An orphaned girl was separated from her siblings—but 83 years later she gets the biggest surprise

Things finally turned around for her
December 1, 2017 1:59 pm Last Updated: December 2, 2017 4:39 pm

As a small child, May Webber had a family that loved her dearly, but sometimes fate isn’t kind.

Webber is the youngest of five and enjoyed playing with her siblings, Alice, Mary, Nellie, and Edward. By the time Webber was 7, all of her siblings had moved out, and she was left home alone with her parents.

Unfortunately, around this time Webber’s mother died from a brain tumor and her father followed after a bout of tuberculosis. For the first time in her life, Webber was left all alone.


Webber was then adopted by her aunt and uncle, where a bitter relationship between them ensued. She describes her aunt as a harsh lady that “torment and bullied” her, this made her feel more alone than ever before.

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be orphaned and forced to stay with harsh extended family, World War II broke out during this time, and Webber lost all contact with her siblings.

Webber was still very young even after the war ended, she didn’t know where to start in looking for her siblings. Traumatized by her experiences of living with her aunt and uncle, she decided to move on and try to start a family of her own. She married twice, and was both times widowed due to natural causes.

The only family she had was her three sons; by the time Webber turned 90 she had given up hope of ever seeing her siblings.

Until Angela Doyle stepped in.

(Roman Kraft/

Mrs. Doyle is a relative of Webber’s who happened to be a genealogy buff. Intrigued by Webber’s situation, she began doing research into tracking down the lost siblings. This led to her making the sad discovery that all of Webber’s siblings had died after the war. However, there were still living nieces and nephews of Webber, who Doyle reached out to, trying to quickly set up a meeting with.

Webber was said to be very nervous and excited in anticipation of the meetup.

“We will have so much to talk about. There’s so much I want to know about my sisters and brother and I hope they will be able to fill in the 83 blank years,” Webber shared with the BBC.

(Kevin Delvecchio/

For Webber, however, there was also some apprehension in seeing her living relatives.

“I had a very unhappy childhood and my way of dealing with it ever since has been to put it out of my mind as best I could and to put all my energies into creating a loving, happy home for my three sons,” Webber explained. “So for 80-odd years, I’ve done my best not to live in the past and now that past is right here.”

When the time for the meeting came, Webber tried to hold back tears as she hugged her family. She had finally found the missing pieces of her life. 

“I feel like I’ve suddenly got a whole new family,” Webber exclaimed.