Rediscover a lost love

Tips and advice on how to find a long-lost love. Some tips and advice and some of the obstacles you are likely to face along your journey.

For you TO “weigh up” what’s in store for you on your trace to find your lost love, we have produced this description scenario based and mirroring various events we encountered.

Find a lost friend
Was it the summer of 1966? Let’s go back and see what happened and where you were. Did you manage to watch on Mum and Dad’s black and white TV, England winning the World Cup?

Unfortunate “Rose Tinted Glasses”

Syndrome when trying to find a lost love. We have witnessed many of our enquirers sometimes tend to be wearing rose-tinted spectacles. Thinking of just simply clicking on a few keys on your PC keyboard, a quick search on Facebook or similar, and that’s it-job done!  Yes, “voilà” that person is found. Well, all we can say is:–if only!

Tracing a lost friend. 

The following account relates to a client’s request to trace his long-lost friend that we managed to fulfil.

Names redacted. A lost brother and sister. Hi Dave. Regarding your request to find a long-lost brother and sister in adulthood. These are the entire UK births listings for Derek between 1942-46 and Janet, from 1945 to the end of 1948. The reason I have listed them all is to be able to link up the same mother, thus ensuring we have the ones we are targeting.

Having the names of both parents and mum’s maiden name also means we are looking at the right person/s along the way. Many people think they are being helpful by quoting a place where one of them worked back in the 1970s, or perhaps they owned a white MGB sports car.  Unfortunately to us, this info is quite useless. It’s the birthdate and origins we need. Nobody from the 1970s is still likely to be working there, and even less likely to remember and know they are today. Plus, HR. cannot give out any info under data protection laws.

Crucially, if we can find a listing of the two mothers’ maiden names being the same then of course we are 99% certain we have the right one. Especially, if the births occurred in the same parish register.

Unfortunately, looking through the listings, we cannot find a mutual mother’s maiden name between Janet and Derek. This is quite a heavy setback. It affects our ability down the line to establish we have the marriage to the right person.  As again, Mothers’ maiden names are applied. The question as always–do we have the right one?

There are other issues we have to consider

At the end of WW2, some births took place on military bases. This rather muddies the waters, as it usually bears no relation to where they may have been brought up or which schools they attended. These locations set the strong possibility of a military environment. Such as Aldershot, and Colchester (Army). In the case of the Navy, usually, it was Portsmouth. RAF, Waddington, and other parts of Lincolnshire where many RAF bomber command locations were sited. To muddy the waters even further, in 1944-46 some births and registrations occurred abroad, many being German brides. All of these are potential situations, we have to be aware of to be able to find our special lost friend. Lastly, at the time of the births, Mum was unmarried, then Mum’s name became a bit blurred.

Find a long lost love
1945 An American Serviceman in Picadilly

Are you sure it was Derek and not Dennis, for example?

Apart from the Derek/Dennis question, from what I have seen thus far it’s tough to make a decision on which one is your Janet. I could easily focus on our Janet in 2 seconds if I had the Christian names of Mum and Dad. As it is I only have A.J. Lacey and there are lots of Lacey’s so it does not help at all. Where we have a situation like this, we typically find a sibling listing, from which we can then match Mum’s maiden name to both Derek and Janet. This would be a 2-minute job. Are you sure it was Derek and not Dennis, for example?

However, we do often find ourselves having to work without any birth information and pick things up further down the line. Here we did have a bit of a breakthrough!! A marriage listing for a Janet xxxx Hereford, 1968. Of course, it’s far from conclusive, as your Janet may then have moved on from Hereford. But I have a good feeling about it. Hereford incidentally was once a major army SAS barrack.

What might be the best way to find the missing information?

We suggest perusing the electoral registers in those two districts and then hopefully, we can establish parents, Derek, and Janet’s full names. We would then be in a strong position to conclude the search. But….if we go down that route, there would be some additional costs involved. These days, some local libraries retain archive electoral rolls. Thus, instead of me having to make a personal visit they will find what I need, photocopy it, and send it to me for a fee. Some libraries no longer retain electoral archive rolls. Then I would be directed to the county hall, where they are sometimes kept. But here we may be dealing with two local libraries.

So, what I usually do if the local library cannot send photocopies is to visit the British Library off Euston Road. They hold all electoral registers going back 200 years. You make an appointment, and they have all registers ready and waiting. If we have to go down that route, the cost would be an extra £125.00. Train fares, or congestion charges, and a day out of the office.

Anyway, that’s the end of round one, Michael. I will have another go at it soon.

find a long lost love