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Half-Sisters meet for the first time at Monticello’s 175th anniversary

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 9:00 AM EDT
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MONTICELLO, Maine (WAGM) - Monticello celebrated its 175th anniversary over the weekend, but it’s fair to say the celebration was a little bit more special for Chavala Moran and Jean Carnes.

“This is my sister, we just met today,” said Chavala Moran, hugging and holding the hand of Jean Carnes.

Moran and Carnes were both born and raised in The County, but they never knew they were half-sisters until both did DNA tests. They met for the first time at Monticello’s 175th anniversary parade.

“Monticello is bringing us together,” said Carnes.

Carnes discovered she was a member of the Delong family, a Monticello institution who go back further than the town itself, in October. Their great grandfather was born in the town in 1837, 9 years before Monticello was officially incorporated.

“Monticello means a great deal to me,” said Carnes. “I’ve been researching the Delong family, there’s many Delongs that I expect to meet today for the first time.”

After the parade, the two had plans to visit their grandparents’ home and meet a few more family members.

The two half sisters first connected over the phone in May. Partly because of COVID, and partly because neither sister drives anymore, Carnes finally made the trip up this week from her current home in New Hampshire.

The two are happy to have found each other

“I always think that I’m our fathers gift to each other,” said Carnes.

But Moran thinks maybe there was a connection all along.

“Funny, her hair is just the way I always wear mine.”

The sisters’ long overdue introduction was a fitting celebration for the anniversary of the town the Delong’s have called home for generations.

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