FAMILY tree enthusiasts from across the UK and Australia have met in Worcester after discovering they were all descended from a city man.

More than 50 members of the Darling family joined a reunion at the Oak Apple pub in Spetchley Road to swap stories about their lives and compare genealogy research.

All those who attended were related to brothers Benjamin and Henry Darling, who were born in Worcester during the 19th century.

Family members have discovered Henry was born in 1825 and baptised in the parish church of St Peter the Great. At the age of 15 he was an apprentice tailor who lived with his parents in Diglis Street.

However, by 1848 he, his wife and two young daughters had set sail on the SS Sibella for a new life in Port Adelaide, South Australia.

Australian records show Henry later became a gold prospector and the family believes evidence of land he bought later proves he must have been successful in his search.

Martin Darling, who is descended from Benjamin, who lived in King Street, Worcester, said: "About five years ago, through the website Genes Reunited, I was contacted by a lady from Melbourne who asked if I was related to the Darlings of Worcester.

"We established we were fourth cousins.

"Then last year I had a call from Adelaide, from another cousin who was coming to England and wanted to meet."

Mr Darling agreed to show his cousin around the city and, in return, he was invited back to Adelaide to meet 60 of Henry's Australian descendants.

This year, the family decided to meet again, with 55 people from travelling from Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Australia for the get-together earlier this month.

Mr Darling, of West Hendred, Oxfordshire, said: "We had a fantastic time. Everyone turned up and we all had something in common - we are all from one family.

"Some hadn't heard of each other before and others hadn't seen each other for more than 60 years."