Friday, July 11, 2008

Looking for a lost cousin

In 1942, my French-Canadian uncle, Georges Thibault, was serving in the military and stationed in England when he married an English woman, Helen Holmes. They married in Aldershot, England in 1942.

Sometime between 1943 and 1944, they had a daughter, Marilyn. Georges died in France in August 1944 when he stepped on a landmine, a hero of WWII. His distraught wife died within a short period of time after him...according to the family...she died of a 'broken heart'.

Marilyn was subsequently raised by her English maternal Grandmother. My French-Canadian Grandmother and her children were in contact with Marilyn while she was growing up. One uncle and aunt even visited her in England some years later.

When Marilyn was 18/19, she married Richard/Ricky Strange and came to Canada to meet her entire French-Canadian family. It was such a thrill to meet the cousin we had always heard about. I was about 8 years old when I met her and was in awe of her accent and never forgot meeting her.

At that time, my Grandmaman proudly gave her military medals that Georges had earned...medals that my Grandmaman had proudly framed and hung in her home for many years. Grandmaman thought Marilyn deserved them..afterall, they belonged to the father she never knew.

A few years later, Marilyn divorced her first husband and married a man I believe was named Phillips (possibly Marc/Mark). They had a daughter, Victoria/Vicki sometime in the early/mid 1970's.

I wish I had other information, but somehow the relatives that had been in touch with her over the years, passed away and her whereabouts hasn't been known for many years. I have since researched our family tree and would be proud to give her information on her French-Canadian family. I'm hoping to find's become my mission for 2008. She is now about 65 years old and might have grandchildren. I want them to know about their 'other family'.

If anyone has any idea of how I could gather information about her, I would love to hear your suggestions.

The photo above is Georges Thibault (left) and his 3 brothers who all served in WWII at the same time. They are all my uncles and at the time were (l to r) 24, 22, 20, and 19 years of age.

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"If you live to be 100, I hope to live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you"

Winnie the Pooh