STEPHENVILLE — Angela Fisher’s eight-year search for her biological father came to happy ending in mid-February when she found him within a day of her husband making a local inquiry.
She finally met her father, Murdock (Marty) Chaisson of Stephenville and her paternal grandmother Mildred Jesso, face-to-face this past weekend when she visited from her home in London, Ont.
Fisher is a daughter Chaisson didn’t even know he had up to the time of the phone call from her husband, who put her on the phone after some conversation with Marty’s common-law spouse Jenise Barron.
“When she told me she was my daughter, I almost fell on the floor,” Chaisson said. “I didn’t even know I had a daughter, but had I known I would have looked for her. She found me and I’m glad she did.”
Chaisson moved to London from his home in Piccadilly at the age of 17 and said he was 18 or 19 when he dated Angela’s mom. They went together for a short while and parted. He didn’t know she was pregnant and Angela says her maternal grandmother stopped her from letting him know.
Chaisson doesn’t only have a daughter he didn’t know about, however. He has three grandchildren from Angela and her husband John — 18-year-old triplets Sierra, Alexander and Ken. Marty is looking forward to meeting the someday.
Fisher said when she was pregnant with the triplets and going through a book of names that she came up with the name Murdock, which she said was interesting. That’s when her mom informed her that was the first name of her biological father. She asked her his last name and that’s when she gave her the surname Chaisson.
John Fisher said his wife always seemed to have an empty feeling in her heart not knowing her biological father, and he started searching in 2004. That’s when he found another Murdock Chaisson living on the Port au Port Peninsula and ended up contacting that man’s wife.
“I just wanted to help my wife out and I certainly apologize to that woman for making her uncomfortable.”
He thought it was a very uncommon name and that there would probably be only one person by that name in the area.
In was in mid-February of 2012 that he Googled the name once again and was surprised to see an article on TheWesternStar.com from January 2008 about landowners in Cape St. George vowing the town wouldn’t get use of their land for a walking trail. An accompanying photo had a group of people, with a Murdock Chaisson among them.
Fisher made an inquiry to The Western Star on Feb. 14 wondering if anyone knew if this Murdock Chaisson had spent any time in London, Ont. in the 1960s. The inquiry was forwarded to Frank Gale, the reporter for the Star who had taken the photo, who personally knew a Murdock (Marty) Chaisson in Stephenville and the fact that he had lived in Ontario for some time.
He contacted Chaisson and told him about the inquiry and Chaisson agreed it would be OK to give the information to Fisher as he said he had met a lot of people during his 46 years living in London.
Co-incidently, both John and Angela had been doing the same search on the same day and both came up with the same photo, despite working in opposite ends of the building where they have their own business, Tradesmen Canada Inc., of which he is president and she is vice-president.
The initial contact
When John called the first few times, Mildred answered the phone and just said that Marty wasn’t home, but he said the third time was a charm as Jenise answered.
John talked to Jenise for about 15 minutes and explained what he was calling about before they passed off their respective phones to father and daughter to talk for the first time.
Almost instantaneously after that call, Jenise and Angela got on Facebook and they exchanged photos with Angela recognizing the resemblance between her and her grandmother right away.
They’ve all been talking on the phone on a regular basis and followed up with this past weekend’s visit.
“I grew up knowing one side of my family, but the other was a mystery. It was great learning that I have a grandmother as well — I just love her,” Angela said.
In addition to a resemblance between her and her grandmother and between her father and her son Ken, there are other traits she’s learned since arriving in Newfoundland. She has a habit of twirling her hair, which is common on her dad’s side.
She said her dad is slightly obsessive with some things and that her son Ken is too.
One surprising thing that hit her is that she and her triplets all have crooked baby fingers, which is something Marty and his mom have as well.
“It’s funny how genetics work,” she quipped.
Now that she has made her first trip to Newfoundland, she plans on returning and is working on trying to get her dad to go up to London and meet his grandchildren.
Chaisson said he’s looking forward to meeting them some day. All three of them have another year of high school to complete.
As for her mom and her adoptive father, whose names she declined to mention, they’ve both been supportive of her finding her biological father.
“I have someone who has been my father for the most of my life and he’s been great, but your still wonder about you real father and now that I have found him, I’ll be keeping in contact,” she said.