Cairns-born adoptee finds his birth mother

Email from David (Nov, 2015)

I was born in Cairns in 1947 and my mother kept me for a short time and then decided to adopt me out.  I had always known my birth mother’s name but had never been successful in tracking down any information.

With the basic information from the Adoption agency, some information provided by the excellent people at the Innisfail Historical Society (e.g. school registers and electoral rolls thus providing names of grandparents and siblings) and the skill of the Cairns & District & Family History Society people in Cairns, we located a cousin.

Fortunately my mother is still alive and well and was excited to hear from me, so now I’m about to meet her for the first time.

Once again thanks, and keep up the good work – David


Searching for David’s Birth Mother at Cairns & District Family History Society (CDFHS)

When David visited CDFHS’s library on the 7th October this year he brought with him two documents which contained vital clues that helped us find the information that led to his birth mother.

The documents were the identifying information about his mother from Post Adoption Support and Services (Qld) and an Electoral Roll printout of his mother living with her parents prior to her disappearing from official records.

We suspected the reason for her disappearance was she had married and changed her surname.

A search for David’s birth mother failed to find her.  We then concentrated on the birth mother’s parents.

Using the Australian Electoral Roll to 1980 on, we followed David’s grandparents as they moved location in Far North Queensland to where they finally settled and died in Mackay.

The cemetery information was interesting but failed to provide a clue to David’s mother’s current surname.

A search of’s family trees proved to be the break-through we needed.  A family tree was located that included David’s grandparents.  Eight children were listed to this couple; two girls were deceased.

This was the exact number of siblings listed in the Queensland Governments identifying information document.

Full details were listed for the two deceased daughters including their married names, husband’s names and places of death.

There was a sense of relief that neither of the deceased daughters was David’s birth mother.

There was also something else attached to the family tree – a photograph of David’s grandparents.

It was the first time David has seen an image of his kith ‘n kin.  David’s resemblance to his grandfather was truly amazing!


David's maternal grandparents

David’s maternal grandparents


Armed with David’s aunt’s surnames, which fortunately were unusual surnames, we traced the aunts using the Australia Electoral Rolls to where they lived and died.

A search of the Telstra White Pages online produced a number of phone numbers for people with the same surnames living in the target rural localities.

David now had phone numbers.

The next day David returned to the CDFHS library to tell us he had spoken to a cousin, who provided contact information for his mother.

A phone call followed and he was talking to his 87 year old birth mother!

David’s mother lives in another state.

She is looking forward to meeting him in a few weeks time, after she has had a chance to tell her four other children all about him.

We wish you luck David and we hope you have a wonderful family reunion!

1930 Cairns Hospital

Cairns Hospital circa 1930s



David has now met his mother and two of his siblings. The reunion went very well. There are plans to met with his other siblings in the near future.



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  1. Well done David, I wish you all the happiness that you have been looking for. I to have just had wonderful news of very distant ancestors I had been looking for, and soon to receive their marriage certificate from the UK.

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