Genealogy has become such a vast industry in recent years thanks to the growth of online access to websites and databases. Essentially we can now research our roots from the comfort of an armchair. This is all well and good, I confess without some of the sites I have been accessing over the years I wouldn’t have discovered what I know now. Sometimes the brick wall you are looking to overcome might not be hidden in the depths of a database; instead a cousin could be out there with the answer to your many questions!
I have mentioned on occasion how I’ve found a few cousins along the way and to be honest they are just as valuable as any database when it comes to information. Of course they are more than just a source of information, they’re family and it’s even better when you can keep in touch whether it’s through email or social media. It’s these sort of circumstances in which social media can be used for something good. You do have to tread carefully because whilst some cousins are willing to share what they know and even go as far as staying in touch, there will be some people who might not be as eager to share what they know. It’s best not to press them too much if they don’t appear willing to share.
My ever growing archive has been getting bigger everyday thanks to the many documents and photos I’ve been receiving from new found cousins over the years. I have never been in doubt that the documents I’ve been receiving are correct when comparing them with my own research but it’s always good to be careful. One such document, which I have yet to prove correct, makes a claim of tracing my family tree back even further than it stands at the present. The same document also claims that parts of my tree could be connected with the landed gentry and possibility royalty. As much as I would love for this to be true, I have to take it with a pinch of salt until I find the evidence to prove it.
As I’ve just stated, newfound cousins are more than just a source of information. I think they are the foundations for any family tree and make familial connections stronger than they might have been in the first place. I’ve certainly found that anyway!
So if you think someone might be out there, reach out and see what happens! You never know what discoveries could be made!