Man finds family by googling
Earlier searches had failed Separated for more than 20 years, the internet has reunited a Putaruru man with his two children. FLORENCE KERR looks into the life-changing results of an internet search.
Putaruru man Peter Tucker credits the internet for helping him find his children after losing contact almost 20 years ago.
Mr Tuckerman lost contact with his children, whom he brought up from infancy to the age of six, after they moved from Blenheim with his ex-wife.
He said he had tried many times to find his daughter Donna and son Jamie while living in Whangarei.
‘‘I tried to do it by myself. It was before the bloomin’ internet. Last time I saw both my daughter and my son was when they were in their early teens,’’ Mr Tuckerman said.
His daughter is now 32 and his son is 31.
Mr Tuckerman, who is a selfconfessed internet novice, had a computer and internet installed at his home before Christmas.
‘‘Once I was set up, I clicked on the internet and there was this box search thingy (Google) so I entered my daughter’s name and pressed search.
‘‘There are a lot of people called Donna. Anyway one of the searches brought up a Donna Tuckerman who lives in Nelson and works at a hair salon.
‘‘I had a look at the page and I saw a picture of her. That was the first time I had seen my daughter since she was young,’’ he said.
After writing down the salon’s contact details Mr Tuckerman immediately phoned the number.
‘‘It did cross my mind that she may not want anything to do with me but I thought I would just give her a choice. I gave my details to a woman at the salon and told her to pass them on to Donna.’’
Later that evening Ms Tuckerman phoned her father and he learned his ex-wife had passed away three years earlier.
‘‘I found out that Jamie lived near Donna and that I have two grandchildren.
‘‘I asked if she would pass my details on to Jamie,’’ he said.
‘‘He and I talked to each other a week later. I’m happy that we were able to talk and now I can start building our relationship.’’
Speaking from Nelson, Mr Tuckerman’s daughter told South Waikato News she was shocked to receive the message that her father had contacted her.
‘‘I had just finished my client’s hair when my colleague said my father had phoned and left his contact details for me. I said I didn’t have a dad but when she told me his name, I got a chill. I was shaking.
‘‘I’m glad he just left a message because I had to calm my nerves before I rang him.’’
Ms Tuckerman said that although she was happy her father made contact she wanted to take things ‘‘one day at a time’’.
‘‘I spent my childhood crying, wanting a father.
‘‘I remember being told dad is going to come and get us so me and my brother would have our bags packed and wait at the gate for him. He never came. I was heart broken,’’ she said.
‘‘I have let go of all the anger and, just to protect myself and my children from being hurt, I want to take things slowly.
‘‘My mum was my mother and father for so many years and it would be hard to just jump right into a father and daughter relationship with all those missing years.’’
Ms Tuckerman said she looked forward to starting a relationship with her father, one she hoped would not be lost again.
Ms Tuckerman told South Waikato News she had not seen her father since she was a child.
‘‘I wouldn’t know him if I fell over him on the street,’’ she laughed.
Photographs taken by South Waikato News were sent to Ms Tuckerman via email.
Mr Tuckerman is making plans to move to Blenheim to be closer to his family.
SEARCH RESULT: Peter Tuckerman holds a photo of his daughter Donna and her children. He found her by using the search engine Google.