One of 2018’s most popular gifts for Christmas was DNA testing, a certain Mesquite resident took his before the holidays but if you happened to be one of the lucky receivers of this popular gift and you sent them off in a timely manner, your results should be coming to you soon; you could find some amazing results like he did.
Until the age of 64, Ken Juber grew up the baby of the family. He was the youngest of five children born to Xenia and Peter Juber on July 31, 1954. Until he was 10, the family of seven lived in an 800-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath tenement in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, after the age of 10, they moved to a house in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
After recently taking an Ancestry.com DNA test and at his present age, Juber now finds himself a middle child right smack in between 17 siblings. Juber found 12 new brothers and sisters, 61 cousins and a slew of other family members that he didn’t know about until he took that DNA test a few months ago.
While growing up, Juber’s parents both worked in local textile mills, Peter as a laborer in a fiberglass textile mill in Ashton, Rhode Island, and Xenia worked running a loom but was limited to employment that was within walking distance of their house in Lincoln.
While attending school and learning about biology and genetics, Juber began to have doubts about how different he was from the other members of his family. Mother and four siblings had steely blue eyes and dad had green; Ken wondered how his could be dark brown. Blood type also played a factor in young Juber’s growing doubts. With an A-positive mom and an O-negative dad, how could his blood type be O-positive? All his life Juber said he felt as if something were a little off, like in some way, he didn’t belong completely to this group of people.
Juber questioned his mom about his suspicions and “Who is my real dad?” Mom, until the day she died, would reply, “Your father is your father.”
His older siblings criticized him for his questions and would tease him about the Milkman or Mailman being his dad, but the real answers never came.
Years went by, family discouraged the questions and things were just left silent until Peter Juber died in 1986. Once again mom was questioned and gave the standard answer, “Your father is your father.” Xenia died 10 years later without ever revealing the truth.
In the days following Xenia’s death, Juber’s oldest sister, Pat, told him of some letters she’d discovered in the time surrounding Ken’s birth. They were love letters, but she couldn’t remember who they had been written by. This once again sparked Juber’s interest in finding the truth about his paternity.
About six or seven years ago, Juber appeared in a commercial for DNA testing with a company called DNA Spectrum. Part of the compensation package was a free DNA test; his results were suspicious.b His DNA didn’t match with the family history. His sisters debunked the whole theory of DNA saying they were “doctored” or in some way misleading, tricking him into thinking he’d made some sort of discovery.
In 2018, Juber took another DNA test, this time from Ancestry.com. The results were similar to the first DNA test and Juber once again shared his results with his sisters; the results showed that Ken could only be a half-brother to the siblings he’d grown up with and led to believe were full blood.
Juber spent the next couple of months convincing his sisters to take the test; two out of three did and the results were the same and it confirmed what Juber suspected most of his life; Peter Juber was not his biological father.
Juber went to work like a CSI investigator and in a short time found his other blood relatives. As it turned out, Juber’s mom had a discreet love affair with Rene Brunelle, a loom mechanic who lived in Lincoln.
Juber now has 12 new brothers and sisters to add to his family tree and they all grew up in the same small town that Juber and his four other siblings grew up in. Juber laughs now at the possibility of dating one of his sisters during his high school years but shutters at the thought of that having been a true threat. He doesn’t recall ever meeting any of them in his youth and neither do they.
There was a lot of painstaking research, a slew of emotions and some resentment during the time it took for Juber to find his other blood relatives. The results have been completely positive from the Brunelle side of Ken’s family but not so positive from the Juber side.
He said the most remarkable discovery is the “Nature vs. Nurture” theory he’s been discovering. He has many of the same character traits, mannerisms and talents of several of the Brunelle family members. His love for entertaining and creative arts comes from the Brunelle side, the Juber side was all office, factory or blue collar oriented while the Brunelle side has many members in either the arts or entertainment fields.
Juber said, “With all the joy and revelation being shared between the Brunelle’s and I, there was
another story taking place with my surviving Juber sisters. My sister Patricia (age 79), felt anger, shame, and denial for what had happened. Still living in the hometown that we all grew up in, my sister Pat feels a burden of self-imposed shame rests upon her shoulders for past transgressions.” He hopes that his Juber sisters can overcome the bad feelings and be happy for his new discovery so they can all become one big family and he can get used to his new role as a middle child; he is now the eight of 17.
Juber, is looking forward to one heck of a family reunion this summer back east. Most of his family members are stretched along the eastern states from New England to Florida but they all intend to get together for plenty of back yard barbecues when Ken returns to the East Coast to celebrate with his new Brunelle family.
Juber said, “My story goes well beyond a simple matter of identifying a missing parent. It’s a story for all the people who believed that something was off in their parentage and were suppressed in their search for the truth. It’s a story of reconnecting to biological loved ones after so many years and how I did it.”
Juber has a well written and fascinating story available to anyone who might be interested in hearing more of the details; you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.