Belfast Telegraph

Daughter's plea to help find long-lost Northern Ireland relatives

Dying father spoke of his half-siblings from Belfast

By Kate Buck

A woman in England has pleaded for information about long lost relatives after she discovered her father has two siblings in Northern Ireland.

Karen Eve Young (42) from the West Midlands said that it would be "something special" to find the family that they have never met.

Before her father, John Young, passed away in early October it came to light that he had an elder half brother and sister who lived in Belfast.

Karen and her sister Gina (45) are now the last remaining relatives, other than their children, and they say they are "desperate" to trace any other family they may have on their father's side.

They have discovered that their grandfather, George Young Snr was born on October 14, 1900 or 1901 in Ballymena, before moving to Belfast to work for Harland & Wolff.

George met a woman called Sadie and they had two children, George Jnr and Lily. When George and Lily were in their late teens, George Snr left his family behind to work in Birmingham in the early 1940s in a factory on an old army base.

There, he met Karen's grandmother, Lily Ellen Walters. They married and John was born on December 27, 1945.

George Snr died on June 14, 1969, just a month after seeing John marry and before either Karen or Gina were born.

After their father left Belfast, George Jnr had seven children and his sister Lily had three, meaning there are potentially 10 half cousins for Karen and Gina to unite with.

Sadly, it is thought that George Snr's first wife Sadie was killed during the Troubles.

Karen took to social media in an attempt to track down her relatives. She said: "Dad left us when I was nine and we kind of drifted apart, but we did make things up before he died. He started to write down everything he knew about his family. He wrote down all he could, but he died a few days after.

"Since my post online, quite a few people have contacted us and mentioned names and places, but it's like searching for a needle in a haystack.

"One woman got in touch to say she had found George Young Snr in a census in Ballymena in 1911. We know that they were Protestant Irish and in the Orange Order.

"If George and Lily were still alive then they would be in their late 90s so it is doubtful, but we know they have had children."

She added: "It would be amazing to find our family."

Anyone with information can reach Karen at

Belfast Telegraph


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