A genealogy result ! – cousins discovered

Genealogy Group news

Finding Steven 

Several months ago Samantha asked if it would be possible to trace her half brother whom she last had contact with in 1982! Steven was born to John Gardner (name changed) who then left his wife, name unknown, and lived with Samantha’s mother for a while before leaving her when Sam was about 3 years old. She had a photo of Steven and his two sons then aged about 5. She thought their names were Andrew and Stevie and that his wife was Sonia. He was in the Army. She had the exact date and place her father died so that was an accurate peg on which to hang other details.

Searching for a Steven (with a V) Gardner was pointless with no date or place of birth. Searching for a marriage to a Sonia somebody was also time consuming and unproductive. 

We went back to John Gardner. Despite his death information, date, age, place, we could not find his birth. Eventually we discovered he was registered as JACK.  We then had to find his marriage to Steven‚Äôs mother. Once we found her maiden name we should be able to find when and where Steven was born. Irene had a very uncommon surname which was spelled several ways in the records. Eventually we were able to establish when she and Jack were married and when she had Steven in 1957 and also a son Dominic in 1962 in London. Sam then remembered hearing his name.

However there are thousands of Steven (or was it Stephen?) Gardners born around that time. There was no trace of a Dominic.

Were there any other relations who may have kept in touch with Steven?

We returned to Jack and found he had an older brother George born 1929 and his father was George too. Did George have descendants? 


He had three children born around the same time as Jacks sons. Paul, Sally and Ruth. Samantha managed to trace Sally and Ruth through Facebook but they too had lost touch with Steven. He was in the Army and could have moved around. Army Records are not accessible.

The cousins were delighted to have been found. Samantha began chats with her newly found cousins. It emerged that Steven had another brother, Robert, but there was no record of him. Irene had him in 1955 before she married but Jack and she brought him up. When he was 17 he found out Jack was not his biological father and he left home apparently going to Australia with Dominic. The cousins thought he moved to New Zealand.

Then one of the cousins mentioned that Sonia was Scottish! Scotland’s records showed Sonia and Steven Mark Gardner were married in Glasgow and that Sonia’s parents were from Scotland. With Sonia’s maiden name it was possible to find the birth of Steven’s sons. Andrew Lee Gardner was born in 1976 near Dover and Steven Mark in 1978. That fit in with the little boys in the photograph.

Last meeting of Sam & Steven 1982

We also found a local newspaper article with Sonia complaining about the vandalism in Elverton in Kent. ‚ÄėMother of three, Sonia Harding‚Äô etc. There was another child to find. Kelly Frances was born in September 1993 near Dover.

Knowing Andrew‚Äôs full name Sam was able to find him on Facebook and his sons got in touch and brought Steven and his half sister together at last. All were living in the Dover area. Sadly young Steven Mark died in 2011 aged only 32 and Kelly died recently aged 40. 

A Gardner reunion is planned for later this year.

It has taken nearly 6 months to piece together this family history.