Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A-Z 2013 'T' is for Tracing Living Relatives

{credit - Norman Rockwell }

Tracking down the family history isn't just about delving backwards in time; I've met up with all sorts of 'distant' relatives in the course of checking through the documents. Some are people I've heard about, mentioned in family discussions through the years - others appear out of the blue, when we discover that we're both chasing the same family line. I've discovered rather a lot of cousins 'x-times removed'!

I once put out a request for information on a family history message board, only to be contacted by someone  else who said she'd been trying to track down the same information about her husband's family. It turned out that his Grandfather and mine were brothers! In an even funnier quirk, they'd been trying to find his Grandparents' headstone in Carlisle cemetery - I knew exactly where it was (behind my own Grandfather's stone, as it happened) and was able to direct them to it. In fact, I had photos of the stone in question, so they knew what they were looking for! 

A good deal of emailling back and forth meant we were able to share old family photos and information that filled in some of our Family History 'gaps'. We arranged to meet - and got on like a house on fire. I suppose it's in the blood, after all!

I had a similar experience when I'd got another response to my queries - this time someone from Maine contacted me, saying that though he shared the family name he knew we weren't related but gave me a name and number to contact. Imagine my surprise when this 'contact' turned out to be one of my Mother's cousins - to hear this 'stranger' on the phone telling me about my Mum and other family members was rather odd, but almost like putting another piece of the 'jigsaw puzzle' together.

I think finding the 'living' links is every bit as exciting as digging-up the long-dead ancestors! (metaphorically speaking!)


  1. I agree. I have found new information and traded photographs with new relatives. Very fun to find.

  2. And I remember when that picture was on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post when I was growing up . I thought it was great.

  3. That picture is amazing, I've never seen it before. Love it.

  4. What a fun way to find distant relatives and start building new relationships.

    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  5. So enjoying your family research saga. I am trying to do the same. History gets vague when the lines branch out into the Iroquois tribes back in the 1700s.

  6. This is such a cool story - glad you guys found each other!

    I love that image up there - wouldn't it be awesome if we all had family trees that looked like that? :)