5    Jun 201216 comments

Request: Help me find my father

Gudrun Giesemann - searching for her father for more than 30 years

Gudrun Giesemann - searching for her father for more than 30 years

This post appeared last week in our German blog. We've translated it to help Gudrun Giesemann find her father.

In October 2011, MyHeritage was excited to be part of a great family reconnection, following a 30-year search. MyHeritage.com was instrumental in reuniting half-siblings Anna and Ronald.

We're now hoping to help Gudrun, who's been searching for her biological father for over 30 years. She's tried everything, without success. Now we're asking our readers for help. Each bit of information could be vitally important for Gudrun.

Here's her story:

For over 30 years, I've been searching for my biological father whom I've never met. When my mother died in 1989, she told me that his name was SIDNEY or SYDNEY SMITH. Unfortunately, there are a lot of spellings of this common name.

Perhaps he is already deceased, but as everyone knows: hope dies last!

My mother, Edith Funk, was born in 1922 and said that my father was nine years older, thus born around 1912 or 1913. But that's if, in 1950, he was telling my mother the truth about his age.

Edith Funk and Sidney Smith

Edith Funk and Sidney Smith

My father was English. He was based in the air force barracks in Goslar until he was suddenly transferred to Weybridge.

My mother discovered she was pregnant only after he was transferred. She tried searching, but couldn't find any information or address. Thus, I grew up without a father.

Even after all this time, I still don't feel rooted. If he's no longer alive, I would still like to go and visit his grave, to say goodbye. Maybe I have half-siblings out there somewhere, who may want to contact me. I would love to hear more about my father and learn what kind of person he was.

Gudrun will be very grateful for any help. She's created a Facebook page dedicated to searching for her father and also placed an advert on the German website markt.de. The International Tracing Service gave her a birth certificate (see picture below), but she doesn't know for sure if it belongs to her father. The name matches, and the date of birth makes sense, but it's still inconclusive.

Is this really the birth certificate of Sidney Smith?
Is this really the birth certificate of Sidney Smith?

I really hope that I will find him or other family members. My oldest son looks like my father and is a daily reminder of him.

We hope that you can give Gudrun tips, or any information. Please share in the comments below.

Search for your ancestors:

Comments (16) Trackbacks (0)
  1. The first thing that popped in my mind is: how about trying a DNA test? Perhaps other descendants of this gentleman is looking for relatives, too! Of course, this is only 1 tool in your arsenal.
  2. I so wish I have a suggestion for you, I myself have ran into a similar problem searching for my fathers dad. born in 1912 as well, so if you do figure it out please share with us what you finally did to find him. Good luck with your search.
  3. My Uncle Sydney Smith born Nov 18, 1916, with armored infantry in Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's Third army, was killed in action in France on Sept. 1. His wife, the former Laura Jane Runyon, to whom he was married in Maryland May 13, A graduate of Washington High school,Sydney was employed by Denver Chicago Trucking company before entering service April 20, 1942.
    Sidney B. Smith, #17067162,
    Company "B", 48th Armored Infantry Battallion
    Third Army
    Killed in Actions September 1, 1944
    Buried September 3, 1944
    Champigneul Cemetery: Plot "A", Row 4, Grave 89
    Champagne Province, Department of Marne, France
    Located about 15 miles south of Reims and 10 miles east of Epernay.
    Unfortunately, not your relation---
  4. It might be worth checking out Squadron Leader Eric Sydney-Smith RAF
  5. an Christine,
    wie soll ich einen DNA-Test machen?ich hab doch nur mich-ich suche doch meinne Vater.vielleicht weiß er noch nicht einmal das ich existiere.
  6. wie soll ich einen DNA-Test machen?hab doch nur mich-suche doch meinen Vater-vielleicht weiß er gar nichts von meiner Existenz.
    an Christine-1.Kommentar
  7. j.d.crate

    nett das sie hier schreiben,aber mein Vater lebte noch 1950 und auch noch ein jahr später-hat nichts mit mir zu tun-sorry.
  8. Gudrun,

    Christine was probably thinking of an autosomal DNA test, which allows you to find matches between female and male relatives. There are several companies that do this service.

    Here's Myfamily's version:

    Also, you may want to check out this site, as well.
  9. Also, have you tried doing any research from the military side? I don't know much about researching military records in the UK, but I'm assuming your father was in the Royal Air Force (RAF)?

    It might be worth getting a UK-based researcher to look into this, because it does not seem that much is online for UK military records post-WWII. Here is a list of military researchers listed on the UK National Archive's site (one is based in Germany): http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/irlist/default.asp?action=1&slctcatagoryid=28&x=101&y=12

    If you want to try for yourself, you could look at this page:

    I don't know if the RAF will be able to give you info based on his name, estimated year of birth, and that he served in Goslar and Weybridge in 1950, but you never know! :-)
  10. Hi Christine
    Gudrun commented that she want's to know more information about the test, especially as she has no information.
    We've prepared the following answer in German to explain that MyHeritage in conjunction with Family Tree DNA offer's a Family Finder test to help trace ancestral lines and connect you with relatives descending from any of your ancestral lines within approx 6 generations.
    We hope that this will help Gudrun find more relatives that can help her with her research. http://www.myheritage.com/dna-tests/family-finder ethnic

    In Verbindung mit Family Tree DNA bietet MyHeritage einen Family-Finder-Test, der Ihnen dabei hilft die Linien der Vorfahren aufzuspüren und Sie mit Verwandten, die von jeder beliebigen Linie Ihrer Vorfahren abstammen, innerhalb von ca. 6 Generationen, zu verbinden. Wir hoffen, dass dieser Test Gudrun helfen könnte, weitere Verwandte, die ihr bei ihren Nachforschungen helfen könnten, zu finden. http://www.myheritage.com/dna-tests/family-finder
  11. Hallo Gudrun, habe gerade Deine Geschichte gelesen. Mir gehts genau so. Mein Vater ist vermisst gegangen ehe ich geboren war und ich habe nur seinen Namen und Gerburtsdatum. Habe jedoch seine Geburtsurkunde und die Namen seiner Eltern. Moechte aber auch ein bisschen mehr wissen. Meine Mutter hat nie viel ueber ihn geredet. Kannte auch seine Familie nicht. Ich hoffe Du wirst was erfahren.
  12. hallo roswitha,
    wo wohnst dudenn-kannst du english?gemeinsam sind wir stark-vielleicht müssen wir nach GB-oder hast du einen deutschen Vater.
    bin bei facebook-such mich doch mal -vielleicht klappt ja was.wie lange ist es denn bei dir schon her??
  13. Sidney Smith that Gudrun is searching was definitely not in the RAF he wears an army uniform probably artillery!!!! Del
  14. try contacing the m o d with much information as you can
  15. Hallo, Gudrun

    ich verstehe Dich sehr gut, ich habe das gleiche Problem.
    Ich bin 1950 in Minden geboren, in einem Fragebogen den meine Mutter ausfüllen mußte steht der angebliche Vater mit Namen, Geburtsdatum und Geburtsort drin , aber dort ist er nicht geboren. Ich weiß der er in der britischen Army war im Jahr 1949, aber, obwohl ich selbst Ahnenforscherin bin, speziell für Kinder welche in die USA adoptiert wurden, komme ich bei meiner eigenen Geschichte nicht weiter.
    Ich habe es jetzt aufgegeben.
    Grüße Evelyn
  16. I too am a professional locator in the US and am not familiar with our UK counterparts. Have you checked for a base locator? What about military reunions for his unit. Have you taken out an ad in local newspapers in the area? Please contact me for additional sources.

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