Angelina B., a 53-year-old MyHeritage user from Augsburg, Germany, grew up believing that her birth father was Spanish and had died fighting in the Vietnam War. Her son gave her a DNA test as a gift, and not only did she discover the truth about her heritage — she found her father… alive and well.
Here’s Angelina’s story:
Will I ever find someone from my father’s family?
I didn’t really think about it because, based on what my mother said, it might be very difficult to do. I was born in Augsburg in 1969, during a period when U.S. soldiers were stationed there. At that time, my mother met a soldier and everything happened very quickly. Since I was a young girl, I heard this story about my father, who — I was told — died in the Vietnam War. My mother must have been corresponding with him and found out in a letter. My mother always thought he was Spanish, because he had a Spanish name and spoke Spanish. So all my life I believed that my father was Spanish and died in Vietnam, even though most people said I had Asian features.
In 1988, when I was 19, I really wanted to spend my first holiday in Spain. Until then I thought it was the country of my father and his family, but I had never felt like a Spanish woman and somehow I didn’t see myself in this country. As I got older, I kept talking to my mom about my father and often asked about him. I hoped that through these conversations I would somehow be able to find someone from his family, but unfortunately, nothing came of it.
Still, the idea of finding him and his family never left me, and I felt like I had to keep at it!
‘Your father is still alive’
One day, my eldest son said to me: “Mom, you are definitely not Spanish as there were no Spanish soldiers in the Vietnam War. I suspect you are of Asian or Mexican origin.”
He then gifted me a MyHeritage DNA test.
In November 2020, the time had come and I took the test.
The result came in January 2021. At first, I was shocked, but at the same time, I was the happiest person on earth. I am 35.7% Filipino with a Genetic Group in the island of Guam in the Northern Mariana Islands, about 2000 kilometers (about 1,425 miles) east of the Philippines. This is where the Chamorros live, a seafaring people who settled on this small island during the Spanish occupation. For almost 100 years, the island of Guam has been an overseas department of the United States, which is why all citizens on the island have American citizenship.
Even more exciting, I had a very close DNA match in the United States — a woman estimated to be my aunt!
My son did further research and found a cousin who lives in San Diego and got in touch with her.
She then told my son that my father is still alive and not dead at all.
I cannot put into words how this made me feel.
Now I had finally found the other piece of the puzzle of my identity. I was the happiest person that day.
My father didn’t even know about my existence until then. This is a very sensitive topic for him and he needs time to process it. He has 7 siblings, most of them live in San Diego in California, a small part of the family still lives on the island of Guam. I regularly write and talk to my family via video chat and have already learned a lot about my father and his family. My son David would like to travel with me to the USA in February 2023 to meet the whole family. I cannot put into words how grateful I am to MyHeritage!
Many thanks to Angelina for sharing her incredible story! Have you made any discoveries through MyHeritage? We want to hear about it! Please send us your story via this form or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The post I Was Told My Dad Died at War. I Found Him Through MyHeritage DNA — and He’s Alive appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.
Source: My Heritage