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.

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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