Sister Found after Nearly a Half Century Apart

The following excerpt is from a great story by Roxanne Brown, found in the April 22, 2011 edition of

When the phone rang a couple of weeks ago and the caller ID said “Linda Vott,” 62-year-old Joyce McGrath of Minneola nearly froze with anticipation.

After all, she hadn’t spoken to the woman in nearly half a century.

“Ahhhhh, are you my sister? Are you my sister?”, McGrath excitedly asked the caller.

After a series of questions that resembled a quiz, having to do with family members and history, the woman on the other line answered, “Yes, I believe so.”

“Family is so important, and if you have one member missing or more, that’s a piece of you that’s missing,” McGrath said. “But when you find them, that little piece is filled up and it’s worth it.”

The thing Joyce McGrath remembers most about her two older sisters, Linda and Betty, is that one of them used to twirl a baton in parades.

Linda says it was her.

It’s been about 47 years she’d last seen or spoken to either one of them, so other than that baton-twirling memory and a few others, just a handful of photographs remain to remind McGrath of the three sisters growing up in Ohio.

Two months ago, however, all that changed when she stepped into the genealogy room on the second floor at Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont.

“I’ve been searching for my sisters for years but I didn’t know what I was doing, really. I was trying to contact family members and hunt them down that way. Then, one day I was watching a show called “Searching For,” and in it, the lady searching for her family, found the information she needed at the genealogy department at her library,” McGrath said. “I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if any of the libraries around here have something like that.”

Read the full article.

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