Posted by Ancestry Team on November 28, 2017 in AncestryDNA

In “The Chance of Two Lifetimes,” IBM tells the story of Bob Nore, a Vietnam War veteran who fathered a child he never knew about while stationed there. This child, Son Vo, immigrated to the U.S. and spent most of his life searching for his real dad. On a whim, both submitted a sample to AncestryDNA – and soon Son Vo was on his way to Huntsville, Alabama to meet Bob for the first time.

This story helps illustrate the network’s innate ability to unite and reconnect people, no matter the geographic distance. Learn more about how IBM is trying to reinvent this network here.


  1. Rebekah

    What a great story!
    I have been waiting for something Similar to happen with my Husband. He was adopted out of Taiwan, and we have had very little success finding information out about his birth family.
    I was able to get him to take a Ancestry DNA test this last year, but all of his matches are very distant.
    I think our only chance of ever getting a match that would lead to a reunion like the one in the story above, would be if Ancestry started to offer there genetic services in more countries.

  2. Sandy

    This pair is lucky to have been created by the Vietnam War. I fear it may be too late for WWII babies. I, too, was adopted. I searched for my birth mother virtually all my life. Thanks to a lucky find of a piece of “bait” left for me on, I have been able to reunite with some cousins from my birth mother’s family. Unfortunately, she died a long time ago. I still long to discover who my birth father was and keep hoping I’ll get a DNA match notice similar to the one in the video clip. My birth mother was a US Army nurse stationed just outside Cairo, Egypt during WWII. All I know about my birth father is that he was a Captain in the US Air Force, a high school and university graduate, and married (my birth mother was not married). He was 5’10” and slender, with brown hair and eyes (like me). Trying to find a WWII Vet without a name, especially one associated with the US Army Air Corps, is probably next to impossible. My only hope is that a child from his marriage has submitted his/her DNA, because I believe I have half siblings out there somewhere. The story of Bob Nore and Son Vo gives me a glimmer of hope.

    • Alison L Bentley

      Sandy, You may want to try to find what company/regiment of the US Army Air Corps was stationed in Cairo, Egypt during the year/9 months before your birth. You may be able to obtain a list of those who were in that company, and there may be very few that held the rank of Captain. It’s got to be more rare than if they had been stationed in London or Paris, or if he’d just been a private or something common. There might be a way to get a short list of names to either prove or eliminate as possible options.

    • Cathey

      You might try looking up info on the Egypt-Libya Campaign, North African Campaign, Tunisia Campaign of WWII. Daddy was there then. It’s a shame you don’t have his name. You could get copies of his military records, and there’s a base where you can get information on his unit. I got 2 cds on Daddy’s.

  3. Elizabeth

    Very nice story. Would this work for a father and daughter? I was adopted within my family. My biological mother dated my biological father briefly. He was told the baby (me) died. I only have his first name and know I have two older sisters. I have longed to know more about my biological paternal relatives for many years but have no names or anything to go on. Is there any way to find out if they have taken Ancestry’s DNA test?

    • Paula

      It should work, Elizabeth! My husband, daughter and I all took the test, but at different times. When my daughter took hers, I got a notification that I had a DNA match; so did my husband. Ancestry told both of us that this new person was our daughter. My mother and sister both took the test as well. Ancestry again notified all of us about our parent/child connections, as well as my sibling connection.

      Now, if you were to receive notification that you have a parent/child match, or a sibling match, there is no guarantee that the other person would wish to meet you; some people want to guard their privacy. It looks like you do not yet have a match through, but perhaps some day you will. Or, perhaps a relative has taken a different DNA test. Try contacting other Ancestry DNA matches, because even if they are somewhat remote relatives, they might give you clues that will help you piece together a family tree. Good luck.

    • Carla Workman

      Elizabeth, I hope you don’t limit your DNA testing and sample to only this website!! Submit it to all anecestry-type sites, services, companies, etc. Good Luck!!!

  4. Debbie Golding

    This story just brought goosebumps to me. I recently found out I had a brother 20 years my senior. Long story short, this 66 year old woman got to spend some amazing time with my 86 year old brother. It was priceless for sure.

