Adopted daughter's search for the Morecambe family she never knew

Mum-of-three Anne Harris is searching for the family she has never known.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 11:44 am
Anne Harris, pictured right with her birth mother Teresa shortly before she was adopted.

Anne, 55, was born in Morecambe but later adopted by a family in Liverpool after her unmarried mother was forced to give her up.

Anne eventually tracked down her birth mother, Teresa Roberts Wilson, now aged 74, who lived in the Lancaster district until she was 19, but has no firm details about any other relatives living in the area. Teresa had been placed in the care of nuns at Nazareth House in Lancaster in June 1943 at the age of two, after her own mother died.

But Anne says her mother was sent to a home for unmarried mothers in Kendal and forced to give her daughter up for adoption after falling pregnant at the age of 18 while living at Nazareth House.

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Anne Harris, pictured left, shortly before she was adopted.

Anne was born in Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe in June 1960, and later taken to a home in Liverpool where she was adopted by a family, while her mother was sent to a convent in Herne Bay. She is now living in Bristol.

Anne now lives in Shrewsbury with a family of her own but wants to find anyone connected with her birth mother still living in the Lancaster district. “Teresa is mentally scarred by her upbringing in Nazareth House and being coerced into giving me up for adoption,” said Anne, who is married to Tim and has twin sons aged 26 and a 35-year-old daughter.

“She gets so upset because she says she could have given me a happy upbringing.

“She has a severe form of Neurofibromatosis Type 1, and unfortunately this was not picked up when she was at Nazareth House. Teresa has had a difficult life with many hardships. She had a stroke a couple of years ago and nearly lost her life but being strong willed she pulled through.

Anne Harris, pictured shortly before she was adopted.

“This has made me more determined to find our family before anything happens to her and she never gets the chance to meet her long lost family, and also to find my own roots for me and my family.”

According to Nazareth House archives, Teresa was placed there in June 1943 at the age of two. She was born in October 1940 to Muriel Roberts and Thomas Wilson, living at 1 Ousby Road, Morecambe.

The couple also had a son, George, who was placed in Nazareth House in Carlisle, before being shipped over to Boys Town, Australia, where he still lives. Teresa’s father Thomas was a private in the King’s Own Royal Regiment, joining around 1933 and leaving around 1942. He had a brother, Alec. Teresa’s mother Muriel died at the age of 27 in 
November 1942.

Nazareth House was opened in 1902 to provide accommodation for orphaned and destitute children.This provision is believed to have ended in the 1960s. Today it is run as a care home and children’s day centre.

Anne Harris, pictured left, shortly before she was adopted.

No one at the current Nazareth House was available for comment as the Guardian went to press.

Anne is also aware of other family members who could still live in the area.

Muriel had a sister, Kathleen Roberts, who married Robert Critchley in 1935 at St Peter’s Church, Heysham, and went on to have three children, one named Robert.

Kathleen Critchley was at one time known to be living at 17 Marlborough Road, Morecambe.

Anne Harris, pictured shortly before she was adopted.

It is also believed that Muriel had a cousin, Mrs N Birkett, who lived at Moorby Terrace, Morecambe.

If you know any of anne’s birth family, you can contact her by email at [email protected]