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How a man from the Upper Palatinate found his father in America after 50 years

How a man from the Upper Palatinate found his father in America after 50 years

Rolf Grassler from Kastl in the Tirschenreuth district has had doubts since his youth. Doubts about whether his legal father is actually his biological father. Rolf Grassler says that the external characteristics of the two are irreconcilable – the man also shared doubts and made them feel it. It haunted him for the rest of his life—and at some point he came to terms with the question for himself.

Until the online portal appeared – there was no trace to be found

Today Rolf Grasler is in his mid-50s, and his wife Rita has repeatedly encouraged him to get serious about this big question—but it fails because the Graslers have no starting point: they don't know its name. A real doubt they still know anything about their father's origins. His mother also could not or did not give any information.

Friends Until you see Rolf Grasler's Online Portal for Genealogy Research in 2020, you… Learn more about your own ancestry with the help of a DNA test can Your own genetic material is broken down and its components assigned to geographic origin. The portal displays other people registered there and those who match your own genetic makeup.

A DNA test doesn't give any results at first – until luck strikes

This is also the case with Rolf Grasler: his result assigned only 37 percent of his genetic makeup to German origin, thus confirming the suspicion that his legal father could not be his biological father, which was beyond doubt. Rolf Grasler's list of registered individuals with similarities in genetic makeup to one thousand people. However, they all have an agreement of less than three percent, so none of them is a direct relative – and this path also initially seemed like a dead end.

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After a while, luck or fate comes to the aid of Rolf Grasler: a young American who wants to learn more about his Scottish roots with the help of a DNA test on an online portal. His girlfriend also decides to join – suddenly appearing as a new entry on Rolf Grasler's list. With less than a ten percent genetic match, the young woman may be directly related to him: as it turns out, she is his father's niece.

Rolf Grasler finally found his father in his mid-50s

Young woman responds to German contact attempt. Further research reveals that a member of Rolf Grasler's family was actually stationed as a US soldier in Grafenwoehr, his hometown, in the 1960s: Wayne Gebhardt, now 80 years old.

After some hesitation, Gebhardt is ready to contact the Graslers. His wife Joyce saw him on the screen during this video call and immediately told Wayne Gebhardt: “He looks just like you when you were young,” recalled Rolf Grasler. The American also takes a DNA test – and it confirms without a doubt what everyone already suspected at this point: Rolf Grasler found his father in his mid-50s, and it was Wayne Gebhardt.