Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Twin sisters, Ann Hunt, left, of Aldershot, England and Liz Hamel, of Albany, Oregon, both 78, reunite May 1, 2014 at the Fullerton Marriott for the first time since 1936, when they were they were separated at five-months-old in Aldershot, England. Their meeting was arranged by Dr. Nancy Segal of California State University, Fullerton, who is conducting a long-term study of twins. Segal describes them as the world's longest-separated twins. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Leonard Ortiz) MANDATORY CREDIT, LEONARD ORTIZ, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER.
Twin sisters reunite after 78 years apart
First Published May 04 2014 07:29 pm • Last Updated May 04 2014 07:29 pm

Fullerton, Calif. • It’s been 78 years since Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel were last together — in their mother’s womb.

The twin sisters were reunited last week for the first time since birth in Fullerton, California, thanks to a nudge from their children and help from a psychology professor, the Orange County Register reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1nbVonS).

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Hunt, who lives in England, was given up for adoption and only learned she had a twin when she began looking for her birth mother after her adopted mother died.

Hamel, who lives in Oregon, always knew she had a twin but says she never thought she would see her.

"How lovely to see you in the flesh," Hamel said, as she embraced her sister at a hotel in Fullerton.

The women were to spend the next day undergoing testing at the Twin Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton, with professor Nancy Segal, who researches twins who were raised apart to better understand the role of genes and environment in human development.

Both women were born in Aldershot, England, in 1936. Their mother, a domestic servant, decided to give up one of the girls after their birth father fled. Hamel said she kept her because she was born with curvature of the spine, which would have made it more difficult for her to be adopted.

Hamel grew up an only child. She met her husband — a "Yank"— while stationed with the Women’s Royal Enlisted Navy in Malta, and eventually moved to the United States. The couple had two sons.

Hunt was adopted by a couple, and was also raised as an only child. She didn’t look for her birth mother until after her adopted mother died, and only learned a year ago she was a twin. Samantha Stacey, one of Hunt’s three daughters, tracked down Hamel and sent her a letter.

The two women were soon talking on the phone. Hamel’s son Quinton read one of Segal’s books about twins and contacted the professor, who arranged the reunion. After undergoing testing in Fullerton, the sisters, who are believed to be fraternal twins, and cousins plan to spend a week at Hamel’s home looking at old photos and learning more about each other.


story continues below
story continues below

"You wonder about someone and what they’re like and suddenly they’re here," Hamel said. "It’s a shock."

"It’s a shock and a joy," Hunt added.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.