Sisters reunited by net search

WHEN Wendy Kemp first began researching her family tree in the hope of learning more about her past, the last thing she expected was to discover five long-lost sisters.

WHEN Wendy Kemp first began researching her family tree in the hope of learning more about her past, the last thing she expected was to discover five long-lost sisters.

But after 60 years of waiting and wondering, the six siblings have now enjoyed an emotional reunion - and vowed never to lose touch again.

Mrs Kemp, of Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, was spurred into action in the hope of discovering more about her biological father, who she had never known during his life.

Armed with just his name and vague details of his service with the Suffolk Regiment, the 62-year-old began her research, and scored an immediate hit after placing her father's name into a website.

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She soon made contact with a man she later discovered was her nephew, who had posted the internet message while researching his own family tree.

Soon after, the truth about her siblings emerged and the mother-of-four, who is telling her story in the hope it may inspire others searching for their ancestors, has not looked back since.

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“My husband asked if I was sure this was what I wanted to do, but I just felt I had to try, otherwise I would always worry and wonder about it,” added Mrs Kemp. “I had already wondered for 60 years who my father was, and felt there was no point stopping at this point.

“But when I found out I had five sisters, I was really shocked. I knew my father had one other child, but I certainly didn't expect him to have five girls, with me making number six.

“They knew they had got a half-sister called Wendy who lived in Bury, but they never expected to be able to meet me or ever find me.”

Last Easter Sunday, Mrs Kemp met her eldest sister Val at her home in Kent, and has since enjoyed family gatherings with her other siblings Anne, Janet, Kath, and Marion.

“I had a few tears when I first found my sisters, but meeting them was fine,” added Mrs Kemp. “I can only see a similarity with one of them, but my husband says we all have the same mannerisms and characteristics.

“My four children have now all met their aunts and they just could not believe it, after all this time. I have also met my nieces and nephews, and we went away at Christmas with four of my sisters. To see them all getting on well is lovely.

“I would never have found them without the internet, and it is really nice to at last know my sisters.”

Mrs Kemp's biological father died in 1979, but with the help of her sisters, she has managed to piece together more knowledge of his character. She has also watched him on cine-films and seen lots of photographs.

“All I knew about my father was his name, the fact he was a Londoner and that he had been in the Suffolk Regiment in 1943, the year I was born,” she added.

“It was after I went to an open day and was told about various ways of tracing people that I found the website, put my dad's name in and a hit came up straight away.

“I am surprised at how easily it all came together in the end.”

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