Ann Maynard, 83, remembers Jenny Armstrong, 79, as a baby, but she was adopted a few weeks after she was born in 1943 as her mother Elizabeth already had Ann and her elder sister Margaret and could not cope financially with a third child.
Jenny looked for Ann around 30 years ago, without success. Believing neither Elizabeth nor Margaret were keen to find Jenny, Ann did not look for her until Margaret died in 2019.
Ann’s son Paul Maynard began the search via the Ancestry genealogy website.
He said: “I took the Ancestry DNA test in 2020 hoping that maybe I would get a DNA match to help locate Jenny, but I didn’t.
“However, what I did identify was that my mum’s dad wasn’t who we thought he was. With the help of a newly found DNA second cousin, Jill, we identified who my mum’s biological father was. And we met Jill and her family a month ago, which was lovely.
“Also, we identified that my nan’s father wasn’t who we thought he was. My mum also then did the Ancestry DNA test, which substantiated my results.”
The search found Ann’s biological father was called George, while Ann’s biological grandfather was a man named Richard.
Paul said: “My mum was very excited to find out about the biological fathers, George especially as she did not get on with Fred, her legal father.”
Ann then renewed the search for Jenny by contacting an adoption agency.
Paul said: “We got to the point in December last year where they recommended employing a tracing agency to find Jenny.
“The day after this recommendation, I got an Ancestry message from a lady called Karen who said that me and my mum were a close DNA match to her. We promptly identified that Karen is Jenny’s daughter.”
Jenny lives in Scotland and will head south with Karen and her family, who live in Durham.
Paul said: “My mum and her sister have been getting on well via phone and text but the first meeting will be on October 26 near Petersfield.
“We are very excited. There will be big hugs.”