A 100-year-old great-grandmother discovered her biological father’s true identity when she was 99 years old – after being given up for adoption when she was three.
Marianne Stacey – who has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren – was born in London on Bonfire Night in 1923 but was given up for adoption three years later – and she never knew why.
The great-grandmother moved to Hampshire when she was adopted, but relocated to Deal, Kent, when she was 43 – less than an hour away from where her birth father had lived.
But she had no idea this was the case until her daughter, Caroline Voyce, went through eight years of research and DNA testing to finding out who her grandfather had been.
Marianne Stacey – who has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren – was born in London on Bonfire Night in 1923 but was given up for adoption three years later
Pictured: Marianne Stacey and her husband Jim on their wedding day
Pictured: Mrs Stacey when she was younger
Harriet Fox, 58, one of Mrs Stacey’s three children, said: ‘It took my sister eight years of research to find my mother’s father.
‘Eventually through DNA testing, she managed to trace her birth father who she obviously never knew.
‘It’s quite extraordinary because he lived and died only about an hour from here and it’s only by chance that she ended up in Deal.
‘Unfortunately she has got vascular dementia so her understanding of things is slightly skewed, she certainly knows who he is and we went to see his grave and she’s intrigued by it.
‘I think in a way it’s given her some closure because she’s always had that element of wondering who he was.
‘It’s very interesting, I can see lots of traits possibly that have come down to her that are very similar.
‘It seems they had similar ideas, mum is a vegetarian and he was a vegetarian, in those days when that was quite a significant thing.’
After finding out that her long-lost father’s grave was just a short car ride away the family decided to go and pay their respects.
Pictured: Harriet, Victoria, Caroline with their mother and father, Marianne and Jim.
Recently Mrs Stacey celebrated her 100th birthday on November 5, 2023. Pictured: Mrs Stacey when she was younger
Mrs Stacey flew a plane in a loop in an ‘exciting’ moment when she was 70
Mrs Fox added: ‘Obviously he wanted to do the right thing by people and cared for people and that’s exactly what mum does.
‘Everything mum has done has involved looking after people; she’s done foster caring, been a tutor and a teacher.
‘So she’s always looked after people, and he went from being a lawyer to a doctor so that’s a similar sort of ethos.
‘He also did live a long life, I think he lived to the age of 90.’
Recently Mrs Stacey celebrated her 100th birthday on November 5, 2023.
She said: ‘I feel quite privileged really because people seem to be amazed that anybody could live to be 100 although it takes no effort on my part.
Pictured: Mrs Stacey on her 100th birthday
Mrs Stacey said: ‘I’m grateful to all the people who have helped me to reach the age of 100.’
‘I think it’s rather a lucky strike if you ask me. I always have had fireworks on my birthday.
‘The most exciting thing I did in my life was to fly a plane and I loved doing that.
‘When I was 70, I looped the loop with my plane and I’m sure that taking risks did keep me young along with my positive outlook on life.
‘I travelled to lots of places in the world at different points in my life, mostly when I had a husband who was very keen on travelling.
‘Recently I’ve gotten older and I haven’t travelled so much, I’m more likely to stay at home now I think.
‘I’m grateful to all the people who have helped me to reach the age of 100.’