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Tracing living descendents

(34 Posts)
mrsmopp Mon 29-Dec-14 00:15:31

My tree is like an inverted pyramid, with the point at the bottom. We are now a very small family with 2 sons unmarried, no gc.
But my grandfather was one of 12 and i have them all on the 1911 census. It is highly probable that I have several 2nd cousins I know nothing about.
I would love to find and make contact, but how does one do this? I would love to compare notes and swap stories with them. Any advice?

Tresco Mon 29-Dec-14 01:07:10

There is a website called Lost Cousins ( that is very helpful. You enter your known relatives and then search to see if anyone else has them in their tree. It tells you how to do this, and then you can send messages to them. The good thing about this site is that it matches exact entries from the census, so you can be sure you are talking about the same relative.

annsixty Mon 29-Dec-14 04:44:51

Good luck Mrsmopp I had 2nd cousins actually find me through a Local history society. Long story.With one, by e-mail contact ,we did quite a lot of family history together. We "talked" for 18months but she was never interested in meeting and sadly she died ,but she had put me in touch with two others with whom I still correspond and one has visited with his wife and I hope also to meet the other one. It has been fascinating to hear about their lives since their Grandfather moved his family away to look for work and strangely my mother had never spoken of them. I don't even know if she knew they existed.

Pittcity Mon 29-Dec-14 10:21:16

We have found cousins simply through adding our tree to as many of the free genealogy websites as possible. Mostly they have contacted us via email.
We have found a "cousin" with the same name as DH because the family name went down two lines - no clue as to why!!
My mother has been able to visit a cousin - all she knew was that her aunt had married a Welshman named Jones. We thought that one was an impossibility, but it turned out that their granddaughter was on a family search too!!
Good luck mrsmopp

durhamjen Mon 29-Dec-14 10:30:45

I had a lot of cousins contact me through friends reunited.
My mother was an only child, and my father the eldest of ten. They lived in the area where my mother grew up, so I knew her cousins as my aunts and uncles, even though they were not.
My dad's family I am still in touch with anyway. My mother's father was the eldest of 8, but I never knew until one of my cousins got in touch. They live in places like Wales and Scarborough, so quite spread out.
The good thing about finding cousins is that they will put you right if you have made any mistakes on your tree.

mrsmopp Mon 29-Dec-14 12:51:45

I do actually know about my 1st cousins, i.e. Children of my aunts and uncles, on my mothers side, but going back a generation to my paternal grandfather's eleven siblings, these are the 2nd cousins I would like to trace. I have researched all eleven of them, but ground to a halt at the 1911 census, as their descendants would have bern born after 1911.
As a child i remember meeting lots of great aunts and uncles at my grandfathers house, but took little interest at the time. Now i hope to find their children. There must be quite a few of them. I'd love to meet them.

Nelliemoser Mon 29-Dec-14 13:30:48

mrsmop. Get all the information you have from the 1911 census and start looking for marriages and deaths. Also look at WW1 deaths if the family were of that age.
I have a branch of my fathers line originally from Chester who went to Liverpool C1840s Probably with the railways. He was born C1810
This ancestor from Chester married a woman with a a distinctive surname which became a family middle name and now goes through several generations of the family of a younger brother of my direct line ancestor. I have found addresses for this person who has migrated from Liverpool to Lancashire. I am tempted to write but younger men are not in the group likely to be interested. I have only ever had two first cousins. Maybe one day.

durhamjen Mon 29-Dec-14 13:37:44

These are the ones I did not know about, but they contacted me from genes reunited and friends reunited, before I knew about findmypast and ancestry.
I haven't been in touch with them much since my husband died, however, as putting that on line makes it much more final, if you understand what I mean. In fact I haven't put anything online since then although I do check to see if there are any more strange cousins.
My mother's grandmother was one of eight. Her father was one of eight, so there are a lot of extra cousins I knew nothing about.
One of them has sent me all her family tree. Her great grandad was the City Treasurer in Hull. He had 9 children. My great grandmother was his eldest sister and was sensible, only having four children.
I have a family tree which is like a roll of wallpaper. It would take me years to contact all of the living, so I get messages from only a few of them, but once you have contact with one, you will find you keep getting messages from others you do not know, providing you give permission for your email address to be passed on.

FlicketyB Mon 29-Dec-14 18:05:31

I would love to do that for my mother's family. Her father died in WW1 and there seems to have been no contact with her father's family after his death. My grandmother was the only one of her generation to have children and all the previous generation except my great grandmother migrated to the USA.

I did vaguely trace one of my grandfather's family and sent a message through Ancestry or some other site, but I have had no reply, but since I very rarely check my inbox on that site regularly, it is possible it was never received.

Tegan Mon 29-Dec-14 18:10:37

This is something I'm determined to do in the New Year. Whenever I've met the few members of my family the my parents kept in touch with over the years it's amazed me how similar we are [even down to silly things like having the same ornaments in our houses]. I'd love to meet more of them [there are loads out there if only I could trace them].

durhamjen Mon 29-Dec-14 20:34:30

If you are on Ancestry or findmypast you can put messages on to ask people to get in touch with you about various names. But beware; they are not all true.

Someone told me that one of my relatives who died in 1860 is buried in America even though I know her grave is ten minutes away from here.

lilian1 Wed 25-Feb-15 14:12:54

Hello I have started searching records for my family and its proving very difficult hmm I saw someone mention 1911 census but I only have name and county they want an address have not got a clue !

PRINTMISS Wed 25-Feb-15 14:41:51

It is true that you do not necessarily get all the correct information from these sites. I was very interested in someone who had added us to his family tree, and so looked into his, only to find that I was a lot younger than I am and my husband was my father! I of course told him of this, and gave him as much information as I could to put him right, but I am not sure how far back he was going to have to go to get to the bottom of his mistake. Unfortunately I have given up on this project for the time being, I seemed at one time to be going round in circles, and I do think that it is a good idea just to sit back occasionally and have break.

Elegran Wed 25-Feb-15 15:07:47

Do you have the approximate ages for the people who would be in the 1911 census? You can enter that in the search boxes and it whittles them down a bit.

If you search separately for people you believe could be living in the same house, putting in an approximate date of birth, and then compare the areas they are in, you can sometimes tell from the indexes (before spending any money on the actual detailed entries) that a family may possible be at a certain address.

First names which have been handed down are often the same for several generations ( for instance lots of Rodericks and Marmadukes and Agathas!) which can be a clue, too.

Once you have splashed out on an entry, the occupation can tell you whether you have the right ancestor.

rosequartz Wed 25-Feb-15 15:15:06

durhamjen I found a few of shared ancestors 'born or buried in America' in other people's public trees, and I noticed that on Ancestry, for instance, if you start to type the name of a place an auto-suggestion will come up; the town or city name is the same but the country is America as so many place names over there are the same as the UK. I think people pick up the wrong place name and insert it in their tree without checking properly.

Lost Cousins is very good and informative, although I don't think any of my cousins are on there as yet! However, the emails are interesting and full of tips and information.

lilian1 Wed 25-Feb-15 16:17:17

I agree PRINTMISS you do go round in circles can be very frustrating it must be great when someone adds their name to your tree fingers crossed that will happen (smile)

lilian1 Wed 25-Feb-15 16:19:04

Thanks Eelegran I am awaiting my grandparents marriage certificate so it would help trouble is Im very impatient

lilian1 Wed 25-Feb-15 16:21:48

Thanks rosequartz think I will try Lost Cousins might help ..

rosequartz Wed 25-Feb-15 16:24:31

Be very careful if you are tracing lost 2nd cousins though ....
You may find them rather odd! wink
(I speak from experience)

Elegran Wed 25-Feb-15 16:59:11

Third cousins are even worse.

Elegran Wed 25-Feb-15 17:04:09

But if I went back far enough (to early 17C) I would have a common ancestor with a Very Famous Sportsman of the early 1900s (C B Fry) and possibly a Very Famous TV Quizmaster and Actor (but I think his ancestors came from Germany or thereabouts, mine were from the Weald)

rosequartz Wed 25-Feb-15 19:51:15

DH has a Very Famous 2nd cousin and we would quite like to meet him.
However, the strange one I mentioned was on my side (of course!)

Elegran Wed 25-Feb-15 19:55:13

A third cousin accosted the Very Famous Quiz Show Host to inform him that they could be related. It was a very short conversation.

rosequartz Wed 25-Feb-15 20:04:59

There are probably thousands of second cousins in some families.

Bellasnana Thu 26-Feb-15 10:12:20

I put our details on and was contacted by a very pleasant lady who was trying to trace my late father. It turned out my father had a half-brother and this lady is married to my half cousin. They live in Canada and as they had some friends visiting Malta, they kindly sent over a whole packet of old family photographs with them. I had never in my life seen a picture of my paternal grandfather so it really made my day to have some more background into the family.

I would like to trace my father's line but am not sure how to do it, even though I have joined

My cousin traced my mother's side of the family back as far as he could and there were some fascinating revelations, and a few skeletons in the closet shock grin