Thursday, 14 December 2017

Hunting for lost cousins

AncestryDNA identities that I have 87 fourth cousin matches, none closer. Presumably some of those are removes, others from further back as many of the names are Jewish.

Back in June 2015 an Ancestry study in the UK, reported in the Mirror, was that a typical Brit had five first cousins, 28 second, 78 third, 1,570 fourth, 17,300 fifth and 174,000 sixth cousins. I'm nowhere near that. I had two first cousins, only one is living.

Yesterday morning checking my database I found six second cousins, one third cousin, five fourth cousins, two fifth cousins and no sixth cousins. So I decided to go cousin hunting on Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and a few others concentrating on closer cousins likely to be a DNA match. After several hours work I now list four additional second cousins and three more third cousins.

A more conventional way than DNA matching of making contact with cousins is through Peter Calver's LostCousins website. In his latest newsletter Peter mentions that while searching for cousins is always free to initiate contact with a new cousin normally requires a LostCousins subscription. He is relaxing the need for a subscription between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve and suggests completing or updating your My Ancestors page on the site in advance.

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