Monday, May 5, 2014

Where Should I Look to Find Relatively Close Cousins?

I'm still trying to find relatively close cousins - such as fourth cousins or more recent.  Why do I want to do this?

1)  They may have family records (photographs, letters, papers, artifacts, etc.) from my ancestral families.  For instance, I've found that one of my Kemp cousins had a Kemp family line paper that I didn't have that defines an ancestor's marriage.

2)  They may have performed more genealogical research on their surname lines than I have, and that may reveal more relatively close cousins.  My cousin, Cheryl Kemp Taber, has done this, and put her research in a well-documented online family tree.  I use her work to find supporting documents to add and source in my tree.

3)  They may have taken an autosomal DNA test and are a match to me, but have not done enough genealogy research so that we have a known common ancestor.

Where should I be looking to find these relatively close cousins?  My research plan is to:

1)  FamilySearch Family Tree using - I've been looking at 4th great-grandparents and looking at the descendants to see if I can identify well-populated descendant lines (not my particular lines) that I don't know much about.

2)  FamilySearch Family Tree using RootsMagic 6 - I can use RootsMagic 6 (or Legacy Family Tree 8) to download the Family Tree data for descendants of a specific person into a new database.  My plan is to use my 16 4th great-grandparents and download descendants from  them into a separate family tree, then compare that information with my own research.  I can then search for documents and add persons, events and sources to my own tree.

3) Member Trees that share one of my ancestors.  This is pretty hit and miss.

4) AncestryDNA Hints list that shows a common ancestor.  Unfortunately, this capability does not extend to the Member Trees - I wish it would.

5)  MyHeritage trees that share one of my ancestors.  This pretty hit and miss.

6) world family tree - other researchers may have more information about siblings of my ancestors and descendants.

7)  FamilyTreeDNA FamilyFinder (autosomal DNA) matches that have trees attached to them.

8)  23andMe autosomal DNA matches that have trees attached to them.

9)  One Name Study data files that may have lines for a specific surname.

What other resources might I look for that would provide information about relatively close cousins?

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

Try using the descendant list on WikiTree to see who else has linked to your ancestors, and then contact those profile managers.

Geolover said...

An offshoot of your No. 1 -- has there been someone with contact information currently making entries who can be contacted via individuals' "Latest Changes" sections on their individual pages?

Keith Riggle said...

You've hit the major ones but here are a few more:
1. Facebook family and locality groups
2. Surname forums and listservs
3. Lots of lesser know family tree sites like Tribal Pages (hit & miss like Ancestry et al.)
6. Newspaper obituaries often list surviving family members

bgwiehle said...

You didn't mention how you would track these real and potential connections. One of my custom events is a "Research Link", which documents, in my genealogy database, someone who is researching a particular line. The format is: relationship to the person in my database, real name and/or user name and the site at which their research is referenced. The notes add more detail, which may include a variety of information and comments and assessments.