows you your Thru Lines and potential ancestors, I have already found most of my direct ancestors going back 5 generations but obviously had no way of finding out who Emma's father was until Thru Lines showed me the name of Samuel Lister as being a potential ancestor. I did some research on Samuel Lister and discovered that he and his wife were the Master and Matron of Thorne Union Workhouse! Another missing father revealed through DNA testing.