- On January 15, 2020
Sometime between 1949-1950 a girl was born in Rudry in South Wales. We believe this is where the journey started. Then, on June the 10th, 1955, my twin sister was still born. Neither of their births were recorded. I found this strange to start with, but the registration of births and deaths was very hit or miss in the decade following the end of the war.
In South Wales in particular, it was very hit or miss before the war and still is in many countries in Europe, the Island of Mallorca being a fine example.
Let’s not forget mainland Spain. Not so long ago it was run by a dictator and people went out of their way to remain anonymous, obviously for tax reasons and personal safety.
In 2015 I had my close encounter with death on the Island of Mallorca. Apart from surviving, which was a great benefit, it also introduced me to the presence of my twin sister and how she has helped me over my lifetime. In fact, it was the main catalyst behind the revelation that I had an older sister.
When I published my book Hallucinations or Reality it was well received by the general public but also brought a comment from my Auntie Glory in Cornwall. It was quite a simple remark but she said to her daughter Judith, ‘Mike has all the facts about the family correct but he does not mention his older sister who is about five years older than him.’
‘This played havoc with my mind’
I was 61 years of age when I was told this. The majority of life has passed me by and somewhere along the line I had an older sister that I knew nothing about. This played havoc with my mind and my understanding of life.
Combine this with my new found twin sister’s presence and you could say I was a gibbering fool running from pillar to post not really achieving anything worthwhile but being damn busy doing it.
I was trying to lose myself with an overload of information; I needed answers and I wanted them at the click of a computer keyboard.
It took me a year to come to terms with the fact that there was no easy answer and that hard work and time consuming research was the only way that I would produce anything like the results I needed to answer so many questions that I had.
My research started in Rudry, which consisted of a church, a pub and some dwellings that housed the people who worked in these two establishments plus on the nearby farms. I started with my grandfather and grandmother, John Charles Richards and Florence May Jones.
A small setback, but more to follow…
John Charles Richards was born in about 1890 while I don’t have such an accurate date for Florence May Jones’ birth, but I believe it was between 1890 and 1920. This was the first small setback, but far more were to follow.
To give you an indication of the task that lay further ahead, my father was one of seven children. He and his sister Olwyn’s records were good, four of the others did not actually exist or shall we say there was no record of them. Dennis the youngest of the children does get a mention but his records are out of sync with the family records, purely a clerical error that hopefully will by now have been rectified.
For me the surprise that the birth or deaths of my two sisters paled into insignificance compared to my father’s brothers and sisters not being recorded. Further incidents like this now appear common place and many people have confirmed the same.
I knew then the task ahead was going to be daunting, but at that time I did not realise so many other countries would be involved – that fact appeared a bit later.
Now, after three years of research, I feel I am confident enough to write the first of the books about my sisters.
I anticipate that it will take at least another three years to bring the information and books up to the present day. I hope people will bear with me on my quest to find out what happened to my older sister and the relationship with my twin sister’s presence.