An American woman has asked the people of Derry to help find her long lost brother who was born in the city during the 1970’s.
Carrie Denae Lloyd discovered in 2013 that her father had a child to a Derry woman while he was stationed at the US Naval Base in the city.
Carrie never plucked up the courage to ask her father about her brother before he died suddenly of a heart attack later that year.
“My father James Michael Lloyd was stationed at the US Naval Base between August 1969 and April 1971. He was a radio man,” she said.
“He told me about his time in Derry and he loved it. It was his favourite time while he was in the navy. I grew up hearing so many stories about his time there and he told me he almost married a girl he dated while stationed there.”
Carrie is originally from Missouri but now lives in Illinois with her children, 15-years-old Jacob and five-years-old Liam, and her partner, Andrew.
Her father lived in Missouri his entire life, apart from the time he spent in the navy.
James left the navy a short time after he returned to America. He went on to work as a counsellor in a group home, before becoming a contractor and a construction superintendent.
He married in 1979 and Carrie was born later that year. James told his wife about the son he had out of wedlock early into their marriage.
Carrie said it was her mother who told her James had been engaged to a Derry woman named Cathy, and they had a child together, called Sean.
She believed Sean would have been born in late 1971 or early 1972.
“I was absolutely stunned when I found out. To discover that I could have a brother when, all my life, I thought I was my father’s only child would be amazing.
“I know it is a long shot and I also know that Cathy and Sean may not want to hear from me or have any contact with me, but I have to try,” Carrie added.
“I want Sean to know he has a sister and two nephews and I want him to know all about our father.”
She believes her father may have remained in contact with Cathy after he returned to the States as he told her she had married and had several other children.
“I asked him about Cathy and he told me they had been engaged, but when he was ordered to return to the U.S. she did not want to leave her family in Derry, so the relationship ended.”
However, Carrie was never able to ask James about Sean before his sudden death.
She said her father was her ‘best friend’ when growing up and she wants Sean to know he was a ‘good man.’
“I have such amazing memories from growing up with him. He was such a good dad to me. He had an amazing sense of humour and had a huge heart, he was so loving and giving.
“He often put others first and himself last. After he and my mother divorced, when I was five, he never dated because he didn’t want to upset my life. When my grandmother began to have health issues we moved in with her and my father helped care for her.”
She said it ‘makes sense’ that her father never said anything to her about his son as having a child out of wedlock would have been a source of shame for his family.
“My grandparents were on the strict side and my grandma would have been ashamed that he had a child out of wedlock. My father would have felt like a huge dissappointment to her and grandpa.
“I think he may have figured that it was for the best to let Sean have a good life there in Derry without him.”
Carrie said she now wants to find Sean for ‘so many reasons.’
“I grew up away from the siblings my mother had after she re-married and that was achingly hard. I want to find Sean so I won’t have to wonder about him.
“I also want Sean to know that even though we have never known each other, he is loved. He is also pretty much my last connection to my dad. I wonder if Sean looks like my dad, like I do.
“I miss my father every day and I don’t want to miss a brother too if I don’t have to.”
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