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Possible relatives

Discussion in 'Ask Peter' started by Pauline, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I have read the FAQ "What is a 'possible relative'?" but this doesn't seem to cover my question.

    Normally, if I'm entering someone, I know (a) that they are a relative and (b) that I have the correct census entry for them.

    The FAQ covers the situation where (a) is known but (b) is uncertain. However, I am not sure if it is OK to enter someone as a possible relative if (b) is known but (a) is uncertain.

    I have someone who is quite possibly a half sister of one of my ancestors, and I know when she was baptised and buried, who she married, the names of her children and where the family were in various censuses.

    What I haven't been able to do is find any definite evidence that she is a relative, and it may be that there isn't any to find.

    So can I enter her children (she died before 1841) as possible relatives, or is this not what this option is intended for?
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The purpose of entering a 'possible relative' is to connect with someone else who has entered the same person, and should therefore be able to settle the issue. It's something you should do when there is no other feasible way of finding the answer.

    Although you don't say why you think she might be a half aunt, presumably since you have found her baptism the real question is whether one of her parents was an ancestor of yours?
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  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, I think her mother was one of my ancestors - I just can't prove it.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I guess the question is whether someone approaching the problem from the other direction is likely to know the answer - possibly not, but in that case they'll be strongly motivated to take a DNA test (as for them it's a 'brick wall' - for you it's just a possible collateral line).
  5. Rhian

    Rhian LostCousins Member

    I am searching for a potential link to another LC member, most DNA sites seem to have us as 2nd cousins once or twice removed. I have been adding lots of potential lines to my tree with common family names and in the right area and time. These collateral lines are not definitively connected to either of our trees yet so although the census data is correct I have not added them to LC yet.

    From your answer to Pauline it may be worthwhile adding them as we may discover a third cousin who can fill the gaps.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's important to balance the potential benefit of entering 'possible relatives' against the disadvantages. In this case it's much more speculative since you don't where the connection is.

    I would suggest focusing on DNA, and looking at shared matches - it would be surprising if this didn't help you to identify the connection.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I’ve now entered my possible relatives but didn’t get any matches. Maybe someone else will enter the same folk soon, and I am still looking for 3 of the children in 1881.
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I’ve found them at last - at least, I found 2 of them and an earlier death for the 3rd. Still no matches, but then I entered some definite relatives from the same family that the possible relatives may belong to, and got a match with them.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Well done!
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    It's almost 3 years since I raised this question, and while I still haven't had any matches at Lost Cousins with these 'possible relatives', nor found any documented evidence to verify if they are related to me or not, I do now a DNA match (almost 30 cM) with someone descended from one of them.

    Although this is just one match, shared matches suggest the connection is in the right area of my tree, so it definitely seems to add to the likelihood that these 'possible relatives' are actual relatives.

    If this is the case then I will have quite a few people to change on my My Ancestors page, so I was wondering, is there any quick way of doing this or will I have to change each one individually? (With a standard broadband connection it takes a while to reload the page after each person changed.)
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You don't need to reload the page after each change - edit each relative in a new tab.

    EDIT: if you want you can close the tab a couple of seconds after saving your change.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  12. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I decided I would change all these people to blood relatives, and editing each one in a new tab speeded things up considerably. I did actually allow each tab to finish reloading after I'd saved the change, as I just carried on editing the next person without it making any difference, and it allowed me to check as I went along that I hadn't inadvertently omitted anyone.

    I still have a few people left as 'possible relatives' but they are all from the 1841 census where I couldn't confirm if - or how - they were related to the head of the household. I'll probably have another check on those some time.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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