Kansas woman Carol S had the shock of her life when she found out that the man she always called Dad was not her biological father.
Carol always believed that she predominately came from German heritage but found out at 54 years of age that she is, in fact, an Irish woman.
Speaking to Dublin Live, Carol tells the incredible tale of how her world changed overnight when she connected with Jack S, her uncle who lives on the other side of the Atlantic ocean in Dublin.
Carol said: “The story began in the middle of the pandemic when we were all locked down.
“My daughter Morgan and I were having a conversation about our heritage, which at the time we thought was our German heritage, and I remembered that my daughter had actually signed up for a DNA account.
“I asked her to sign into her account and let me see what it looked like.
“Well, to my surprise, there were many Irish surnames down as family members.
“My daughter said, ‘Mom, what does this mean?’
“And I said, ‘I know what this means, it means I’m getting a DNA test’.”
After seeing her daughter’s mystifying DNA results, Carol looked at her birth certificate for the first time, she realised that the man who had raised her was not her biological father.
When she confronted her mother, she admitted to it, and Carol went on a journey to find her biological father.
She took a DNA test and uploaded it to the website MyHeritage.
“In May (2020) I finally got my results back and it turns out that I was 60% Irish, and it showed that I had relatives from West Cork and Dublin
“And that I had a close DNA match of 25% of a possible uncle by the name of Jack S, living in Dublin.”
Carol reached out to Jack numerous times through the website but received no reply. She contacted the website to ask if his account was still active.
The staff at MyHeritage were able to reach Jack and he was over the moon to be put into contact with Carol.
They started emailing back and forth in July 2020 and Carol learned that she actually had two half brothers and a half sister, but learned that her biological father had unfortunately passed away.
When meeting her half sister in Charlotte, North Carolina in February this year, the pair went to an Irish bar and “didn’t have to pay for a drink all night long”.
In June, her uncle Jack popped the all important question and asked Carol to come to Dublin in July.
She has been here for the past few weeks meeting all of her extended Dublin and Irish family.
Carol said: “It has been a journey and a great time since arrival.
“We shared our first Guinness together in Ireland, and Jack introduced me to some of the great Irish whiskeys in the area as well.”
Since arriving, Carol has fallen in love with Dublin city.
“It has been wonderful. I come from more of a rural environment so it’s been great to be in an exciting and hustling city such as Dublin. The architecture is beautiful, the history is beautiful and it has been an absolutely wonderful experience.
“And getting to know my family in Ireland has been wonderful as well. I’ve met eight of my cousins, my uncle Jack has twelve children and eight are presently in Ireland. It’s been such a rewarding experience.”
This trip is only the beginning of the merging of the Kansas and Dublin families, with future trips already on the cards.
“We’re already making some tentative plans to bring my children over, in the same fashion, one at a time so they can get the same personal experience that I’ve got to meet our family here and see actually where our heritage comes back to.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and I would like them to have that as well.”
Carol urges any Irish people who hear her story to take a DNA test.
“I would encourage everybody to do this because there’s a lot of Irish-Americans in the U.S. who are trying to find family members.
“If it wasn’t for my uncle who had done this five years ago, I wouldn’t have as many answers as I do today.
“It’s a way to pay it forward to individuals who are searching for family members to eventually make that connection.”
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