Ancestry Blog » Long Lost Family The official blog of Ancestry Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:44:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The emotional rollercoaster comes to an end. It’s the last in the season of Long Lost Family! Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:40:40 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> It has been quite the emotional rollercoaster this season. We have had front row seats to some beautiful reunions. We have smiled and cried in equal measure as we shared the journeys of this season’s participants. Join Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell as they help people find their absent family members in the final episode of Long Lost Family.


Sandra Macdonald

Sandra Macdonald grew up in Edinburgh as the only child of her adoptive parents. From a young age she felt as though she didn’t belong, despite doing everything she could to gain their acceptance. As a teenager these feelings became stronger. When she was 15, Sandra decided that she needed to find her birth mother.

All Sandra knew was that her mother had been in the care of a church organization when she gave birth. Hoping that they could help, Sandra approached them but was met with cruel and cold words. Being told that her mother had sinned and didn’t want to be reminded of those sins was a painful thing to be told.

It was two years before she could access the adoption records. The paperwork gave Sandra some clues to work with in her search. She discovered that her mother’s name was Elizabeth Blair, and that she was married and already had one child. But those details did not prove to be enough to find her mother.

Now 53, Sandra has spent almost forty years searching. She is hoping that the Long Lost Family team can complete the task and reunite her with the family she longs to be a part of. Join us for the final episode of the series and see if Sandra gets her wish.

Long Lost Family will air on ITV this Monday September 1st at  9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on this episode.

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Happiness and Sadness in Equal Measure in this Week’s “Long Lost Family” Sun, 24 Aug 2014 08:27:02 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> Join Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell as they take on the challenge of uniting families in the penultimate episode in this season of Long Lost Family.









John Farrell

John Farrell is a 46-year old catering manager and Army reservist. His childhood was marked by feelings of inadequacy and he never felt as though he belonged. When he turned thirteen he found out that the man he was raised to believe was his father was not his biological father. His mother offered to tell him about his father but he didn’t want to know. He now regrets not asking about his father at that time.

Having three children has changed his outlook. John is determined to be the best father he could for his children. He often thinks of his own father and the connection he wishes they had. Twenty years ago John started to search for his father. His mother told him that he was a former soldier called Cyrill Smith. Cyrill was married to another woman when John was born.

Sharing the background of military service, John served in Afghanistan and feels a great sense of pride. When he returned home he was met with handshakes and the admiration of well-wishers. For John, the only person he wanted to be proud of him was his father. When Long Lost Family took on the search they were able to track down John’s two half-siblings from his father’s marriage. John was moved to tears to know his siblings want to meet him.


Patricia Hart

Patricia grew up in small community where everybody knew everybody and there were no secrets. In 1954, when Patricia was just 17, she signed up for three years in the Women’s Royal Army Corps. She embraced her freedom and was excited to see the world beyond her small community. She met a man and began a relationship while stationed in Hampshire. Eight months into the relationship Patricia’s time in the army came to an end and she returned home to Yorkshire. It was then that she discovered she was pregnant.

With no support from her boyfriend, Patricia told her parents. She knew that they would support her, but felt she could not put them through the shame. She decided that she would give her baby up for adoption, a decision which has haunted her every day since. In March 1959, Patricia gave birth to a baby girl she called Christine and they spent six precious weeks together.

Now 75, Patricia is a great-grandmother and lives in South Yorkshire surrounded by her close-knit family. Her only fear is that she will die before she has a chance to meet the daughter that she gave away all those years ago. The Long Lost Family team tracks down Patricia’s daughter and the reunion is not to be missed.


Long Lost Family will air on ITV this Monday August 25th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on this episode.

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Two stories. Two Reunions. Many Tears! There’s Only One Long Lost Family. Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:04:03 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]>  

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell have been our expert guides through the emotional landscape of Long Lost Family, and in episode six the team succeeds again in reuniting families and healing old wounds.



