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Brother, 72, and sister, 59, finally meet

     TYRONE—“I’m an only child. Or so I thought.”
    Tyrone resident Yvonne Crooker, 59, said those words three days before meeting an older brother she never knew she had. Yvonne grew up without any brothers or sisters. That changed in June of this year when a man named Jim Dyksterhouse from Florida contacted her and said he was her half-brother. The two exchanged emails, photos, and eventually phone calls. Jim, 72 years old, and Yvonne finally met this past Sunday in Tyrone when Jim and his wife Carolyn took a vacation from Florida to New York.
    “It’s all amazing. To both of us,” said Yvonne.
     She explained Jim was born in October of 1939 and “immediately put up for adoption.” He didn’t even know he was adopted. Yvonne said he eventually found out after his adopted mother passed away and he discovered the information in some old papers. Jim said his mother passed away in 2005.
    He said he started digging into his genealogy and looking into the area of Michigan at the time he was born. Jim said he found out a lot of information when he uncovered the 1940 census data for their shared mother: Genevieve Warriner. Using ancestry.com, he found Yvonne.
    “I found out a had a sister I didn’t know I had,” said Jim.
    Yvonne explained she had joined the genealogical website two years ago because it is very fascinating. Yvonne said when she first got an email from Jim she thought “that’s not possible.” She left it at that until about a month later when she finally decided to contact him back because a neighbor encouraged her to do so. They even sent pictures to each other.
    “There’s definitely a resemblance between my mother and him,” said Yvonne.
    What happened all those years ago is still a mystery for Yvonne and Jim. She explained their mother passed away last year, at the age of 93. Yvonne asked her aunt, but said she claimed to know nothing about Jim. She added her brother was listed as Jim Clifford Warriner on his birth certificate. Yvonne said as far as they can tell Jim’s father has passed away as well.
    “It must have been quite a secret,” she said.
    With no one living who knows the story, the two decided to meet. Yvonne explained there’s nobody to get upset that this secret has been revealed. The unusual family “reunion” took place at Yvonne and her husband’s home in Tyrone. Jim shared a book containing all his work at discovering his unknown relatives, including petitioning the state for his original birth certificate.
     “They don’t just give you that,” he said to Yvonne.
    Jim and his wife stayed in the area until Wednesday. Yvonne said she would like to see him again and maybe even make the visit to Florida. For now, the two will keep in contact with each other by phone and email. Yvonne added they will keep looking into who Jim’s father really was and fill in the gaps of this mystery.

 





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