3 Amazing Family Reunion Stories

It’s always heart-warming to see a family reunited after many years apart, so we thought we’d try and find some of the most incredible reunion stories out there. These are our top 3, and we hope you like them as much as we did.

If you’ve got any stories of your own, go ahead and share them in the comments below. We’d be more than happy to read them, and we’re sure others will too. Also, if you’re still searching for your lost family, it’s worth trying some of the MyHeritage.com features to see what you come up with. It’s worked for a couple of people already (such as this lady and this gentleman.

Enjoy the stories!

1. The Long-Lost Brothers Who Were Neighbors All Along

Canadian brothers Tommy Larkin and Stephen Goosney were put up for adoption not long after being born. They were taken in by separate families; Larkin grew up in Cook’s Harbour on Newfoundland’s North Peninsula, while Goosney was raised in Woody Point, a few hundred kilometres south.

When they were both 29, they made a connection to one another with the help of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Post Adoption Services agency. They got handed each other’s contact details, and realized something shocking: they’d been living on the same street for two years. They’d lived opposite each other for several months, and neither had been any the wiser.

“He was across the road. I could not believe it. That was crazy. It took me about three hours to get up the nerve to call,” said Larkin.

They met up and found they had a lot in common, and decided to put their proximity to good use by having backyard barbeques all summer long.


2. Great-grandmother abandoned by parents as a baby in the 1930s meets brother she never knew she had

79-year-old Irene Adkins opened her front door earlier this year to see the face of a man she’d never met, who said he’d been trying hard to find her. That was her brother, Terry Spriggs, who’d managed to track her down.

Irene had been abandoned by her family in 1932, when she was just 10 months old. She was reholmed by British charity Barnados, and placed with a foster family. But while she was later told of her parents, she grew up completely unaware that she had any brothers or sisters.

After abandoning Irene, the parents went on to have three other children a few years later, whom they brought up themselves. Terry was among them, and was told as a teenager that he had a sister called Irene. After a search spanning decades, Terry’s niece, Sylvia Waters, finally managed to find out more about Irene after creating a family tree. She’d traced Irene by searching through the Barnados archive, and passed her details onto Terry. By this stage Terry’s parents and all of his other siblings had died, leaving him as the last person remaining to reconnect with Irene.

“I had no idea what to expect when I knocked on Irene’s door,” said Terry. “I did not know if it was the right place, and I did not know what reception I would get when I got here, but life is too short.”

“But it was completely overwhelming when I first saw Irene. All these years of looking for her, and suddenly I find that I have another family. It was amazing being able to hug her and talk to her. We had so much to catch up on.”

Irene was equally stunned when her brother turned up out of the blue. She said: “My children tried searching for members of my family, but they were always unsuccessful.”

“I only realized that I had been fostered when I was about 11. I remember coming home one day and being told there was a letter for me from my father. That was the first time I was told that my foster father was not my real father.”

“I think it changed the way I thought about everything, but at that stage, I could not do a thing about it. In those times we did not have computers or anything like that, so we did not have a clue where anyone was.”

Meeting Terry was an amazing surprise for Irene. “It was wonderful. I believed instantly that he was who he said he was. I have always thought about what it would be like to meet up with other relatives. It was amazing meeting him and realizing we had so much in common.”


3. Identical twins, separated at birth, meet each other after 40 years to discover they’ve been leading identical lives

There are many curious tales surrounding identical twins, but the story of Jim Lewis and Jim Springer is simply astonishing.

Known now as the ‘Jim Twins’, the two brothers were separated at birth and didn’t meet until 1979 – 39 years after being separated. They had been raised by different families, grown up in different towns, and lived nearly 40 years completely unaware of each other’s existence.

And yet when they met, Lewis described the experience as “like looking into a mirror.” They had the same name, and of course looked the same. But the similarities between the two went far beyond that.

Both had been nail-biters as children, and both experienced migraines. Both had childhood dogs, which they each named ‘Toy’. Both married wives called Linda, then divorced and remarried wives named Betty. Springer had a first son he named James Alan; Lewis called his son James Allen.

They’d taken holidays on the same Florida beach, both drank Miller Lite beer, both smoked the same Salem cigarettes, both liked stock car racing. They both disliked basketball, left regular love notes for their wives, made doll furniture in their basements, and had added circular white benches around the trees in their backyards. They never lived together, but both died on the same day – and from the same illness.

There is a little more detail here, and a case study in Nancy Segal’s book, Entwined Lives.


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  • lynn

    November 25, 2010

    that is so great too head you story gl in years too come

  • Brittany

    February 9, 2012

    Wow, makes me think of how I have been looking for my Dad. Who I have never met, just amazing the things that can come of these kind of reunions 🙂

  • peter makins

    February 20, 2012

    wow that is bonkers for the jim twins