Falkirk woman reunited with brother after 70-year gap

Reunited siblings Jean, William and Ian have a lot to talk about after 70-years apart
Reunited siblings Jean, William and Ian have a lot to talk about after 70-years apart

A family has been reunited for the first time in almost 70 years thanks to the power of the Internet.

Pensioner William Rae finally met his long-lost sister Jean from Falkirk and brother Ian from Bristol this week after a search by his stepdaughter.

The happy grandad from Clochan, Moray, grew up with a foster family and spent decades trying in vain to trace his roots.

And it was only after stepdaughter Christine looked into the ancestry of his wife’s side of the family that his luck changed.

She achieved impressive results with the help of an Aberdeen-based amateur genealogist who used William’s birth certificate to start the hunt which led to the 72-year-old finally meeting up with Jean (67) and Ian (69) for the first time in their adult lives.

William, who now has eight nieces and nephews he never knew about to get to know, said: “It’s wonderful. I never knew my mother and tried to trace her several times but kept hitting a brick wall.

“Christine was the real genius here, I can’t even switch on a computer. She got in touch with the lady from Aberdeen last Friday and by Monday I was speaking to my brother. It’s absolutely overwhelming.”

Jean Robertson, who was also fostered and now runs a takeaway business in Falkirk, met William on Tuesday. She said: “It was really quite a shock. There is a lot of mystery behind our pasts. Ian and I found each other a few years ago and traced our mother, Jessie, but she never explained exactly why she had to give us up.

‘‘Occasionally she would mention things, such as she worked for the Duke of Buccleuch, but she never said a word about William at all, which I think’s strange.

‘‘Even after so many years I think there was still a lot of shame there. I was never told if I had other family out there, but the future is what is important now we’re all together again.”

Anyone who might have more information about the family is asked to contact