- What could be better than finding new cousins?
- Why are cousins so important to your research?
- How do you find your cousins?
Those are the questions I will be covering today.
- Let me start by saying that finding your cousins can not only bring you information about your family, but can also bring new friends into our life. My family was pretty small growing up. Just my Dad, Mom, my younger brother and me. Yes, I knew there were some cousins out there and I remember meeting a couple way back when, but we never stayed in touch. We moved away from the core of our family when I was only 7 yrs. old. My Dad was an only child and my Mom's sister had two sons. Not much in the way of cousins there.
Once I began researching the family my first cousin experience came when looking for a 2nd cousin. Fortunately she had kept her maiden name and surprisingly lived just 3 hrs. from me. Next it was a cousin up in Detroit, after that it was my Mom's first cousin, after that a 3rd cousin in Detroit and on and on it goes. Over the past 8 or so years I have now expanded my family, met many people I never knew existed and learned oh so much about my family.
Why are cousins important to your research?
- They can provide new information that you were unfamiliar with
- They can have family photos that may include your direct ancestors
- They may know other family members who have a wealth of information
- They have a different view of the family than you do
- Many photos left by our grandmother, Florence Milne.
- Also from Florence Milne, a journal including 183 family member names, dates of birth and sometimes dates of death. Also in this journal were old recipes, wedding anniversary dates and other tips from life back at the turn of the 20th century.
- A portrait of my 2nd great grandfather, Horace Thorp, hanging on the wall in my 3rd cousin's house. Also from that cousin (now my friend), have been other photographs of family and stories & information previously unknown to me.
- Another 3rd cousin sent me a photo and said she didn't know who the 2 people were in the front of the photo. THEY WERE MY GRANDPARENTS!!!
- Names of other living relatives you never knew about.
- Copies of birth, marriage & death certificates and other important documents.
|Birth dates & some death dates from January from my Grandmother's journal|
|Portrait of my 2nd Great Grandfather, Horace Thorp|
So, keep hunting for those cousins. I've found them by using Intelius.com, which I covered in a recent post. A few have contacted me from my posts on findagrave.com and Ancestry.com, and others I've met from various facebook.com pages I belong to. You can also use the old fashioned method of checking phone books or the yellow pages online, in those areas you think cousins might be living.