Half-Siblings Reunite After MyHeritage DNA Upload

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A MyHeritage DNA test was the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for MyHeritage user Larry Gilbert of Michigan, helping him connect with his half-sister Janice Cafarelli in Massachusetts.

Watch the moving reunion here:

Janice, 67, knew that she had three half-brothers and a half-sister. Her daughter bought her a DNA kit to help her mother find the biological family of her deceased grandmother.

Years after my mother’s passing I had been trying to prove who her biological father was. My mother had been adopted as a baby and always was very closed mouth about her life and for some reason we never questioned her.

None of her DNA matches were successful, and she turned to MyHeritage and uploaded her DNA results.

Once her results arrived, she was shocked by the first name — Larry — on the list of her DNA Matches.

The moment I was able to view my results on My Heritage I was shocked when the very first name was Larry Gilbert — half-brother!  

She messaged Larry, but he didn’t reply. She tried again and wrote, “If we are related, you have siblings waiting with open arms to meet you.” Again, there was no reply.

I could not let this go, I had to find a way to connect with Larry. I sent a third message on MyHeritage asking him to please contact me. Then I started writing letters to every Larry Gilbert I could find in the areas of Michigan I thought he might have been born or could be living. I started contacting every Larry Gilbert on Facebook who lived in or had contact with family in Michigan.

In the meantime, Larry, who had been adopted, had seen Janice’s MyHeritage messages but was reluctant to make contact. His previous attempts at connecting with his biological mother’s family had not gone very well and he didn’t want to be disappointed yet again.

Larry ignored Janice’s messages until one night as he and his wife Valerie were talking to another couple. They were thinking of doing a DNA kit and Valerie said she had gotten a kit for Larry. He chimed in saying “Yeah, I got a half-sister match.” Valerie was floored. She hadn’t known about the match, and she immediately made Larry reply to Janice’s messages.

Larry sent Janice his phone number, and they connected. When they spoke, they were nervous and excited. They hung up teary-eyed, in disbelief at what they had just experienced.

Janice got in touch with the rest of her father’s children and gave them Larry’s contact info. They have all since been in touch with Larry.

After careful planning, the siblings arranged to meet in Massachusetts. Larry, his wife Valerie, Janice and their other half-sister, Sherry Lynn Locke, met at a local restaurant where they hugged, shared stories, and began to get to know one another.

I can’t tell you how thankful we all are to MyHeritage. If I had not uploaded to MyHeritage I never would have known about Larry and he never would have known who his biological father and siblings were. He may have been a shock to us at first, but finding him has been a real blessing and has pulled the rest of the siblings into a closer bond than we had before.

The family is forever thankful to MyHeritage for bringing them together and into each other’s lives. Upload your DNA kit to MyHeritage here

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  • Hatty


    March 4, 2019

    I’m glad these tests become more and more popular. I really hope one day I’ll find everyone I’m looking for.