A 23andMe kit solves a decades-long family mystery for a North Augusta woman

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Laurie Morrison's 23andMe test not only answered questions she had about her heritage, but also helped her locate a long-lost grandmother. (Source: Laurie Morrison)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – A book sits on a table not far from where Laurie Morrison flips through photos.

“Every piece had to line up,” she said. “And it did.”

The pictures are family photos with Laurie never pictured, stacked by a book she didn’t expect to read.

“I would have never thought she was still alive,” Laurie said. “I just wouldn’t have thought that.”

The “she” in this story is Georgia Lloyd, and actually, Laurie wasn’t looking for her. Her questions were a lot more general. "Where my ancestors had come from,” Laurie said.

Laurie’s biological father was adopted, and he knew nothing about his own biological family. He and Laurie’s mother divorced. Then, he was essentially out of the picture. Four decades later, a Christmas gift from her mother pulled him back in – sort of.

"You know, something that I think that I would like is one of the 23 and Me kits,” Laurie said, speaking of what she wanted for Christmas. “I think it would be interesting to see what that missing 50 percent -- what that looks like. Where they're from."

23 and Me gave her that answer pretty quickly. Ninety percent of her ancestors are from the London area. “Especially with all the Royal buzz. I was like, ‘Oh! Maybe. Let's see.'" Laurie laughed.

Then came an email with even more answers.

“Right there at the top, it had a name, and it said, 'We identify this person as your grandmother,’” Laurie said.

She picked up the phone and called Georgia Lloyd. "By any chance, on January of 1946, did you give up a child in Charleston, SC? And she said, ‘I sure did,’” Laurie said.

Laurie didn't want to waste any time. The first weekend she had free, she and her family drove to Virginia.

“She's 91. I'm 43. But the resemblance in our foreheads. We've got the same crease in our nose and our jaw line, it's just -- you cannot deny it,” Laurie said.

When Laurie got home, she made another phone call.

"I was able to find my dad, give him a call, and let him know I have found your biological mother,” Laurie said.

So, Laurie’s Christmas gift ended up being a gift to many.

"No, who would have ever thought,” Laurie said. “They give you little disclaimers like, ‘be prepared for’ -- I don’t know if they used the word life-altering, but it really was. And not just mine."

Which brings us back to this book -- it's a gift from Nonna as they now call her. “To Laurie Morrison -- a rose without a thorn,” the book says.

It’s a new book for Laurie to read as she writes a new chapter.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved