Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Finding New Relatives Over The Holiday Season!

With the Holiday Season now into full swing, some genealogists have to let family research go until after the New Year… others will take this opportunity to connect with relatives, add new branches to the family tree, and otherwise further their research!
While I find the hustle and bustle of Holiday activities leaves little time for active genealogy research, I do use the opportunity to try and connect with “long lost, far flung relatives”….  There are always countless living, breathing “cousins” out there that I’d like to connect with and in doing so, add information or find others also interested in genealogy.
I do this by sending a Holiday greeting card and brief introductory letter along with a very bare bones breakdown of our connection……  Which looks something like this... 
Common Ancestor [born-died]
My ancestor --- siblings --- Their Ancestor
My ancestor --- 1st Cousin --- Their Ancestor
My Grandparent --- 2nd Cousin --- Their Grandparent
My Parent --- 3rd Cousin --- Their Parent
Me --- 4th Cousin  --- Them

While very basic, it gives the basics without overwhelming someone who has little genealogy knowledge.

While talking briefly about genealogy, I also speak of meeting and finding new “cousins”…. And also say that while I realize they might not have interest in family history, perhaps they know one of their relatives who does... and how I’d love to be put in contact with them… and so on and so forth.  Also expressing my understanding that the Holidays are a busy time for everyone but that it would be great to connect in the New Year!  [This gives us both the permission to put any extensive communication off for a month or so!]
I’ve been doing this random cousin greeting card exchange for a few years now and while I never do hear from some, others do write back and we have fostered great family relationships!
I usually send out 10 or so each year... but you could do as many or as few as you want. In fact, this year I am sending out about 20.
This is one way that I’ve been able to incorporate genealogy into my busy Holiday schedule.
Do you attempt any form of genealogy research during the Holidays?


  1. What a great Idea! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome! I've really had good success with this over the years.... This year, I went a little nutty and sent out over 30! Curious what kind of response I'll get this year