A father searching for his long-lost family was shocked – after discovering five sisters he never knew he had.
Tom Johnstone, 60, was placed into foster care with his brother when he was just five years old but could not ignore the “niggling feeling” that he had a sister.
It was only when he began researching more about his biological family years later that it was revealed he was one of seven siblings.
Tom, from Yeovil, Somerset, has now met three of his five sisters and hopes to track down the other two.
He said: “It was emotional, it was a strange and wonderful experience. It seemed like we had never been apart, we just clicked. I’m amazed at how well I’ve done.
“It feels fantastic. I’m still on a high, I just want to find the other two now.”
The father-of-three was sent to live with a foster family in Girvan, Scotland, with his younger brother Alexander when he was five-years-old.
He stayed with the family for 10 years before he joined the Royal Navy aged 15. Sadly Alexander died of leukaemia when he was only 32.
When Tom visited his foster family in May this year he decided to find out more about his biological parents but his search initially led to a dead-end.
Tom, who has lived in Yeovil for 43 years, said his eldest daughter had persuaded him to keep searching.
He said: “I had a niggling feeling I had a sister and over the years my eldest daughter said, ‘Dad if you think you’ve got older brothers and sisters you have got to do something about it.’
“I put it off and off and on my 60th birthday in June she harped on about it again so I thought, ‘All right, I will’.”
Tom was referred to a social services department in Scotland which, after searching its systems, informed him he had five sisters he never knew about.
They supplied him with copies of marriage certificates and the engineer set about sending letters to anyone who matched the names.
Within days of writing the letters he received a phone call from Elizabeth Bartlett, 56, and Frances Garforth, 58, who identified themselves as two of the siblings Tom was looking for.
He then tracked down his half-sister Margaret Dorman, 63, and the four siblings were reunited, after 55 years, in Scotland on November 3.
Tom is still searching for his remaining sister, Grace Lawson, and half-sister, Mary Shipton.
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