Markham mayor meets father after 61 years thanks to Ancestry DNA test

It took the mayor of south suburban Markham 61 years to find his father, and it all started with DNA submitted through

Shortly after his DNA results came back, Mayor Roger Agpawa received a message last November. A woman with a profile saying she was his second cousin contacted him.

Agpawa's mother left him in the care of his grandparents as an infant, his mother was ashamed because she had a child out of wedlock.

She moved to San Francisco and England, where she was a dance instructor and waitress. He kept a relationship with his mother, and sadly 20 years ago she died.

Agpawa only remembered part of his father's name.


His new cousin helped jog his memory, and from there, he was able to Google his 85-year-old father's phone number.

He called him and an hour later, they met for the very first time. His father didn't even know he existed.

"He said ‘yeah Dad I found you,’ and I went to pieces after that," said Robert Sublette, Agpawa's father.

"Because I remember before I left, his mom didn't want me to leave nor did I want to leave her. But I wanted to get the Air Force and my military out of the way, so I went and volunteered for the Air Force. And that broke her heart. And I didn't know she was expecting when I left," he added.

"We made sure at Christmas we went to dad's. My son and his son and that's four generations of us that are together that almost wasn't going to be. So that's huge," Agpawa said.

The mayor lived his entire life as an only child, and now has a brother, a sister and a niece.

Agpawa says after the next election, he will be changing his last name to match his father's.