HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – Thomas Bross, a long-time employee of “Hershey’s” in Pennsylvania, recently completed some DNA testing at the persistence of his wife. Bross was adopted at a young age, to a “wonderful” family. But now, Bross has two families.
Bross completed DNA testing on a website in order to figure out what genetic makeup he was passing on to he and wife Brenda’s eight grandchildren. It connected him with Larry Jacobs, a Haysville man. The two were a close match.
“He and I came up as almost a perfect match and that’s, I shouldn’t say unheard of, but when you come up 99.6% with a chromosome match, I don’t know how it works, it was pretty definite,” Bross said.
Bross tried uniting with his birth mother, who he found was living just 10 miles from where he and Brenda reside.
“I finally got to find out where she’s at and I went to go see her, but because I wasn’t direct family or at least they didn’t know that, I had to get some document because she was in intensive care. Meanwhile I went and got the paper and she passed away an hour before I got to meet her,” Bross said.
But his experience would take a turn for the better. Bross flew in to Wichita this week to meet dozens of relatives — ones he never knew he had.
“Well I’m here to meet people I’ve never known, cousins, second cousins, it will take me a year to figure out who belongs to who and that’s fine, it gives me a reason to go on,” Bross said.
His cousin, Cathy Jacobs Wiggins, is the family historian. She gave Bross photos and even his real father’s dog tags from his military days.
“It makes me feel good that I was able to help my Uncle Bill’s son that he never knew he had,” Wiggins said.
The family celebrated with a 71st birthday party for Tom with a newspaper-themed cake with a headline: DNA solves 70 year mystery.