Long-lost daughter finds her Fenland father after 27 year search
PUBLICAN Malcolm Carter was reeling from shock last night after details of an 11th hour rescue of his business was read by the daughter who had spent 27 years trying to find him.
Not only did the 67 year-old discover he had a 46 year-old daughter living in America but he also had a son as well as seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The shock revelations came after Christina read of her dad’s plight on the Cambs Times website and in a late-night conversation conducted over Facebook, Malcolm discovered that an affair he had in the 1960s had left him with a daughter.
Just hours later, an emotional Christina, who had spent more than a quarter of a century and thousands of pounds trying to find her father, revealed that he also had a son as well as a total of seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“It’s turned my life upside down,” said Malcolm. “When I heard I didn’t know what to do, what to say or where to go - I just sat there and cried tears of happiness.
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“To think that I have had this daughter for 46 years and never seen her, never held her, never spoken to her - it’s unbelievable.
“We have had a family reunion on Facebook. I always said that Facebook is a pain and all it does is cause trouble - but now I’ll eat my words. If it wasn’t for it then this would never have happened.”
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Christina’s mother, Janice Bellars, who died 12 years ago, had conducted a two month affair with Malcolm after the pair met in Peterborough in the early 1960s. She had told her daughter little of her father, except his name and the Fenland village where he had lived, Thorney.
But after scouring the internet Christina stumbled upon an article by The Cambs Times which involved her landlord dad and his 24 year-old grandson, Marty Charlton.
In a Facebook message to Marty - her nephew - Christina said: “I was wondering if your Grandpa’s name was Malcolm Carter. I think he’s my father. I have never met him.”
Christina, a bingo-caller from Texas, even took a day off work to talk online to her newly found father.
Days of online messaging revealed that as well as a daughter and five grandchildren in America, Malcolm also had a son and two grandchildren in England - from another relationship.
Four of Malcolm’s American grandchildren are soldiers in the US army. Two of them have children of their own.
The landlord, who already had two children, said he knew nothing of his newly discovered relatives.
He said that after a whirlwind relationship with Christina’s mother, Janice, she “disappeared”.
“I never thought of it after that,” he said. “I had my wife and I didn’t want to ruin that so I turned the door key and blocked that one out.”
Malcolm married his wife Wendy - who died two years ago - in November 1964. Unbeknown to him, just two months earlier his first daughter had been born in London.
Christina, who moved to America with her mother when she was just 10 months old, said she had placed adverts in English newspapers and posted details on family search websites in a desperate bid to find her father.
Speaking from her home in Austin, Texas, she said: “For 27 years it felt like I was never going to get there. Every time I started to get anywhere it turned into a dead end. Now it seems like a big void in my heart has been filled up.”
“I always wanted to find him and it’s crazy how just one newspaper article can end my search. I feel like I can call him Dad. He’s already calling me princess.”
“I think this was meant to be. My mum passed away 12 years ago, his wife passed away two years ago - I think maybe they found each other up there and thought maybe it’s time for them to find each other.”
“I hope my experience gives people a lot of encouragement that they could also find their biological parents. You can’t ever give up.”
A delighted Malcolm added: “All those years ago they used to call me Romeo. I used to come round and they’d say ‘put your door mats away’. I had a good life, let’s just say that, but I never ever dreamt this would happen.”
A Fenland resident all his life, Malcolm has never owned a passport. He is now saving money to help him fund a trip to America so he can be united with his daughter.
He said: “I always said I’d never go abroad and I’d never fly but this has changed it all. I have even been trying to think whether I know anyone who has a plane.”
Malcolm had faced being evicted from his Fenland pub after the leaseholders went into administration.
But the landlord is still pouring pints at the popular village local after a last minute buyer saved it from the brink of closure.
“I said to my grand-daughter the other day, all I can hope for now is a miracle,” said Malcolm.
“Three days later a man came and bought the pub and now I’ve found these relatives I never knew about. That’s two miracles - I even checked my lottery tickets for a third.
“I haven’t had much sleep in the last few weeks. I’d had two nightmare years of everything going wrong but now it’s amazing.
“I have saved a pub and found two children in the space of a week. It’s a new chapter in my life and it’s for the best.”