Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A new year, a new project & a call for help! :)

Welcome to 2013, everyone!

So in keeping with the new year, I've started a new project - I'm adding siblings and sideways branches to my family tree.


Purely to keep things streamlined and more orderly and under control, I've always avoided this, even though I know sometimes your best family connections are your sideways connections. Your grandmother might not have the info or records or family heirlooms you want or need, but a third cousin might be the key to unlocking more info on your family or even knocking down that brick wall - I speak from experience! I have those branches galore on my home computer programs, which is how I was always able to find and connect to these people, but I've decided the time has come to make those branches public. Because I need some cousin help.

I got a very helpful response on my last blog entry from CeCe over at Your Genetic Genealogist who noted that when AncestryDNA gives you that list of possible cousins to connect to, if the probability is high enough (and for me, its in the upper 90 percent), then these really ARE probably cousins. Exciting, right? Which means these are people I need to connect to! But when I look at their trees, I don't recognize any of the names, which is frustrating because it means I can't personally connect myself to them yet, but at the same time it's exciting because it means one or two of those people on their trees are as of yet unknown family members of mine, branches that are so far behind a brick wall, a brick wall I'm trying to break down.

So, that's my call for help - I might not be able to connect to their trees yet, but maybe, if I start filling those sideways branches in, one or more of my potential cousins might be able to connect to my tree - all it takes is one familiar name or a place, something somebody heard before or came across before, or even just a hunch. I'm a strong believer in hunches - sometimes our subconscious can make connections our conscious mind can't yet.

It's already overwhelming but very exciting - wish me luck! (And if you think we might be related or you have a helpful tip or strategy that worked for you, drop me a line in the comments section!)

Happy New Year, y'all - may it be a good one personally & genealogically for all of us! :)


  1. Oh DNA does not lie. If they say you have a cousin it is not a "cousin" it IS a cousin. How you connect is another story to piece together. Cousins always have the answers. There is some cousin out the who knows exactly who Jacob's poppa was just for the very reason you cite - - I have all the family history, not my sister which means it is more likely that my kids (Hahahahaha) would inherit that info rather than my sister's descendents. Great post, Cousin Mary, Great project!!

    1. Thanks, Cousin April! I know you're the president of the Cousins Club, lol, so I knew you would appreciate this! I will let you know if I find out anything on the Raynor end of things!!

      (For anyone who doesn't know, April and I are sixth cousins - well, technically sixth cousins once removed. Our common ancestors are from the 1700s but she's been INVALUABLE in my family research! Doesn't matter how far back the connection is - if someone is a cousin, they can help!)

  2. I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! For more information, check out my blog link:

  3. Just back from vacation (somewhere warm : ) I now have time to resume my 'relative research' and see that someone ! has copied my grandfather's photo to their family tree. Following the trail I've discovered your blog... and wonder, perhaps we are cousins? How are you related to Loren Raynor Skidmore?
    I am quite new at posting information on my ancestry tree. I have boxes of information gathered and saved by my mother that needed organizing before my children got it.
    Will be reading more of your blog entries. And good luck with the new baby... it was my first grandchild that got me going on the organizing : )
    Hoping to hear from you before the baby arrives. Susan Ski

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for visiting! It appears we are cousins - I believe Loren Raynor Skidmore's mother, Amelia, and my great-great grandfather, Joseph James Raynor, were first cousins, which would make us fourth cousins once removed! I do most of my research on my direct lines, but I have started adding branches in the hopes of connecting with cousins like you! How is your info posting going? You seem to have a lot of photos, which is wonderful!