Monday, October 19, 2015

The Case of Helpful Genealogists Who Become Family

It happens all the time. I meet a friendly stranger who gives me extremely helpful advice on some genealogical collection that I've missed, and a few years go by and we find we are related. This is a quite common story that I've heard over and over.  In fact, it's almost impossible to not find a connection!

It's simple math.  If there are two avid genealogists building out large family trees back into the dark ages of history, those trees will eventually touch. It's unavoidable, and for some reason it still surprises us!

Waibstadt Cemetery
The very first time I encountered this was many years ago when an extremely helpful stranger sent me a spreadsheet for a cemetery in Waibstadt. It listed every single grave with family members connected together. It was a goldmine! Doris had been searching for her own family from the nearby town of Wiesloch and had found mine instead. We parted ways after some gushing thanks, and the years went by. Well, just a few months ago I found the connection. My family was her family!  Doris and I are fourth cousins once removed, which is remarkably close for complete and utter strangers. makes it even easier, as their world tree makes it very easy to find the exact connection.  There are millions of profiles on Geni and I am connected to 96,089,198 of them!   That's a lot of cousins that I didn't know about before!

Randy Schoenberg is a fairly well-known genealogist that has helped me quite a bit over the years.  The kindness of a stranger. Well, it turns out that he is actually my 12th cousin once removed. A blood DNA cousin! Family helping family.

And not just helpful strangers. Close friends. My interest in genealogy spurred my friend Tony to spend a lot more time looking into his own family.  And guess what. Yes, we are related too. He is my 48th cousin once removed. We share a tiny bit of DNA from a common ancestor. Family friends!

In fact, every single hint in your family tree means that someone else is working on that same tree. You have family everywhere! And you can test it with AncestryDNA.

We are all related. Case closed!

No comments :

Post a Comment