Helen Salmon and Colin Deering

Colin and Helen’s mother, Nellie Dixon, was a music hall performer. Nellie had Colin in 1943 and several years later, she retired from show business and settled down in Manchester to raise him. In 1949 she married and Helen was born two years later.

Helen always felt that Nellie missed the stage, and that there was a sense of missing out when she gave up show business. Helen hadn’t realized there was something more missing from her mother’s life.

Colin remembers finding his mother crying while looking at an old photograph of a child that she kept hidden. It was his brother Bryan. Nellie clearly carried a lot of regret for her decision to give him up.

Nellie passed away more than 40 years ago. Colin and Helen have longed to fulfill her dying wish for them to find their missing brother. Now 70 years old, Colin hopes that the Long Lost Family team can locate Bryan.



Stephen Haywood and Sheila Andrews

Life has not been easy for 52 year old Stephen. He lives in Cornwall with his partner Jan, two daughters and his grandson. He has put many things on hold and has avoided celebrating life’s milestones until he finds his birth mother. He even decided not to marry until he finds her.

Given up for adoption at birth, Stephen grew up in Australia with his adoptive parents, Constance and Anthony. When the family returned to the UK, Stephen found it hard to fit in as a teenager in a new country. It was this difficult period that led him to think about his birth mother.

Stephen’s adoption file reveals that his mother’s name is Sheila Andrews and that she had given him the name Stephen. Davina McCall, Nicky Campbell and the Long Lost Family team take on the search for Stephen’s birth mother.

As always the reunions are emotional and the participants joy at finding their loved ones is uplifting and inspirational. That’s the power of Long Lost family.


Long Lost Family will air on ITV this Monday August 18th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on this episode.


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Painful Memories and Warm Embraces in Episode Five of Long Lost Family. Sun, 10 Aug 2014 00:40:49 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> Last week’s episode of Long Lost Family was probably the most emotional yet. But it doesn’t stop there. This week Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell worked tirelessly to reunite more long-separated families. In episode five we’ll witness two reunions that are healing the pain of the past.


Sheila Thomas and Jacqui Denton

Growing up in London, Sheila was raised in a working household. She left school at age 15 to work as a receptionist and it wasn’t long before she fell madly in love with a married man. She became pregnant and at only 17, she was frightened and unsure of what to do. Unable to ask her boyfriend for help she told her parents everything.

They quickly took charge of the situation and Sheila had to quit her job and leave her boyfriend. She was sent to a mother and baby home and it was there, on Boxing Day 1967, that she gave birth to a baby girl she named Jacqueline. It never dawned on Sheila that her baby would be taken from her. She was distraught when she realized that her precious child would be given up for adoption. She never recovered and despite going on to be happily married, she never had any more children.

Sheila felt unworthy to be a mother and never forgave herself for allowing her baby to be taken without a fight. Now 64, Sheila has longed to give her daughter a hug and know that she is happy. Long Lost Family tracked down Jacqueline, who was overwhelmed to hear that her birth mother was looking for her. Her adoptive parents kept her name and when Jacqui met Sheila, her adoptive mother came too. The meeting has given Sheila the strength to move on and put the pain of the adoption behind her.

Stephen Andrews and Janet Johnson

Stephen was adopted in 1964 by Terrance and Betty Andrews. He found out that he was adopted when he was eight-years-old, but it wasn’t until his teenage years that he questioned why he was given away. Now 49 and married with three children, he longed to answer the questions that have plagued him all these years.

When his adoptive mother died, he decided to face his past and see if he could track down his birth mother. His adoption file raised more painful questions. It stated that his birth parents planned to get married, sparking the question again, why did they give him away?

Long Lost Family tracked down Stephen’s birth mother, Janet. She was overjoyed to hear that he was looking for her. She explained that she was only 15 when she got pregnant and that she was frightened and unsure how she was going to support her baby. She went on to marry Stephen’s father and have two more sons. When Davina met Stephen to tell him she had found his mother, he was shocked to hear that he has two full brothers. Davina reassured him that he was not forgotten and when he meets Janet for the first time, she explained in her own words the circumstances of the adoption. Stephen can finally begin to get over the hurt and shame he has felt all these years.

