A father and daughter, who have not seen each other for nearly 48 years, have finally been reunited and the credit goes to the social networking website Facebook.
Frances Simpson, 51, from Market Drayton, Shropshire, last saw her father when she was just three years old when her parents separated. She had spent 33 years trying to find him not knowing that he had changed his name to make a fresh start, and despite her best efforts she never found him.
It was Frances's friend who started researching her family tree that found him, living 200 miles away in Poole.
Frances discovered for the first time she had a half-sister called Kim Macnauton, reports dailymail.co.uk. She looked Kim up on Facebook and sent her a message in which she wrote: “This is going to be a bit of a shock… but I think I am your sister.”
By chance, their father Tony Macnauton, now 72, was sitting by Kim's side when the message arrived. Stunned Kim, 19, immediately wrote back confirming they were indeed related.
“It only took a few minutes before I got a message back saying, 'Do you want to talk to my dad? He's sitting right next to me.' I couldn't believe it,” said Frances.
They exchanged phone numbers and Frances spoke to her father for the first time in 48 years.
Frances travelled to Poole to meet her father and half-sister for the first time last Friday.
“It's unbelievable, I'm absolutely over the moon. I don't have the words to describe how I'm feeling, it's amazing. After all these years, I've finally got my dad back,” said Frances.
“When I first started looking for him we didn't have the internet and things were so much harder. But as soon as I knew Kim's name, I looked her up and sent her a message. I've got so many memories of him (Tony). I remember him being able to play the accordion and I remember him making me a swing.”
“And now we're finding out all these other things we have in common – we've got the same sense of humour and we've even been on holiday to all the same places over the years.”
“My children are absolutely thrilled to be able to meet him – I've always talked about him and they're so excited to finally meet him,” said Frances.
After an emotional weekend, Frances took Tony back to Shropshire on Sunday to meet his grandchildren Robert, 25, Jody, 22, Callum, 19, Andrew, 17 and Kelvin, 15, and great-granddaughter Jessica, two.
“Even though we lost touch, I've never ever forgotten Frances. It's remarkable. We've each been clinging on to a precious photograph of the two of us together – the only ones in existence,” said Tony.
“I've always dreamed of being reunited again, and now I've finally got my daughter back. It's absolutely marvellous. I don't know what cloud I'm on at the moment,” he said.