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I've made a Match!!

Discussion in 'Meeting my 'lost cousin'' started by Tim, May 18, 2013.

  1. Welshlass

    Welshlass Member

    I’ve added 100s but the only matches I’ve had have been cousins I already know or have had previous contact with elsewhere, so disappointing for me.
  2. Kate

    Kate LostCousins Member

    I hope your family add some relevant ones for you soon then! I have added about 70 households for my family and fewer for my husband's, who I am still hunting !
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I can understand that, and it was a bit like that for me when I started adding my relatives to Lost Cousins. However, having entered all my close family and moved on to more distant twigs, most of the new contacts I find now are ones I haven't previously been in touch with elsewhere. So don't give up hope!
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. pjd

    pjd LostCousins Star

    I have entered 1568 relatives into Lost Cousins over the last 10+ years, checked FMP links etc & have a match potential of 9.0464. However, I have just 5 contacts, 3 of whom are cousins (1 already known), 1 distantly related by marriage & 1 not related. So STILL hoping!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Like most things in life, matches at LC start slowly and then gradually accelerate. I had several hundred entries recorded before I obtained my first match. I have now been involved with LC a little longer than you (about 15 years) but not as long as some and had been dabbling in genealogy for a few years before that. I now have over 7,000 census references entered at LC which have led to matches with 15 cousins and over 50 non-blood relatives. There are a further 15 members, including some that I have determined are cousins, that have not replied to my contact requests and reminders from Peter. My match potential is over 40. So never give up.

    The only part that I can really influence is the number of entries recorded and the census years that they relate to. Much of that is just down to luck and what data is easy to find. As Peter keeps telling us, most matches result from entries recorded for the 1881 E&W census so best to concentrate in that area as much as possible. The rest depends on others, like yourself, entering more and more references in the same areas as me. Eventually, almost every entry will be matched as soon as it is entered but we have to do the groundwork first and build up a base for LC to work its magic on.

    Matches come unexpectedly. Some years ago, I had been reading posts by another forum member who had been describing her ancestors living in and around Norfolk, an area where I have few, if any, relatives. Suddenly, a match occurred for an ancestor of mine in Sussex, where she had married the local school master . . . who originated from Norfolk. That opened up a whole new area for me.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Puddles

    Puddles LostCousins Member

    I've got my first ever match :) after 9 years and over 250 entries with more to come as I keep digging. I am now awaiting a reply from my newly discovered cousin. Excited? Well just a bit! People researching the same names on many other sites just don't bother to reply to contacts which I think a bit strange when they have paid out money for DNA kits. Maybe they think the DNA will do all the hard work for them. I know my Mum thought she would be able to find out who her Grandfather's family were just by submitting DNA. That ancestor's early years are a mystery but I did establish that he'd had a child before he "took up with" my Great-Grandmother and I am in touch with that cousin even though we can't go back along that line.
  7. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Great news on the match Puddles. As more people take DNA tests, you should be able to knock down that brick wall.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Well done, though I notice that the person you've been matched with entered that relative in 2007 - so in theory you could have made the match when you joined 9 years ago!
    It's not necessarily their fault - they may not have received an email from Ancestry. Hotmail addresses are a particular problem (which is why I no longer allow new members to join with a Hotmail primary address), but all email providers are capable of losing emails that they don't like the look of.

    That's why I follow-up personally where no reply is received. Ancestry and other sites don't provide that service, but at LostCousins you get what you don't pay for.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  9. Puddles

    Puddles LostCousins Member

    And I may well have done had I traced a line back 8 generations and then traced each and every descendant from "naughty Mary"'s grandparents who married in 1750. I discovered she had married and was not the lady I found living and "working" at an Army base with a brother with the same same and birth year as Mary. I have just bought a book named "Round the World" by Jon Smith which is a miscellany of Barningham (Tees Valley) information, published last year, which made the connection for me(1). Given that my surname has been recorded as McD*, MacD*, MackD*, D*. Ma D* and several other variations on a theme it hasn't been easy to get so far back and to trace direct descendants. I am also very short of relatives who either can, or if they can, are willing to share knowledge.

    In theory it's easy but in practice a little more difficult which is why I concentrated on my maternal line and my father's mother's line as I got a better start with family knowledge on them.

    Even today I find my surname is changed on official records from what I have entered and spelt out. My children's "original" birth certificates (issued when they were registered) have, correctly, McD* as my maiden name but in the index it is MacD* and on GRO copies it is MacD* and local copies it's MaD* which has lead to some confusion.

