Man received an email from a stranger who told him he was his father

I discovered I had a long-lost son when he emailed me out of the blue – our connection is uncanny, we even have the same sense of humour

  • John Pritchard, from Kent, was unaware of his son’s existence until recently  
  • READ MORE: I took a DNA test and discovered I’m related to my fiancé

A man has revealed his shock after he received an email from a stranger calling him his father. 

John Pritchard, 78. who lives in Bromley, Kent, was left in shock when a bombshell landed in his inbox from Carl Benson, 56. 

For Carl, a DNA sample kit sent to an ancestry website just for fun revealed an 100 per cent DNA parent and child relationship match with John. 

Longing to meet his father, Carl reached out to John  and asked to meet up with him to piece his family history together, according to the BBC. 

With that one email, both of their lives permanently changed for the better. 

John Pritchard (left), from Kent, received an email from Carl Benson (right) who claimed to be his long lost son 

John was born in Bridgend county during World War Two, spending much of his childhood in care homes in and around Wales, due to an abusive stepfather. 

He moved out in his young teens and worked as a railway driver in Oxfordshire, which is where he met Carl’s mother. 

The romance was short-lived and the pair quickly ended their relationship. 

But soon enough, John met his wife Jill, and they began their life together totally in the dark about his Carl’s existence.   

Then last Christmas, Carl’s son Jason got his father a DNA test kit as a gift. 

After initially taking the test, Carl never chased the results but he was interested in seeing his family background. 

Carl was able to unexpectedly trace his biological father on a genealogy website, creating a family tree which traced back to John’s cousin.

Carl later got into contact with the cousin through Mick Henry, the chair of the Brighton and Hove genealogical society. 

The chairman sifted through genealogical data and found John’s cousin, and they asked her if they could reach out to him. 

She agreed, which led to the life-changing moment where Carl sent out the email to John that started: ‘Hi, I’m your son’ and asked if they could possibly meet up. 

To Carl’s shock, he received a phone call from his estranged father just 24 hours after he sent the email. 

The pair are making up for lost time and John recently went to France to attend Carl’s daughters wedding 

Talking to the BBC, Carl shared how the phone call went. He said: ‘We chatted unusually naturally, and it became very obvious that we shared very similar backgrounds, traits, beginnings, likes, dislikes.’ 

John knew immediately that everything made sense. 

Just a month after the initial email, the estranged father and son decided to meet up in London for lunch. 

Carl said: ‘We got on like a house on fire. I was just very grateful that he was even alive, and he could have said ‘I don’t want to know’.

‘You talk about nature versus nurture. We’ve got the same sense of humour, we’re both into motorbikes, we’re both into fitness. It’s uncanny you can be so similar to somebody you’ve actually never met.’

John, who has three other children and six grandchildren, said that he was proud of Carl, despite only just learning about his existence. 

The pair are making up for lost time and last year, John went to Carl’s daughters wedding in France.  

They are set on making up for the 55 years of not knowing each other, and next year they are planning to go to New York together.  

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