Lost & Found Part 2: DNA test kit connects woman to CNY family after 74 years

Family secrets are proving no match for home DNA test kits (Courtesy: Barbara Jean Morgan Floto).

Barbara Jean Floto, of California, took teasing from a cousin when she was a young girl. “You don’t look like anyone in our family,” she remembers being told. The childhood ribbing led her to ask her mother about why she had freckles and blonde hair when no one else in the family had those features.

“My mother told me I was adopted and that my family died in a car accident. They got me from St. Joseph’s Infant Home in Utica, and that was the story,” Barbara recalls.

The story was not true. Why did her adoptive mother lie? Was it to protect Barbara. To protect herself? Whatever the case, Barbara, now 74, has made peace with it - mostly because she managed to find the truth.

On June 21, 1944 Beatrice and Emerson Morgan had a baby girl. The couple, who lived in Bouckville, was loving but terribly poor. Family stories passed down to the next generation indicate the baby girl was taken from the couple because they were deemed unfit due to poverty.

The Morgans would eventually have 10 more children and raise them in Central New York, without that baby girl. One of those siblings, Barbara Springer says she was told she was named for the missing child. “My mother told me that I was named for someone she loved and missed very much,” Springer said from her home in Madison. Click here to watch Part One of this story.

The missing daughter would go on to have what she describes as a "wonderful life," with her adopted parents. However, there was always a longing and a lot of wondering.

Family secrets are proving no match for home DNA test kits from companies like AncestryDNA, 23 & Me and others. Millions of people are ordering them, sending in a swab of the saliva in their mouth and some of them are getting shocking results. There are a growing number of people going public with stories of finding long-lost siblings, family members no one knew about and in some case people are absorbing shocking news the person they thought was their mother or father is not biologically related to them.

In the case of the Morgan family, the connection was made when Barbara Floto did a 23 & Me kit which she received as a birthday gift last year. Little did she know a biological nephew of hers in Central New York had received a 23 & Me kit as a secret Santa gift for Christmas 2018. The match was made once both samples of DNA were in the system.

After her re-connection with her Central New York siblings, Barbara Floto changed her name to Barbara Jean Morgan Floto.

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