One thing that happened by taking up this hobby (obsession??) that I’d never thought of was that you meet new friends.. well in actual fact they are distance family.
The first person I met was Gordon. I had just started doing genealogy and my genealogy society was planning a trip to England. I wasn’t going to participate because, after all, I’d just started, what would I look for? I didn’t even really know how to research. At that time someone at one of the many special interest meeting I attended spoke about Genes Reunited.Genes Reunited is a website that many people with English ancestry post their trees to and you can connect with others tracing the same people . It costs nothing to have a tree but if you are connecting to others there is a small fee and they also offer an enhanced subscription service to get documents which costs more.
Many evenings after a special interest group meeting, were late ones. That was because I’d learn so many new things that I couldn’t wait to try out. This was the case with Genes Reunited. So I posted a tree and started to see connections. My first connection was Claire and she said I should me Gordon as he was a closer family connection that she was. Gordon is my third cousin on my dad’s side. With this new connection I decided what the heck I can go to England and meet Gordon and his wife, Sandy.
It’s funny when you meet someone who is your family but you don’t know them. For me at least, it was like we’d known each other for ages. Well in fact we did know each other fairly well as we’d been furiously corresponding daily for 6 months, but still we had never met. His mother; Winifred is a delight and reminds me so much of my great-grandmother although she’s not related on that side. I guess it was the accent. Winifred will be 99 this September. So you can image all the things she’s told us. Like the fact that my family use to send her family Postum in packages..
It was through this trip and through Gordon that I started researching Jesse Vincent; who is one of my all time favourite ancestors. I’ve researched him quite a bit and I love his story, but I’ll save that for another time.
On this same trip I met Alan and Brian from Brighton, Sussex and they too are connected through my dad’s side of the family.
Since that first trip I’ve connected with over a dozen different cousins from almost all sides of my family. Some of our family connections have been lost for over 100 years which I think is amazing.
The best things about these connections is that these people usually love to do genealogy just like you and you will have someone to collaborate with.
Who will you connect with?