"When I met her, it was like a whole new world."
Gunvald Magne, Norway

Gunvald Magne was born in 1956 in Bergen, Norway. His biological father was married to another woman at the time. He left Gunvald’s mother, and she had to to raise him on her own. At the age of five, Gunvald’s mother told him about his father for the first time and informed him that he had half-siblings somewhere in Norway.

He knew very little about his father. He knew his name, the town he was from (Solsvik), and that he was a sailor. That was all he knew.

As the years went by, Gunvald got married and had children of his own, however, the questions about his life still remained: Who was his father? Where are his biological siblings? Would they want to meet him? Gunvald decided to do everything he could to find them.

Some of his relatives told him about MyHeritage and he decided to open an account.

I looked for my father on the basis of what I knew from my mother, who passed away a few years ago, but I did not find anything. I built my family tree and entered all of the information I knew.

In January 2017, he had a twist of fate! Another Norwegian user, Therese, built a family tree on MyHeritage and entered all of the details she knew. Suddenly, she received a match with Gunvald!

This match did not happen by chance. For many years, Therese knew that her mother had a half-brother somewhere in Norway that no one had ever been able to find. The mother and another sister, Solfrid, searched for their lost brother for years but could not locate him because of the meager information they had about him.

After matching with Gunvald, Therese was very curious and decided to find Gunvald on Facebook.

Therese showed pictures of Gunvald to her mother. To her surprise, her mother told her that Gunvald looked very similar to her brother. This bit of information convinced Therese to give Gunvald a call.

Therese told Gunvald that she thought he was her uncle! As she began telling Gunvald about her family, each anecdote rang a bell and lined up with what he knew about his family.

So we are family then!

Finally, they found each other! Therese told Gunvald that he had two half-brothers and two half-sisters, all of whom live in Norway.

I’m not used to being able to say “my sister” because I never had a sister. When I met her, it was fantastic! It was like a whole new world.

After speaking on the phone, they planned to meet! Three months later, they met each other for the first time. Gunvald’s sister, Solfrid, was surprised by his strong resemblance to their father.

I knew then that he was my brother.

Finding her brother has changed Solfrid’s perspective on genealogy.

I think it’s very important to know about your family. And after searching MyHeritage, I do. I have found many relatives. Cousins I never knew about.

They are very happy that they found each other and it seems that the family continues to grow bigger and bigger.

I’m speechless. MyHeritage is a part of my family.


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  • Donna Stenberg


    January 11, 2018

    Your story is heartwarming and so encouraging! I always knew I’d have a hard time finding my mother’s family because she was adopted at a young age. I found to my surprise, that I have had an easier time tracing the maternal side of her family who seem to be mostly from Ireland, Scotland & Wales, but that I can’t seem to trace my huge Norweigan family on my Father’s paternal side, and he was Not adopted. I found where his grandfather came into the U.S. & I can trace almost all of his maternal side back about 12 generations. But just as with my mother, the paternal side of each of my parents is missing! Your amazing story along with one other story I’ve heard, gives me renewed hope. I’d really like to find my missing family while my parents, who are in their eighties, are still living. I didn’t realize there was such a large void in my family & in my life until I started this journey. I wish you and your sister great joy and ever growing strength in your new family bonds. Thank you!

  • Carol Rice


    April 23, 2018

    Wonderful news that you found one another. Lovely story.
    Carol