Dianne came to our office in 2012 looking for her birth father. She had been adopted by her step father when she was six years old. Her mother gave birth to her when she was 16 years old. As Dianne said “an unwed mother was a big no no in 1945 and my mother told me when I was about 12 years old my real father had died in the war. Enclosed is a photocopy of what information I have on my birth father. Hope that you can obtain a photo for me, it would be appreciated.”
The information she had was a letter written to the Department of Navy in 1965 by her birth mother seeking information about Dianne’s birth father – so we had his name to start the research with. James had been married twice. The first marriage ended in divorce and produced two sons. The second marriage also ended in divorce and produced four children. We found the current address of one of them. After writing to him he responded positively and agreed for his contact details to be passed on to his half-sister, Dianne. It was a surprise for all concerned when we found that James’s second wife, Eleanor was still alive. She was able to tell Dianne that her birth father was in sound health up until the time of his death aged 83 years and that she had some photos she would send to her.
The photos arrived of a young man in naval uniform and some later ones when he was older. Dianne’s son is also in the Navy and looks just like his grandfather. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank You, from the bottom of my heart”, said Dianne. “It has completed my life!”
The names have been changed for privacy purposes.
Ruth Jagger was born at 3 Shrewsbury Street, Oldham, Lancashire to James Jagger, the manager of a Co-operative Society Store, and his wife Mary on 17 September 1878. Something went tragically wrong and before her daughter was three weeks old Mary Jagger had died. James Jagger needed help with his large family of five daughters and four sons ranging in age from 19 years to Ruth, the infant. It was common at this time for women to produce a large number of children, not all of which would be strong and survive, including their mothers. One son named Joseph had predeceased his mother. A year after Mary’s death James married a local woman named Hannah Ratcliffe. When the census enumerator called on the 3 April 1881everybody was at home including Ruth aged two years, delightfully described as “Light of the House”!
Well done, I must admit to being totally satisfied with your most successful research, the amount of information received is far greater than I expected and rather than satisfy my curiosity it has increased it to the point of requiring you to delve deeper, both here and abroad.
Your letter of the 23rd has arrived, reporting your excellent progress in tracing the William Jones family. Congratulations and Thanks. Stone the Bloody Crows – I think you are going to find old William!
I must admit some trepidation as I take this step, but it feels like the right thing to do now. I am hopeful of the outcome… (In reference to Jan undertaking his research -)
…thanks a lot for your help. I could not have done it without you…
Thanks again for the excellent report. What a family – convicts, jail birds, etc. Needless to say this is my wife’s side of the family. The Cooks are entirely different, they just didn’t bother getting married. I am very happy with the detailed information supplied and would like you to continue as far as you can go.
I was thrilled to get your e-mail, the fact that you have found our Adam makes my sister and me very happy… I am so curious to know [more] that I have been waiting for the post in the morning…
Your research is great and you have done a lot of fine ‘detective’ work’… Thank you for being so kind with your time and trying to brighten the day of a stranger. It was very good of you
We are extremely pleased with the progress, on [both] sides if the family. There have been some surprises!
Thank you ever so much for the thorough and professional way in which you conducted the search for my [relative]… my late Mother made quite sure that the adoption would remain a secret…