Sheffield woman to meet brother for first time after 65 years

Long-lost: Tony Sargant
Long-lost: Tony Sargant
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a GRANDMOTHER from Sheffield will finally meet the brother she never knew about after striking lucky following years of searching.

Mary Andrews, of Totley, always felt she had siblings and began to trace her family history after discovering at the age of 55 that she had been adopted.

Search: Mary Andrews has been reunited with her brother thanks to the internet.

Search: Mary Andrews has been reunited with her brother thanks to the internet.

The trail went cold but when her daughter Lucie Andrews started up internet research again last year, she found American Tony Sargant hunting for his father.

But it turned out he had found a long-lost sister from Sheffield instead.

Now the pair are set to meet for the first time when Mary flies to Atlanta, Georgia, for the emotional reunion on Monday.

The tearful 65-year-old said: “I think I’ll probably fall to pieces at Atlanta airport as I see him for the first time. When my daughter told me what she had done I was very pleased but it was such a shock after all this time, a pleasant shock.

“I’m really nervous, it’s very emotional. We’re going to spend a fortnight together and we’ve got a lot to catch up on!”

Mary and Tony were born to the same woman, Dilys Barwick, just 14 months apart.

Mary was happily adopted in Sheffield and then Dilys married soldier Dennis Rees before having Tony in Birmingham. Dennis left shortly afterwards.

It was only because both Tony, an author and counsellor who moved to America in 2003, and Lucie were searching online using Dennis’s name and soldier number that they made the connection at all. And when Mary wrote to Tony using his old address in Montana last October the letter was redirected across America for weeks before it found him.

Retired district nurse Mary said: “I always felt I had a sibling.

“At first I used to think that I was a twin. But me and Tony are only 14 months apart so it isn’t that far.”

When Lucie first found Tony’s details on a web forum she kept it a secret until his birth certificate proved he was Mary’s brother – although her excited son Danny, seven, spilled the beans.

The mum, 37, of Eckington, said: “It’s a number of chance things that ultimately led to this.

“I didn’t think much about it at the time but it has proved to be a life-changing event.”