Long Lost Family will air on ITV this Monday August 11th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on this episode.

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Two searches, one family! Get ready for another episode of Long Lost Family Sat, 02 Aug 2014 09:18:15 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> The inspiring stories on Long Lost Family have brought us to tears on more than one occasion, as Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell worked tirelessly to reunite long separated families. In episode four we will witness a first for the Long Lost Family team.


Inge Dart

Growing up in Kenya, Inge’s life was overshadowed by her domineering mother. It was the last days of the British Empire and Inge was very much in love with her childhood sweetheart, Jeremy. When she became pregnant at 19, her mother banished her half way across the world to have the baby in secret.

Her mother sent her to Surrey in the UK where she was taken in by a couple who looked after her until her daughter was born. She cared for her daughter for ten days knowing time was running out. Jeremy visited and the young couple were overjoyed to be able to spend time with their daughter before she was taken away.

Now sixty-six years old, the loss of her baby has haunted Inge ever since and she now craves the peace she knows will only come when she sees her daughter once more. In one of the most extraordinary searches ever undertaken by Long Lost Family we see a mother looking for the daughter she had to say goodbye to when she was only ten days old. From Colonial Kenya to Northern France, watch what happens when they end Inge’s search and, in a first for Long Lost Family, they take on her daughter’s search for her father Jeremy, who has spent a lifetime yearning for the chance to give his daughter a hug.  

Long Lost Family is broadcast on ITV this Monday August 4th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on Inge’s emotional journey.

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Second chances and emotional reunions in the next “Long Lost Family” Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:07:39 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> With the new season of Long Lost Family now in full swing and tissue sales at an all-time high, Davina McCall & Nicky Campbell continue to give us front row seats at some beautiful family reunions.


In episode three we hear the stories of Richard Cue and Tania Bartlett. While both stories are different they shared a common desire to find their loved ones.

Richard Cue
After the loss of their two young children, Florence and William Cue adopted Richard in 1957. Richard grew up in a house filled with love and happiness. He longed to meet his birth mother to tell her that he is grateful for the decision she made and to let her know he has had a good life.

After the loss of his adoptive mother in in 1997, Richard’s desire to find his birth mother intensified. Having searched for more than a decade without success, Richard turned to Long Lost Family for help. Nicky found Richard’s birth mother, Pat, who revealed that she had been searching for Richard also, but had held back because she wasn’t sure how their reunion would impact his life. She explained to Nicky that she had tried to keep Richard and raise him herself, but after six months she simply had no other options. With no support and practically starving, she agreed to the adoption that placed Richard with Florence and William.

Richard was brought to tears at the news that his mother had been found and Davina revealed the circumstances of his adoption and the difficulties his birth mother endured in an attempt to keep him. Richard couldn’t wait to meet her and just two days after finding out his birth mother was found, Richard traveled to West Sussex to be reunited with her.

Tania Bartlett

Growing up Tania had no contact from her father. Ahmed Kazem, an Iranian student studying in the UK met Tania’s mother Julie in 1961. They fell in love, and by the time Tania was born Ahmed was in the U.S making arrangements for their future together. However, after Tania’s birth Julie felt unable to leave the UK and the relationship ended.

When Tania was fifteen, she answered a knock at the door and found herself face to face with her father, Ahmed, now called Edward. It turned her world upside down and over the next five years he showered her with love and attention, despite his busy lifestyle. Tania recalled how he would contact her from different countries around the world. In 1981 a letter she had sent to her father in Tehran was returned unopened and from that day forward she has had no contact with her father.

Nicky and the Long Lost Family team found Edward living on the east coast of the United States. When Nicky asks why he stopped all contact, Edward explained that due to the nature of his work with the U.S government he was not allowed to contact anyone, even his own daughter. Edward traveled to London to meet his daughter and the reunion was as emotional as any we have seen on Long Lost Family. Tania is overcome as she embraces the father she never thought she would see again.

