Long Lost Father

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smiffffffy | 17:26 Sun 09th Jun 2019 | Family
18 Answers
Hi all, i have never known my birth father as he left before i was born in 1964, however my mum had kept info and army pics of him for the future should i had wanted to ever trace him.
For whatever reasons, it is only recently that i have taken a look and decided that i would be interested to see if he was still alive and also to broaden my knowledge of my family tree. i.e, just where have i come from.
A few searches, trace a man by the same name living about a mile from the last known address in Scotland that my mother had for my father back in 1974.
I am very nervous to just ring up and make contact via the number that appears in the bt directory for the person at this address, i just feel i don't want to drop a hand grenade into a new family that he may have in case i have never been spoken of.
Is there any way that i am able to confirm via free to view information either locally here in England or via local scottish records, the date of birth via census etc of the person with my fathers name at the address i suspect may be my father?
this would pretty much confirm that i had found him if the name, birth date and rough last known location all tally up
I just want to be sure that the man that is living there IS my birth father by name and also date of birth, before i decide on how i will progress my search / initial contact with him.
Any ideas on how i can progress this search are much appreciated.


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Just be grateful that the man gave you life; don't risk wrecking his just for your own curiosity.
the only free-to-search site I've heard about is

If you feel you must make contact, try The Salvation Army, I've heard that they help in finding/re-uniting families. (other third parties may be available)
Definitely go through a third party as suggested
Don't know what information is on the Voters Roll, but that might be worth a try. I think the local library would have a copy.
If you go here you can search the name at the address and it gives you an age range, so you ought to be able to narrow it down. You could also cross reference other people resident at the address and see if you can snag any marriage records (which are public records) for them which will give you a date of birth too, so you ought to be able to covertly ascertain without too much trouble if this is your Dad.
I have been through the very same situation.
There is no easy way, but it may be made easier if your father's wife knows about you.
If she doesn't, then i would back off altogether.
If she does...then you have his name, can get his phone number and then ring asking him if he knew your mother........and go on from there.
In my case, his wife knew about me, they hadn't had any children and i had always been a bone of contention.
He didn't want to know, the telephone conversation lasted less than 5 mins, Mrs sqad cried........but it didn't bother me a jot...and never has done.

That is the only way........forget an intermediary.
I'm sorry to hear that Sqad, but it might have been the shock of the phone call coming out of the blue that cut the conversation short.

I suggest a kind but invitational letter in the first instance. It can be read in private, and reread and allows the father time to consider his next move. Time to talk to his family before responding, time to think about the consequences or responding. It also gives him all appropriate contact details, so if he wants to reply my mail he can, or prefers to ring he can, or of course do nothing for now. He might change his mind and if so, he still has the address to write to.

your library will probably have electoral rolls
I'm glad I'm not on that link calico, proves the opt-out tick works :-)
I'd have thought the best place to start would be to find a friend who pays for and ask them to look him up. What you do with any info is a bit more difficult to assess.
I'd have thought the best place to start would be to find a friend who pays for and ask them to look him up. What you do with any info is a bit more difficult to assess.
i would have thought for somethig so important you might want to shell out a few quid?
I disagree...too much faffing about with doubtful results.
Just ring him up and ask him if he is your father.
He will either say yes or no and whichever it is, you will have to accept........or the case may be.
Ancestry doesn't have everyone in the world on it; only careless people list living people on their family trees. Your library might offer free aaccess to that as well.

Incidentally, have you got a copy of your own birth certificate?
Ancestry doesn't have everyone no but it has free access to censuses and BMD records, that is what I meant. OP only wants a birth date at this point?
censuses only up to 1911 ... 1921 will be along in a couple of years; then nothing till 2051. As far as I know, the only BMD records they have are the ones you get for free on freebmd or the GRO

- the latter has the advantage of listing the mother's surname (you need to register but it's free to search), which would give you a hand in tracing your grandmother.
In our house my wife is always the one to answer the telephone and the first person to pick up the mail opens all of it, regardless of any "Confidential" markings on the envelope. In other words, if I were the potential father, it would be all but impossible to get hold of me without my wife being aware.
I would not like to risk someone else's marriage just for my own curiosity.
It is not as if your quest is international, in such cases your search could be considerably more difficult. Your bad luck is that you live in the UK and your father is/was British and not in one of the countries that have really good and accessible records with the vast majority of people being devoid of the petty secrecy that abounds in the UK. Elsewhere this would not be an issue and in all likelihood you would have either been told very early on or easily be able to find out the truth. May I suggest you travel to the "suspect's" area and visit the local authority's offices and library there, explain what you have posted here and see what advice you glean. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of the man and decide he is someone altogether different, back to square one. Alternatively, you might become convinced he's the one - and then slink back to consider your options.

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