Lancaster great-grandmother discovers long-lost family thanks to newspaper advert

A newspaper advert led to a great-grandmother discovering a whole new family - as well as a string of coincidences along the way.
Christine (left), with sister Doreen and brother Len.Christine (left), with sister Doreen and brother Len.
Christine (left), with sister Doreen and brother Len.

Christine Crabtree, 76, was adopted at the age of two, but has now been reunited with some of her siblings and their families.

And she says she cannot believe how comfortable they all are with each other, and how many chance encounters they could have had over the years.

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"When I was two I was adopted by a familiy in Dewsbury," said Christine, who lives in Hala.

Doreen with her six children.Doreen with her six children.
Doreen with her six children.

"There had been nine of us children in the family and I was next to youngest - the others all knew they had a sister called Christine.

"A couple of years ago my late son said to me to put an advert in the local paper to see if I could trace any of my family.

"My niece Susan saw the advert and rang me and said she thought we could be related."

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Christine has been reunited with a brother, Len, and a sister, Doreen, and their families; sadly, her other siblings passed away without meeting her again.

Christine's biological mother, Jane Smith.Christine's biological mother, Jane Smith.
Christine's biological mother, Jane Smith.

"I went to meet them, and found out our lives have crossed so many times through the course of our lives without knowing it," she said.

"My brother-in-law and my husband had worked together at one time, and I went to the same school as one of my sisters.

"I have two sons, called Philip and Paul, and one of my brothers has two sons with the same names.

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"I have also met lots of nieces and nephews. My eldest sister called her daughter Christine which I think was after me.

Christine on the right with her sister Doreen.Christine on the right with her sister Doreen.
Christine on the right with her sister Doreen.

"Now I go to see them and it's like I have known them all my life. It's just unreal how comfortable it is."

Christine's youngest brother Donald was also adopted, but the family have not been able to trace him.

"I was very lucky because I have had a lovely life," said Christine, who has 13 great-grandchildren. "I class myself as very lucky for being adopted."

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After growing up in Dewsbury, Christine moved to Morecambe when she was 29, where she lived for 30 years before moving Scotland when she retired.

Nine years later she returned south and now lives in Beck View nursing home in Lancaster.