Long Lost Family is broadcast on ITV this Monday July 28th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on Richard & Tania’s unbelievable stories.

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Long Lost Family continues to change lives and move us to tears Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:24:07 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]>  

Last Monday saw the return of the BAFTA award winning show Long Lost Family. Davina McCall & Nicky Campbell reunited families who had been separated for most of their lives, in what was a very emotional first episode of the new season.




Episode two features more emotional stories of heartbreak, separation and the search for long lost family members. Airing on Monday 21st July this episode features Sara Price-Parker & Pauline Wood’s search for meaning.



Having been given up for adoption at birth, Sara Price-Parker had a happy childhood with her adoptive parents. Sadly it was not to last. Her mother fell ill with Cancer when Sara was just nine years old and a few years later she died. Over the next few years Sara began to wonder about her birth mother. She discovers that her birth mother also lost her own mother at a young age and that she had emigrated to Jamaica in the 1970’s. It was here that the trail went cold until Long Lost Family began their search. They discover that Sara’s birth mother is now on the west coast of the United States and Nicky travels to meet her. The subsequent reunion between mother and daughter is full of beauty, joy and overwhelming emotion.



Brought up on the Isle of Wight, Pauline had never felt accepted by her adoptive parents and spent her childhood yearning for a sibling. In 1965, when Pauline was 28 years old she discovered that her birth parents were married and may have had a son. The thought that she may have a brother out there somewhere gave her enormous hope. Now 77 years old and having spent more than forty years searching without success, Pauline turns to Long Lost Family for help. When they track her brother down in London, Pauline is overjoyed but the biggest surprise is yet to come – she doesn’t just have a brother, she has two sisters as well!


Long Lost Family is broadcast on ITV this Monday July 21stat 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on Sara & Pauline’s unbelievable stories.


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Have Your Tissues at the Ready! The New Series of Long Lost Family is Here. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:58:42 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> Monday the 14th July sees the return of the BAFTA award winning show Long Lost Family. The show traces and reunites families who have been separated for most of their lives.


In what is often an emotional and moving journey, Long Lost Family explores the background of each family’s separation and why it occurred. Many of the people in the series were adopted or gave children up for adoption when they were younger.

The new series features mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers searching for loved ones who they are desperate to be reunited with. Presenters Davina McCall & Nicky Campbell travel as far as South Africa and Australia to help locate and unite long lost families.

Episode one features the heart wrenching stories of Ann Munro & Louise Kendall:


At the age of twenty-one Ann gave up her first son for adoption and ever since, her life has been overshadowed by guilt and the longing to be see her son again. All she has ever wanted is to explain that she gave him up out of love.

Now Sixty-three years old, Ann Munro hopes that the show can trace the son she has waited over forty years to see again. With the help of specialist adoption support agents, Long Lost Family was able to track down her son. Nicky travels to the Isle of Wight to meet him in the hope of uniting mother and son.


Louise Kendall is a twenty-eight year old nurse who lives in Bradford. A devoted mother, Louise is longing to share her life and family with the father she has never known. Her mother had a relationship with her father Stephane while working as an au pair in France.

Louise’s mother returned to Bradford where Louise was born and lost touch with Stephane shortly afterwards. The only connection Louise has to her father is a passport photo she received in 1986; a small picture of a curly haired, seventeen year old boy.

Long Lost Family discovered Stephane Le Postollec living in the French Alps.  As a fluent French speaker, Davina makes the trip to meet him at his home. He shows Davina baby photos of Louise that he has kept with him through the years.

When Davina tells Louise her father has been found, she is overwhelmed with emotion. When she sees a photo of Stephane, Louise cannot believe the man staring back at her is her dad.

Long Lost Family is broadcast on ITV this Monday July 14th at 9pm. Join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts on Ann and Louise’s emotional journeys.



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