Growing up at a children’s home, 81-year-old John Ellis from Norfolk in the US did not know that he had an extended family and a 72-year-old sister until recently. The man owes it to fate that a genealogy website made him connect with his sister Shirley Jones, the BBC reported.
The brother-sister duo met at the airport in Las Vegas and had an “over to the moon” experience as they hugged each other. The overjoyed man told the BBC, “I’ve waited a lifetime for that.” They walked arm-in-arm through the airport and Ellis added, “When we found out…we were over the moon.”
He also said that his sister used to visit England and looked for Ellis in the phone directory but never found him. Speaking about the meeting, he told the BBC, “Fate was there and gave me another chance – I’ll take it with both hands.”
Ellis, a retired farm worker, found that he had more than 40 relatives about whom he was never aware of. “It was a bit of a shock,” he told North Norfolk News. “But now I’ve come to take it all in and I’m quite happy with it. They’ve welcomed me in with open arms. By the time I finished I was in tears.”
Along with his other sister Irene, he lived in a children’s home in North Walsham as infants and later moved to another home in Gresham. After the age of 15, he returned to North Walsham and the home was turned into a boy’s hostel. He lived there till the age of 18 and later became a farmer, North Norfolk News reported.
He was oblivious of why his mother could not raise him and who their father was. Later, their mother tried to contact and wished to live with them. “This was in 1957. And she wanted me to come and live with her and my sister in Norfolk somewhere. But I said ‘no, you didn’t want me when I was younger’,” he was quoted as saying by North Norfolk News.
He married Averill at the age of 39 and she died over four years ago. In March this year, his half-sisters connected with him after finding their ancestry through a private firm.
It was found out that his mother had three girls and a son with another partner after leaving Norfolk. One of his sisters passed away and he met his other half sisters, brother and their children. Meanwhile, from the research done by his half-sisters, he found out that Shirley was born to his same parents. Shirley was later adopted and they never met in more than 70 years.