Help Wanted

Micks Grandparents

The above is a picture of the grandparents of Michael Duff (nee O'Neill). It is the only connection that Michael has to his biological family.

Michael was born in 1952 to Mary O'Neil at St. Mary Abbot Hospital in Kensington, London. Shortly after birth, he was placed for care with the Roman Catholic Society. Mick would visit John and Vera Duff on weekends and school holidays. Vera had answered an advetisement in a national newspaper that was asking for families to write and visit children in children's homes. Vera had recently lost her own mother and wanted to help children in simular circumstances. He eventually took the last name of the Duff's, though they hadn't adopted him.

For a short period of time in his teens, Michael had written contact with his maternal grandparents who lived in Tipperary, Ireland. Written contact with Mick's grandparents was facilitated through social services. Mick doesn't know the address where his letters were sent. Contact was broken when Mick moved from one children's home to another. The grandparents did not know where his mother was living, they had no contact with her after she left home. Sue, Mick's wife, writes that she is not sure if the grandparents come from Tipperary the place or Tipperary the county. The only information Mick has is this picture of his grandparents taken some time in the 1960's.

According to the London Archives, Islington social services is supposed to have Mick's records, but they either haven't got them or can't find them.

Mick and Sue would appreciate your help. They would obviously like to make contact with any of Michael's family members. Any information or suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

You can contact Sue at Mick-Sue Duff if you have information or questions about Michael's family.

Update added 30 Nov 2006

Mick & Sue visited the Catholic Children's Society office in London on 6 Nov 2006 and found out a bit more information.

Mary may have been a preferred name for Myra. Her parents lived in Convent Road, Newport, County Tipperary. Unfortunately, they told Mary she wasn't to come back if she kept the baby. She stayed in a mother and baby home in London for longer than most because she wanted the child fostered until her and the father, "Thomas Polley" (or possibly Polly), could marry. She was 19 and he was 28. Both were Roman Catholics and they think Thomas was English. He provided for Mick as a baby paying 2/3 of his fostering fees until Mick went into care. Mary puts her job as waitress when she approached the Children's Society and later goes on to work at the royal free hospital in a live-in position, this enabled her to pay the other 1/3 of the fees. When the foster mother became to ill to foster any longer Mary lived for a short while with her brother and sister-in-law and a baby 4 months younger than Mick. They lived at 75 Cornwallis Road, North London. Mick & Sue now need help in locating not only Mary/Myra, but his dad Thomas Polley/Polly and also the uncle, auntie and cousin. They have no names for the uncle, his wife and baby.

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