discount furniture stores in south jersey Bill Sebring Finds a Daughter
As the Town of Romulus historian, it Bill Sebring job to know history, and to learn more about it. But while looking for a bit of his own history Sebring discovered something else: a daughter. Over the summer, Sebring received a message from his DNA match.
“She emailed me, started asking questions.” Sebring said. His daughter, Tana Jennifer Minardi (but goes by Jenny),
asked Sebring if he was ever in the service and where he was stationed. It turns out Sebring was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia at the same time that Jenny’s biological mother was there. He was drafted in 1969 and sent to Vietnam, but he was sent to Fort Benning for the last six months of his tour.
The pair started to correspond through email. Minardi sent Sebring pictures of her family, including his three grandsons, and told him about her life; where she grew up, what she does for a living,
and what her adopted parents were like.
“Being a bachelor for 67 years I had no idea what was going on,” Sebring said. At first he said it felt weird to hear that he had a daughter after having lived his life without a wife or children.
Eventually Sebring flew out to Colorado for a week to meet his daughter and three grandsons. While there they kept discovering things they had in common.
“I knew she liked history so do I. I knew she liked science fiction so do I,” Sebring said. “I joked with people around town here, with the historical society people, I said ‘If I go out there and I ask her, do you like chocolate? And she says ‘yes’ then I’m leaving.'”
Apparently they both also love Coke,
the same kind of beer, and talking.
He’s been tracking his family history for a while now. His research has found Sebrings across the country, and a rich family history right in the Finger Lakes area. It was this quest to learn more about his own ancestry that brought the two together. Sebring had always heard rumor that he himself might have Native American ancestry; it’s why he took the test in the first place.
Sebring said Minardi had already found her biological mother, but was never able to meet her. She died in 2000.
“She corresponded with her, talked to her on the telephone,
and never got the chance to meet her,” Sebring said. But when he went out to visit her, Sebring wanted to bring her something that was meaningful for all three of them; Sebring, Minardi, and her biological mother. “My sister said ‘Take your dog tags. I would have never thought of that.”
After he gave them to Minardi she let her eldest son wear them. Sebring said his grandson has now laid claim to them permanently.
He’s already stepping into the role of a grandfather and has told his grandson he can have his old car,
also a Sebring, if he comes out to get it himself. He might have a chance next spring.
“I have a family reunion over Memorial Day weekend down in Pennsylvania and I would love to get her to come up and tell her ‘Here’s all your hundred and something cousins,'” Sebring said.