Neil Gedny, 69, grew up in Suffolk with his maternal grandparents and his mother. His mother left home after he married his wife Anne and started another family in Birmingham, where she had two sons.
Neil knew nothing about his father, and most of his life, had no interest in finding out. However, when he approached retirement, he decided to try to learn more about his family history. His last name, Gedny, is unusual and that made the research easier. He managed to locate and meet distant relatives Ken and Sarah Gedny from Ontario, Canada and meet them in the Caribbean in 2018. This only increased his drive to learn more about the missing parts of his life and identity.
So he decided to purchase a MyHeritage DNA test — and immediately matched with two half-siblings on his father’s side, Bill and Paulette.
‘It’s possible we crossed each other’s paths’
It turns out that their father, Bobbie Joe Allen, who passed away in 1990, was stationed at a U.S. air force base in Suffolk during the early 1950, and that’s where he met Neil’s mother, Evelyn May Gedny. Bill says that he believes his father knew he had a son in England and may have mentioned it to Bill’s aunt and uncle in the past. This uncle served in the Navy and was stationed at the same U.S. air base in Suffolk. He lived in Ipswich, Suffolk before moving onto Bentwaters U.S. Air Force Base for a few years with his family in the 1960s, and Neil is blown away by how close they lived without knowing they were family. “It’s most possible we crossed each other’s paths,” says Neil. “They lived 8–10 miles from where I grew up and went to school.” His Aunt Jo May Allen youngest daughter Jody Allen was born at the Bentwaters air base.
A big, tearful reunion
Neil was worried that Paulette may have a hard time accepting him into her life, as Neil was conceived while Paulette’s dad was away from her and her mother serving overseas. But he could not have been more wrong: Paulette and Bill planned a huge reunion party for him in Arkansas this past May, with dozens of family members flying in from different parts of the U.S. to meet Neil.
“I really didn’t know what my emotions would be,” Neil told the East Anglian Daily Times in an interview, “but after a big hug with my sister, I knew it would be a tearful reunion.”
“I felt like I’d known them for years,” Neil went on. “It’s unbelievable that I’m suddenly part of a big family where everybody is so open and welcoming.”
“Neil and I have so much in common,” Bill told our Research team. “Things we like, our ethics with work, and personality. For never meeting, yet we have the same father.” He says they both love wildlife, photography, and classic cars. “He and I got along instantly, and so did his wife Annie and my wife Debrah.”
Bill has been researching his family history for a while, and has a great deal to share with Neil. “It is shocking to never know each other and live halfway around the world, then find each other and have so much in common,” says Bill. “I have so much info on our family and history. It is a miracle he found a link to all the questions he always had.”
Many thanks to Bill and Neil for sharing their story with us! If you’ve made an incredible discovery with MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it. Please send it to us via this form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post After 69 Years, He Discovered His Dad’s Identity and Connected with Several Half-Siblings with MyHeritage DNA appeared first on EN.
Source: My Heritage