Sunday, 1 January 2012

The 2012 Lost Cousin Hunt

The Global 2012 Cousin Hunt


2011 was a great success for my "Cousin Hunt".  I wanted to build on my success of the previous two years, which had found several "lost cousins" in Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK.  At the beginning of 2011 I had only one branch of the family in my sights; the Browns.  I was entirely successful in finding the two people I was looking for, and it has been a great pleasure to "meet" them online.  Later in the year I was able to actually meet one of my Australian cousins, which was fantastic.

In addition to the planned cousin hunting, I found a few cousins along the way.  This has been invaluable for me,  helping my family tree to grow, adding to the documents and photos that make up my family history and reconnecting with relatives I never dreamed I would meet.  I am hoping that 2012 will see a further expansion of my family tree.  I have one major goal:  to find the relatives of my great uncle Edwin Brown.  This has been a goal for some time and one which is always on the back burner.  I intend to put it to the front of the agenda this coming year.  

If you visit my other family history blog, The View From The Treehouse, you will see that I have posted about the unexpected direction my family history has taken; I have moved into writing online, which has taken up all my spare time.  I am hoping to redress this balance and update this blog more regularly.  In particular, I want to share more of my ideas for helping you find your lost cousins - I passionately believe that finding your family is a fantastic tool in family history research.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!







Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Another Cousin Found

Another cousin found yesterday - it's been a successful few weeks.  This time it is a third cousin, through my father's family.  Her branch of the family moved to Canada, so the third connection I have made out there.

We "met" through Ancestry so have been able to update each other's trees quite rapidly.  Hopefully she (and perhaps her brothers) will join the family Facebook group too.  I am absolutely delighted and determined that we will find the remaining cousins who are on my "hit" list, as well as make a few accidental discoveries along the way.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Successful Hunting!

Periodically I review my family tree - last week it was my maternal grandmother's family's turn.  I revisited her siblings and, as one had a relatively unusual forename, I chose to track her forward.  It didn't take long to find her marriage, and I had a piece of luck - she and her husband were on a passenger list along with a daughter.  I was able to find her marriage and work out her daughters' names.  Again, I traced marriages and with a little help from Facebook and the wonderful Internet, was able to contact them.  That was late last week, and on Sunday evening I had a reply - I had the right family!

One of my "new" second cousins is interested in family history and we are already swapping stories, and preparing to scan photos and documents.  I am absolutely over the moon - this branch of my family is a relatively neglected one (in terms of my own research), and I have very little information on the family.  Thanks to cousin hunting, I will soon see a photograph of my great-grandparents, something I never imagined would happen.  It's been a great weekend :-)


Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Long Wait

Earlier in the week I decided to investigate a branch of the family I hadn't really tried before:  my maternal grandmother's siblings.  I actually have a few photographs of some of the sisters, but maddeningly no-one thought to write names on the back.  My grandmother seems to have fallen out with her sisters (it seems to be a Welsh trait - my other grandmother did exactly the same thing) so they weren't spoken about much.  I have found all their names, but haven't devoted any time really to tracing them or their families.

So, I spent a very long evening cross-referencing records from Ancestry (gave myself a migraine into the bargain :-0 ) and think that I have put together a very good picture of one of my grandmother's sister's family.  This afternoon I have extended the search by visiting Facebook and again cross-referencing names from the family story I built and I believe that I have tracked down a couple of second cousins.  Seeing as I had given myself a migraine, I felt that there had to be a pay-off, so I have sent a message to one of these putative cousins and I am now awaiting an answer.  It may never come, she may just think I am some Facebook scam artist.  But I am keeping my fingers crossed, and will let you know ....


Friday, 14 October 2011

Follow Friday: Sharing Success

I have been largely ignoring this blog for nearly two weeks now.  We fell out after I wrote a lovely long addition to my tutorial page which was so marvellous that the computer was awestruck and crashed.  And lost my work.  I have flounced over to Hubpages and spent my time writing articles about whatever takes my fancy.  Anyway, it's time to break the ice with the blog again, so here is a little success story that I found.

I follow Diane from Nuts from the Family Tree and was delighted to read that she has found a cousin.  Diane's success came from the old fashioned route - a note posted to a small local genealogy society.  Her approach worked - she had an email back from a cousin, the first living relative she has found.  I am delighted for Diane and her new found cousin - it's a great feeling to be able to reunite your family.

Speaking of reunions, I hope that my blog and I will continue our rapprochement and perhaps by next week I shall retype my tutorial.  In the meantime, if you have time, check out my How to Break Down a Family Brick Wall article on Hubpages - feedback welcomed!


Friday, 30 September 2011

Ancestry.com Anniversary Sweepstakes

Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes

Ancestry.com are celebrating their 15th Anniversary on 1st October 2011 and for 15 days they will be giving away prizes, plus a chance to win their grand prize - going behind the scenes of WDYTYA with Lisa Kurdrow.  I have put a link in, and will do so on each of my posts until the closing date, just in case - it could be you!

Good luck!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sentimental Sunday: A Small Family Reunion

So very happy - I met my cousin John yesterday.  He is visiting the UK from Australia, and for the first time in over 100 years our two branches of the family met.  Sentimental - you better believe it!

John's grandfather was my grandfather's eldest brother.  Joseph emigrated to Australia not long after the turn of the last century and gradually lost touch with the family back home in Bristol.  Two years ago, after a lot of internet sleuthing, poring over cemetery records and a couple of phone calls, I found one of Joseph's other grandchildren.  I was quickly acquainted with the other members of the family and we keep in contact via email,  Facebook and telephone.  However, nothing can beat a face-to-face meeting.

John turned out to be the model cousin - charming and funny (runs in the family, according to my father!) and his lovely wife is interested in family history too.  We compared notes on family traits, talked about our respective grandparents and generally reminisced.  Our time together whizzed by, but it has renewed my determination to keep cousin hunting - maybe one day we can have a really big family reunion.
 

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