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Published Sunday September 20th, 2009 at 2:42am

Original Article by Doug Cook

Pat Joralemon, 89, talks with her long lost half brother Keith Gibbs, 75, who traveled from Australia to Prescott on Wednesday to meet her for the first time.
Click here for video on the siblings' first meeting

Witharms outstretched and eyes wide open, 89-year-old Pat Joralemon gaspedas she stepped outside the front door of her eldest daughter's Prescotthome this past Wednesday afternoon to embrace Keith Gibbs - ahalf-brother from another continent she never knew existed.

Gibbs,75, had no idea he had a half-sister until his daughter, Leanne Gray,conducted some Internet detective work within the past year and spotted a bloodline between her father and newfoundaunt.

Earlierthis month, Gibbs and his wife, Jan, and Leanne and her husband,Robert, flew from their native Australia to the U.S. just to meetJoralemon - a spunky Englishwoman who immigrated to New Jersey with herlate husband, Nicholas, in 1946 and now lives in Arizona.

Joralemon'sthree daughters, Susie Hout, 64, Jessie Bourke, 60, and MaggieJoralemon, 59, played host to the magical meeting in Prescott. Bothfamilies will visit with one another for a full week, catching up onlost time.

"I was unprepared to see (Keith) because he arrived ahalf an hour early," said Joralemon, who bears a slight resemblance toGibbs. "There he was standing there, and my jaw dropped."

Gibbs said he was "slightly surprised" to learn he had a sibling, but that it was also "beyond my wildest dreams."

"It'sgreat to know I have a half-sister and that I can get to know her,"said Gibbs, a retiree from New South Wales, Australia, who, likeJoralemon, has no other siblings.

While the union was trulyinspiring, the most intriguing part of this story is why it took somany years for these long-lost siblings to find each other.

In the mid-1910s, Pat Joralemon's father, Eustace Gibbs, left his home in New Zealand bound for England to serve in World War I.

Bythe time the conflict ended in 1918, Eustace had married a Britishwoman he met there named Amy. Two years later, she gave birth to Pat.But Eustace did not want to stay in England and returned to NewZealand, leaving Amy and Pat behind.

Eustace soon lost contactwith his former wife and daughter and remarried in 1926. Nine yearslater, he and his new wife, Ida, had Keith.

"My father didn't stay in touch with me and I didn't think about possibly having a brother or sister," Pat said this past week.

AddedGibbs, "It was the (way of the) world in those days not to discussmatters like this. Dad was shell-shocked after World War I."

Both families had no knowledge of one another until Leanne began digging on the World Wide Web.

Infact, Leanne said she didn't know much about her father's lineage untilshe became interested in family trees and genealogy. Among otherthings, she rifled through British birth and marriage records, whereshe stumbled on the name of her grandpa, Eustace Martin Gibbs.

"WhenI got my grandfather and grandmother's wedding certificate, I saw thata divorce had occurred and I became interested in the previousmarriage," said Leanne, who coincidentally visited Sedona in 2006without realizing she had relatives close-by.

On March 6, Leannesent a letter to Hout at her Prescott home that outlined Leanne'sreasons for believing her dad was related to Susie's mom.

"All I could think was, 'My prayers have been answered,'" Hout said.

JessieBourke said her mother long suspected she had a brother, but could notconfirm it. Six years ago, Maggie Joralemon conducted her owngenealogical search. She located an obituary of Pat's father from NewZealand, but it contained the wrong information.

"I wanted to do it for my mother," Maggie said. "But I reached a dead end."

As it turns out, provided all the answers they would need - with not much more than the click of a mouse.

"I went into a search and the information just popped up," Leanne said.