    (1) "Naughty Mary" is described as a "wayward daughter" in the book!
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    That's why we try to connect with 'lost cousins'.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  11. Vicky13

    Vicky13 LostCousins Member

    Hi everyone,

    new to the forum but been on LC for ages. Initially I'd just entered direct ancestors and their immediate families as per the censuses but recently added in the families who'd moved away and married. When I ran the search, I got three people come up. Two of whom I guessed from their initials we'd already been in contact a long, long time ago, probably over 15 years ago.

    The other I also guessed from his initials I'd seen his tree on Ancestry, and I'd already got his grandparents in mine. I did message him but he hasn't volunteered any collaboration. Not too bothered about chasing him up to be honest. I'm not too enthused about meeting up with third cousins, after all I don't know him, and apart from some shared DNA I doubt we have much in common. I have met a mutual second cousin once removed (complicated family!). That's a bit different though, I was already aware that he had known my grandfather and his brother.

    I wonder if sometimes the people who've been researching their family history for a long time get a bit jaded about responding. My first two contacts were extremely helpful in the early days but after that first flurry I think we're all stuck at the same brick wall which is due to the loss or illegibility of records in those particular parishes.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Meeting up is the last thing on my mind when I find a new cousin who's a family historian - I'm much more interested in collaborating on the research of the ancestral lines that we share.

    In the case of a 3rd cousin that's a massive one-eighth of my tree - which means that on average my cousin will share one-eighth of my 'brick walls'. Even a 5th cousin is likely to share around 1 in 15 of my 'brick walls' (that's a higher proportion than the arithmetical average because I haven't identified all of my 4G grandparents).
    You have to remember that when you find a match it's because you've been working on that part of your tree recently; the chances are that your cousin entered the relatives you share 5 or 10 years ago, and they're working on a completely different part of their tree (if, indeed, they're able to work on their tree at all - life events often get in the way). If you want to build a good working relationship you need to be able see things from the other person's point of view.
    Shouldn't you be collaborating on breaking down that 'brick wall' using DNA? Documented cousins are so much more valuable than they were before DNA came along.
  13. Vicky13

    Vicky13 LostCousins Member

    I've got further back on our shared 2xGGP than he has, and they are in my public tree so he can access my research if he wants to. What I do lack detail on are the side branches involving a couple of our GGF's siblings and their descendants.

    Unfortunately I don't have many matches from this branch, and going back more than 3 or 4 generations is often beyond the limits of DNA. Unless I can get my sisters or first cousins to test. I seem to have inherited more than my fair share of paternal/paternal and maternal/maternal DNA, so its bound to be lacking shared matches on the other lines. Sisters or first cousins might have different chunks that match people I don't.
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't what public tree you're referring to but remember that if it's an Ancestry tree only subscribers can view it (unless you send an invitation via Ancestry). The vast majority of researchers don't have a current Ancestry subscription.

    Also the fact that you were further back than him at the time you made contact doesn't make him a worse researcher, or a less-experienced one - he may have been spending most of his time on the other 7/8ths of his tree. One of the key reasons for connecting with cousins is to avoid duplication of effort, so why not collaborate with him?
    Going back more than 3 or 4 generations isn't beyond the reach of DNA. The example in my latest newsletter involves 5 generations (4th cousins). Even after 7 generations (6th cousins) there is an 11% chance of a match between two specific cousins, but usually you're not looking for a match with a specific cousin. Also, if there are two of you collaborating that roughly doubles the number of matches you'll find.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  15. Puddles

    Puddles LostCousins Member

    I made a DNA match with a distant cousin (we share 3xGreat-Grandfather). I had a copy of his great-grandmother's will (made in 1943 and proven in 1944) which I was able to share with him - it had totally flumoxed me. The executor was a name neither of us recognised but said to be her son. We bought a copy of the birth certificate of this "son", born in London but living in Manchester, the testatrix was not his mother and his father was not named. I wondered about adoption .... and then the penny dropped! The person named as executor was a witness (along with his wife) and they were neighbours of the testatrix - and shared the similar names to the actual son so it appears that there was an error in the probate registry and James Claude Raymond was named as "son and executor" when it should have been James Claus Redmond so named.

    The will was obviously home made and a real mismash, difficult to tell who was supposed to get what and there was no provision for the residual estate.

    Anyway after a few days of thinking the testatrix may have had a son no one knew anything about her honour has been restored :). My cousin was a descendant through a daughter who was half-sibling to the Redmond line but the families had a falling out. The two daughters to the first marriage both emigrated to Australia after their father died (WWI) and their mother remarried. They did not like the step-father and he resented them - I don't think the families were ever in contact after the sisters emigrated. They were supposed to receive a small legacy according to the will although neither received a penny.

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