Reunited with lost brother after 50 years
Thanks to ‘amazing’ genealogist
A BUCKS woman who went looking to find what happened to her long lost brother made her first appearance on national television.
Wendy Brightwell, 73, of Layters Close, Chalfont St Peter, employed the services of professional genealogist Antony Marr to help find her brother Rod which ended up with her appearing on BBC1’s Family Finders.
She said: “Antony was so good and found out an awful lot for me and found my brother which was amazing, as I never thought I would find him.”
Her father was 18 years older than her mother and married with children when they first met working in a dairy.
When the family moved to London in 1938, Mrs Brightwell’s mother moved with them as babysitter and helper.
Mrs Brightwell was born in 1942 and the family lived together until her father passed away at 52.
She said: “We just lost touch with each other. We had our lives – I got married and had kids of our own. When my kids grew up I just thought it was time to find Rod.”
She said it was “amazing” they found each other, not only because it was more than 50 years since they had seen each other – she was nine and her brother was 14 when she moved out of the house – but also because they had different surnames. She said: “It’s fantastic to have him back in my life,” and added: “My family are very pleased for me because they know it means a lot to me.”
Speaking about the visit from the BBC she said: “They were really really nice people and basically we arranged a date when we could do it, and that was on Good Friday this year.”
She added: “It was great. I thought I’d be very nervous because I’m not that sort of person but in actual fact, I don’t know why, I was really calm. The producers put me at ease.”
Mrs Brightwell said: “I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are in a similar situation to me. You have to remember this was war time and there must have been a lot of situations going on.”
SEARCH: Above, Antony Marr, professional genealogist and ex-policeman who helped Wendy Brightwell, left, to help trace her long lost brother