A chance conversation has led a woman from Bridgnorth to track down a family that, for 63 years, she did not know existed.
Jenny Beddoes was put up for adoption aged four and brought up by her foster parents after being put into care.
But following two years’ worth of searching and investigating, the 67-year-old has traced her mother, father, five sisters and a brother.
Her parents sadly died before Mrs Beddoes had the chance to meet them but further research has revealed they both led fascinating lives.
Mrs Beddoes, of Pale Meadow, said: “My father, who was in the American navy, left my mother, aged 18 at the time, who was living with her own father.
“But when he died I was put into the care of the local authority because there were no state benefits, eventually being fostered out 12 months later to the people who would become my adopted parents.
“When I was legally adopted at the age of 15 I was then told my father was an American serviceman.”
Mrs Beddoes’ first move was to find her birth certificate, which led her to find her mother’s name.
After to speaking to a friend it turned out both their mothers had worked together in Wolverhampton. Mrs Beddoes found out her mother had died in 2004, but she went on to have an emotional meeting with her sister, Mary, and brother, Paul.
She said: “I had another sister, Susan, who died of cancer in 2006. I never met Susan but Paul and Mary are lovely people and we get on so well.
“All our lives we had lived a few miles from one another and never knew.”
In April 2011 Mrs Beddoes received her adoption files and found out her father’s name was Frank Rush, who had died in Alaska in 1994.
She said: “My father had three siblings and a colleague of mine tracked them down. I was put in touch with my step-sister, Frances, who lives in Sacramento.
“My other step-sister, Pattie, lives in North Carolina but my sister, Judy, also sadly died of cancer.
“My father went on to marry another three times and ended up living in a remote part of Alaska, with no electricity, with his final wife, Laura, who was an Inuit.
“I wish I had found my family sooner and would urge anyone in a similar position to start before it’s too late.”