How I met Sue

So, back to my biological grandfather – I guess because my Mum had another family, she did not seek out any connection with her real Dad’s family. She very rarely spoke about her Dad, I don’t think she knew much about him at all really, and she thought that his twin brother had died young. I guess too that it was not easy in those days to source out family info, no computers, every thing was done by mail and it was a fairly expensive process. Computers and the internet have made it all so accessible, easy and affordable to do.

A few weeks before my Mum died in November 2009 (she was 85), she gave me a copy of a family tree that her brother Derek had sourced for her – it was her father”s George Alfred Hinchliffe info, but did not go into any great depth, did give the history of the family as Hinchliffe/Wells, and I put it away with my other family info which at that time was fairly scanty.

After my Mum died, I found myself thinking more and more of my family’s roots which go back to the North of England, the Durham region, all were coal miners. I found a web site one evening which was all to do with the North, and I spent quite a lot of time looking for anything I could see to do with any of my family’s history, places, names, coal mines, anything.

I found a forum where people were leaving emails, and I came across an email from a person called Sue who was requesting for anyone with the names of Hinchliffe/ Wells to make contact – I was so surprised I could not believe my eyes and I was so excited, but then I noticed that the email was 4 years old!!! I answered the email anyway, and a few weeks later, just as I was giving up hope, I was elated when I received a reply.

It was posted by Sue Tackle – Sue’s Mum is Audrey Spencer- nee Audrey Hinchliffe.

Audrey’s father is John Robert Hinchliffe, my Grandfathers twin brother. He did not die young; he died at the age of 75. Audrey and my Mum are first cousins – Sue and I are 2nd cousins – our Grandfathers were twin brothers. None of us knew the others existed until this time – how amazing – Audrey and my Mum are one year apart in age, Sue and I are one year apart in age.

Sue and I shared dozens of emails and it became obvious we shared many a coincidence, children’s names, likes and dislikes, stacks of stuff.

Last year in 2010, Ron gave me a huge surprise for our Wedding Anniversary, tickets to the Uk so that I could spend time with my English family and meet up with Sue and Audrey, my new family – and to once again visit the North where I and all my family come from, to hear the Geordie accents again which I love .

Sue, her partner Trev, and Audrey, Ron and I, all met for the first time in Bristol, where they live – we confessed afterwards to each other, we were all a bit nervous – but, no need, as right from the start it felt like we had known each other all our lives. When I looked at Audrey, it was like looking at my Mum again –

The most frustrating thing for me is that I can’t tell my Mum about Sue and Audrey, Audrey’s sister Susannah, and that my Mum’s grandparents were alive until 1975. Audrey and my Mum would have been like sisters, how they would have loved each other.

Sue and I constantly email each other, send photos, etc, sometimes as now when I am writing about this I can scarcely believe it happened from my chance look at the Marras Web Site – or was it all meant to be – as I am a believer, I know it was.

Sue, was researching family on behalf of Audrey and Susannah, I will write of their story separately – Sue presented me with a scroll, a metre and a half long of my family tree on the Hinchliffe Wells side. I have added that to all the other treasures of family history I found during that visit to the UK and all the unanswered questions that I found the answers to.

So this is a real life story with a Happy Ending.

“Never allow Your Dreams to Die”

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