'I haven't got any family': Linda's search for long lost dad
LINDA Watson has never met her father.
She doesn't know his name or what he looks like. And she knows absolutely no one who does.
Born Linda Sylvia Wilson on December 25, 1952, baby Linda and her mother, Jean Elizabeth Wilson, moved to Sydney after her birth in Bundaberg.
Jean, who was 20 at the time, was unmarried when she relocated to the NSW capital without her parents.
It was there she met Linda's stepfather-to-be - a man she said abused her mother.
"We were always scared stiff of (him)," Linda, 65, said.
And I always thought this bad person was my father."
It was only during her teen years she found out otherwise.
"My birth certificate says 'father unknown'," Linda said.
She told the NewsMail her mum died shortly after Linda gave birth to her first child.
"She didn't talk about her family. It wasn't ever really mentioned," she said.
"My stepfather would never let her have contact with them. If letters came, he'd rip them up."
It was at this stage in Linda's life the ache to find the family she'd never known began.
On a mission, the now-65-year-old grandmother gave her DNA to Ancestry in 2015.
"I've started a family tree," Linda said.
"From my mum down I've got nothing but I've found two brothers of hers she never mentioned."
On Wednesday, Linda met one of those two uncles at Rockhampton.
"He's the first relative that I've ever met other than my mum," she said.
When I realised that, I just thought, 'Oh God.'"
Linda is not searching for her father with any expectations in mind.
"I am not interested in being the lost daughter," she said.
I'm just here for a name."
But behind her strong and weathered exterior, it is plain to see how much meeting her long-lost dad would mean.
Through tears, Linda confessed her life would have been different if she had known him.
"I might have had somewhere else to go when things were bad at home," she said.
In an act of desperate determination, Linda and her husband, Les, 66, arrived in Bundaberg yesterday.
"Mum and her siblings lived here for a while. It's all we've got to go on," she said.
Voice quivering, Linda admitted this was her last chance at having a father.
"I haven't got any family," she cried.
I've got no brothers or sisters either. It's just me."
In a broken voice, Linda conceded she did not truly believe she would find her dad.
"He's probably passed away by now. He's got to be at least 85," she said.
But if by some chance someone put their DNA into Ancestry and it matched with Linda's, she'd be overjoyed to finally have a name.
"That's what it'll all come down to - luck," she said.
I wouldn't want to cause problems. But ... I would like to meet them. I think I would be disappointed if I couldn't."
Linda and Les will be in Bundy until tomorrow.
She asked anyone who recognised the photo of her mother, knew her friend Sylvia or had any information about her father to contact her.
"She used to go down to Bargara ... and the Bundaberg showgrounds," Linda said.
To contact Linda, email panda1725@ gmail.com or phone 0422 731 222.