LIFE

Twin Sisters Reunite After 78 Years Apart

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

In 1936, Elizabeth and Ann were born to Alice Lamb in Auldershot, UK. When Alice could no longer afford to care for her children she gave up Ann for adoption.

Elizabeth would always know she had a sister out there somewhere. Meanwhile, Ann would grow up never knowing she was adopted, or that she had a sister (and a twin at that).

After Ann was given up, Elizabeth was separated from her mother for years. “In those days it was a very hush-hush affair,” says Elizabeth. “We were both illegitimate, which was very difficult. My mother was a servant living in a home. It was very frightening.”

Alice had been a live-in servant, so Elizabeth was forced to live with an aunt to avoid a scandal.

At another point Elizabeth lived with a woman who neglected her.

In 2014, after unravelling her family mystery, Ann was able to track down an elated Elizabeth. In the video below you’ll watch them meet. Elizabeth and Ann remind me of Helen and Jenny — twins separated at birth and reunited by chance.

A whopping 78 years later, Elizabeth and Ann enter the Guinness Book of World Records after being the longest-separated twins in the world.

In 1936, twins Ann and Elizabeth were born in Aldershot, U.K. to an unmarried mother, Alice Lamb. Alice was in the service as a domestic cook and a single mother. When she could no longer care for her children, she gave up Ann for adoption.

Ann was adopted by a couple but she didn’t find out they weren’t her birth parents until she was 14.

When Ann asked her mother if it was true, her mom replied: “No, you were a chosen child. God sent you. Your mother wasn’t able to keep you, so she allowed me to look after you and to adopt you as mine — someone to love.”

After Ann’s adoptive mother died, she retrieved her own birth certificate and discovered her birth mother’s name. However, there wasn’t any indication of a sibling, especially not a twin sister.

After doing some digging, Ann discovered Alice had gotten married. Ann and her daughter Stacey were able to track down Alice’s stepson. He mentioned to her, “Oh yes, Alice has a daughter in the U.S.” 

Soon after, Stacey told Ann the news, “We’ve found your sister but there’s a bonus… She’s your twin sister.” 

That’s when Ann wrote Elizabeth a letter. Elizabeth opened the mail one day and was shocked to see a letter from the place she was born.

“I saw Aldershot, ooh, I did a double-take on that,” says Elizabeth. “I opened it up and looked at it, and my eyes popped out my head.”

Minutes later, Ann and Elizabeth were talking on the phone.

“I was over the moon, I couldn’t speak,” Ann says. “I let Elizabeth speak mostly, I had to pinch myself because I realised, I’ve got a sibling, a sister. It’s so wonderful, I’m not on my own any more. I’ve got no words to say. I’m so happy – I have Elizabeth.”

Over the years Elizabeth tried to track down Ann but couldn’t find her.

“I’ve been praying for you for many years,” Elizabeth told her. “I thought — being adopted, she could be anywhere in the world.”

Elizabeth explained to Ann why Ann was given up and not her.

“I had curvature of the spine, which in those days was something which made a person unadoptable,” she says. “We were both going to be adopted but when mother found out about the curvature of the spine, she decided to keep me.”

Watch these twin sisters reunite after 78 years apart in the video below!

Please SHARE if you’re glad they were able to find each other, even if it was a little late!