  5. Daniel

    I am 59, was adopted at birth and my adoptive parents passed away when I was 13 (mother) and 16 (father) before I could ask them about the circumstances of my adoption. They were both in their mid 50s when they passed away.

    I spent the last 2 years of high school with my grandmother and was the first person from my extended family to go to college. Less than 3 months into college my grandmother passed away.

    I discovered I was adopted when I was about 10 years old. I found my adoption papers in a hidden location. I was grateful to my adoptive parents and figured they would share the story of my adoption with me when the time was right but that opportunity never materialized.

    I have always been grateful to my birth parents and assumed they were young and unprepared to be parents.

    I’ve been thinking of doing the DNA test for a few years and I recently took the plunge. I’ve always wondered what my heritage and health history was and wondered if I had siblings or half siblings somewhere.

    My tests just came back yesterday and it had a match! My birth father took a DNA test about a year ago!

    I was shocked. I really didn’t expect to get so lucky. I just sent him a message using the Ancestry message system yesterday. I haven’t received any word back yet, but I’m hopeful.

    Hey Ancestry, want to do a story on my journey?

    Hopeful in PA,


    • Sandy

      That is so fantastic Daniel. It’s like you won the lottery on the first try. I was able to get my original birth certificate from PA about 1980, then the doors closed. Glad to hear they’ve opened them again. My original birth certificate gave me the name of my birth mother for the first time, but for Father it said, “Information not recorded.”

    • Edward

      Great story! I am adopted and just began the search for my biological parents. I was wondering where to even start when building my family tree. I have a son now, and I want to be able to talk to him about our history and where our ancestors came from. If you have any tips I sure would love to hear them.

      • Daniel

        Well, I got my original pre-adoption birth certificate a couple days ago and it has the same name as the man Ancestry DNA identified as my birth father. It’s a fairly common name so additional google searches have not led anywhere. I have not yet received any replies to the messages I sent with Ancestry’s messaging system. I’m not sure if they’re getting through. Ancestry also matched me with 2 ‘cousins’ who actually seem to be 2 half sisters from the same father.

        I now also have my birth mother’s name and age. Her name is uncommon and I’ve tracked her down with google. Now I just need the courage to contact her.

        Wish me luck.


  6. Daniel

    Oh, and one more thing. Pennsylvania created a new program where adoptees can apply to get a copy of their original birth certificate. I applied and should have that within a month or two!

    Lots of developments!

    Daniel in PA

  7. Curtis Banker

    I am getting messages for the Rock Family on E-Mail. I don’t know if I am related to any members of that family. My ancestry dates back to the Dutch settlement in what is now New York City.I have been in touch with a 2nd Cousin from the Winch family. Could my Ancesters have been in the Rock Family??

  8. Eve

    I don’t know if I’m understanding this correctly. If I were to have my DNA tested,does that then go on some registry? Or do u do that on ur own if u are looking for family or they my be looking for u ?and that info is in one place? Please excuse my lack of understanding,as I’m new to this and am just trying to figure out how it works with DNA. It’s wonderful to hear all these amazing and beautiful stories of families finding one another. Again if someone could take the time to explain how it works to me, it would really mean so much to me. I hope I’m not bothering anyone for information that I should be able to figure out on my own. I really tried and don’t understand it. Thank you for hearing me out. Also thank u in advance to anyone who takes the time to explain it to me. Even if it’s just pointing me in the right direction of where to go to get this information. Again thank you.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Eve: We’d be happy to help you with this. You need an Ancestry account to purchase and activate the test online. Once you receive the results you can log in to our website to see them. You will be able to see your ethnicity results, migrations and your DNA matches here and you can also contact your DNA matches. Some people have built their family trees and if you do not have an active subscription you can ask them to invite you as a guest to their tree in order for you to be able to view it. We’ve also attached a link to an article here that we hope can be helpful 🙂

      • Daniel

        Dear Ancestry Support Team,

        Where do our messages to DNA matches go? I sent a couple and I can’t find them anywhere. Where would any replies go? I’m concerned about whether they were sent? Received? Etc.


        • V

          Have you contacted customer service? Says below if you have a specific problem to contact them. Hope you get a response to those messages of yours!

  9. Jacqueline Williams

    I am adopted and I got my results back in July 2017 and found out that I have a half sister and found out who my bio dad was (he passed when I was 17). However, when reached out to someone who possibly was related to my mom side and gave them my information. I never heard from them again not even a message saying that they couldn’t help me. I reached out once more and NOTHING no response since July. Is this a normal thing? or could I be the big dark family secret that will bring their entire family to ruin? Just kidding, but seriously I thought this was the site was for people searching their DNA matches..I am just saying….

    • Daniel

      Same here. It’s not clear where those messages go and where replies would go in the Ancestry site. I can’t find the messages I sent so I’m concerned that they are going into a black hole.

      It would be great if someone from Ancestry could reply and clarify how those messages are handled.

  10. Joni Shade

    I don’t agree with my results. It says I am 17% Scandinavian and only 5% Europe West which I took to be German. My paternal grandfather was 100% German. I have my tree back to the 1700’s and in some lines even farther and no where is there a Scandinavian name. Where are my German ancestors? I have all their names back to early 1700’s.

  11. Pam

    Joni, I came across the same problem. My maternal great grandfather ; I thought was Swedish. I have his naturalization papers. I have no Scandinavian at all in my DNA. I looked at the migration charts and his family may have originally migrated from Germany, Belgium, France or Netherlands hundreds of years before. And he may have changed his last name to fit in where he lived. Another thought is that there may have been an adoption or questionable birth.

  12. CathyHoney

    I was born in Bflo NY and left at Hospital till I ws adopted at 6 weeks. I know my birthname and date of birth. from adoption papers. But nothing else to go on. I want answers and to find my birth parents. I am 65 years old. Where do I go from here?

    • Daniel


      Take the DNA test. You may find some ‘cousins’ some of which could which could be half-siblings.

      Also see if ny has the ability for you to apply for your original birth certificate. That would give you your birth mother’s name and age and possibly your birth father.

      Alternatively, I believe there are some detectives who search out birth parents. But I’d be careful to be sure that they are reputable.


  13. Christopher Guy Carrick

    Chris is my adoptive son. As a Christmas present I am giving you what information I have. I do not know any of his biological parents. I know his mother was in college & his father did not know about him. The names I use will be the names of his adoptive parents because that is what shows on his birth certificate. It shows we lived in Greenville NC, Pitt County & it was through The Children’s Home Society in Greensboro NC. I used my email address. My name is Janet Sproul and I am the adoptive mother. If you need to verify anything or ask something new I now live in Decatur GA & my phone number is 470-418-0770.

  14. Joy

    I’m packing my bags heading to Atlanta tomorrow to meet up with family that we didn’t even know existed until a few of us used Ancestry DNA! Come to find out, my dad impregnated a woman in Korea when he was 19 years old serving in the Korean War back in 1956! My dad has a biological son he never knew existed! This son, who is now 61 went from being an only child his whole life to finding out he has 5 half-siblings and this weekend he gets to meet 3 of us plus some nieces and nephews — and our dad. Sadly, Dad is with Alzheimer’s so he may not understand everything, but we’re giving it a try. Crazy is that this new brother of mine looks more like my dad than any of his other 5 children! Can’t wait to meet them all! ❤️Thanks Ancestry DNA!!! ❤️

  15. Tom Ontis

    While my circumstances are not the same as these adoptees, two cousins and I have found each other using Ancestry My grandmother was married three times to two different men. Both of these cousins are grandaughters of my late uncle and his sister. We are 1st, 1x removed. We are in semi-regular contact. I have met the woman who lives her in NorCal. Her youngest son lives about 10 blocks away from me.

  16. Jamie

    My sister and I ordered the test during Thanksgiving weekend like so may others. Her results came back first and she told me some guy came back as a extremely close family match. We immediately thought our father must had fathered a child by another woman. We were laughing and joking about it. My results came back five days later and I realized a cousin on my father’s side was on my page as a DNA match but not on my sister’s page. (She had given me her password word). We were stunned to realize we only shared enough centimorgans to be half siblings and that the man who raised us was not her biological father. She is devastated and everyone is long gone. She did make contact with her half sibling and found out her biological father was born in our city and was from a prominent family and to see a picture of him. It won’t change our relationship but I wish we had never done the DNA test

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