NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Siblings discover each other through ancestry search

Posted at 4:00 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 22:30:21-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A simple birthday present turned into a much bigger gift than one man could have imagined.

It all started for Greg Carter when his wife got him an Ancestry DNA kit to learn more about his father's side of the family.

"It was just curiosity. I wasn't really looking for anything specific," Carter said. "It was just to see what I could find."

During his search, he noticed an unfamiliar face listed as a close relative.

Several states away, Carmela Jacobs saw the same.

"I believe I contacted him and said, 'Hey, Ancestry says we're related,' you know, and just tried to ask questions to get more information," Jacobs said.

Carter had no idea what the connection was either.

"I thought, 'Okay, this is Ancestry trying to get more money out of me or something, and they want me to dig deeper and find out that maybe this is like a fourth cousin or fifth cousin or something like that,'" he said.

Eventually they realized there was more to it, and a separate DNA test confirmed it - a 99.2% probability that they were half siblings.

"It's just an amazing experience to know that I'm looking at my sibling. This is my brother," Jacobs said.

When they were finally able to see each other in person, meeting up in Williamsburg recently, they quickly realized the unfamiliar face that first popped up on their screens wasn't so unfamiliar after all.

"When we started to post pictures and things, [friends and family] were like, 'You know, yeah; we can see it,'" Carter said. "It's in the eyes. It's in the smile."

They're still piecing things together, but they want to encourage others who have questions to go look for answers.

Because for them, looking into their past has changed their futures in the best way.

"I still am just smiling ear to ear," Jacobs said. "We know that this is just the beginning."