“Never crossed my mind:” Best friends for 60 years learn they’re brothers through birthday DNA kit

HAWAII — Maybe you’ve seen the commercials, or even come across it online. Commercial DNA testing kits that you can do at home, like “My Heritage”, Ancestry DNA or 23 and Me. These “do-it-yourself” genealogical tests are quickly growing in popularity. A family from Hawaii says their kit revealed a big surprise.

Walter MacFarlane has a new brother — and it’s one of his best friends his whole life.

Through a DNA kit his children bought him for his birthday, MacFarlane’s half-brother was discovered. It was a guy who’s been right by his side for about 60 years.

Walter and Alan Robinson, or “Robby” as he’s known, have been best friends since sixth grade. Robinson though, is nearly a year-and-a-half younger in age.

“It was so funny because you know when we played (football), we were both first string and we’re brothers, playing side-by-side. He’s the tackle. I’m the end and we never knew, you know?” MacFarlane said.

Imagine finding out your best friend just about all your life, is actually your sibling. After years of sharing the same interests, finishing each others sentences, and even having people tell them they look alike, MacFarlane and Robinson claim they had no idea.

“Did it ever cross your mind?” Robinson asked MacFarlane.

“You know, honest to God, it never did cross my mind,” MacFarlane said.

“Never crossed my mind either. That’s what really amazing. We go 60 years,” Robinson said.

“There was times when I did think, ‘I look like Robby a little bit,’” MacFarlane said.

There’s a saying — “Because I have a brother, I will always have a friend.” For MacFarlane and Robinson, that quote held true long before a DNA test linked the two together.

“This guy was, he was like an older brother all along, you know? We’d go to Punaluu, go skin-diving. I’d be making noise in the water, splashing around. He’d be teaching me how to do it right. He’d always come out of the water with the biggest string of fish and I had the smallest,” Robinson said.

“As it should be, you’re my younger brother,” MacFarlane said.

“I defer to your wisdom and experience my older brother. Softball we played together. We golf about the same,” Robinson said.

Over the Christmas holiday weekend, MacFarlane and Robinson shared the news of their new found brotherhood with the rest of the MacFarlane family.

“I’ve never gotten a Christmas present this good,” Robinson said.