US woman out to find Derry half-brother she never knew about
An American woman who found out just four years ago she has a half-brother in Londonderry is appealing for help to find him.
Carrie Denae Lloyd grew up thinking she was her father's only child and was shocked when her mother told her he had another child from a relationship when he was a naval officer stationed in Derry more than 40 years previously.
She knows little about her half-brother, only that he is called Sean and his mother's name was Kathy. But she hopes with this scant information, together with these pictures, someone will recognise her dad - James Michael Lloyd - who was stationed in the city from 1969-71.
Mrs Denae Lloyd told the Belfast Telegraph nothing could have prepared her for the moment she found out she had a half-brother.
She said: "My parents married in January of 1979 and I was born the following October.
"They split up when I was five and my mom remarried when I was about seven and later moved to Panama. I went along briefly but was miserable there, so I grew up with dad and grandma at grandma's house.
"My dad was wonderful, he was always laughing and joking, we did lots of fun things. He always made sure I was loved and cared for.
"My dad died in 2013, but not long before my dad passed away my mother asked me if he ever talked about Sean. I asked 'who?' and she said 'your brother in Ireland' . My dad had never once in my life mentioned a son named Sean in Ireland. As far as I knew I was his only child.
"She told me dad had been engaged to a woman named Kathy when he lived in Derry and that they broke off the engagement because she did not want to leave when he had to be shipped out, but she had been pregnant with Sean."
While her father had talked about his time in Derry to Carrie, he had never mentioned either Kathy or Sean.
She tentatively brought up the subject and he confirmed she did indeed have a half-brother.
Carrie continued: "I was in total shock. I knew that dad had been stationed in Derry for about two years when he was in the Navy from August 1969 to April 1971, but never had he mentioned a child at all.
"I did not know what to do at all, I had no clue how to even bring it up with him.
"He verified what my mom had told me. They were engaged and she decided she did not want to leave Derry and dad had to leave, so they broke up.
"He said she had married a good man and they had five children, which seemed odd to me -would he know this much about her life if they had not stayed in contact somehow? But that was all the information he gave me."
Carrie's attempts to find her half-brother have so far drawn a blank, but while not wishing to get her hopes too high, she remains optimistic about finding him.
She added: "Based on the time dad was in Derry, my guess is Sean would have been born in late 1971 or early 1972 and would be between 44 and 46 now.
"I hope my dad would have been glad I am trying to find Sean.
"In some ways I am baffled how he never said anything about him, and in some ways I understand it.
"My dad always put others first, maybe he believed leaving Sean in Ireland would be best for him.
"I try not to think about the moment I find Sean because I don't want to get my hopes up.
"I just want to connect with him, I don't want anything else. I want him to know he has a sister and nephews, and that even though we have never met, he is loved."
Anyone who can help Carrie find Sean or Kathy or knows how she can get in touch with them can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org