I wrote several weeks ago about Relatives at RootsTech.
In the past if you attended the RootsTech conference in person you had, of course, the opportunity to meet your fellow participants. At a genealogy conference you would naturally be interested to meet your relatives. RootsTech has an app to search for attendees you might be related to. As we cannot meet in person this year we can search for cousins who have also signed up to the virtual conference. There are more than 408,000 participants who have signed up to the connection tool and the conference. The connection tool is only available for a limited time, this year until 25 March.
On 21 February I had identified 700 cousins through the application. I now have 4,845. They include my daughter, a third cousin and a fourth cousin once removed. These three are from Australia. There are seven more distant cousins from Australia. The very great majority of my cousins are from America.
The cousin relationships are mostly too remote to be interesting. It’s usually by other means that I find cousins who might be interested in collaborating on family history.
I persuaded my daughter to sign up because I was wanted to find her cousins on the paternal side. Interestingly, she has only 1,963 relatives including me and the two close-ish cousins on my side.
Her closest paternal cousins are from the US and are descended from my husband’s first cousin four times removed, Rebecca Leavitt, formerly Waite nee Gibbons. Rebecca was a Mormon pioneer who emigrated from England to the US in the 1870s with her first husband. The closest connecting cousins are fourth cousins twice removed to my daughter; those cousins are great grandchildren of Rebecca Gibbons. There are 152 cousins at RootsTech descended from my daughter’s 5th great grandparents, John Gibbons (1780-1840) and Frances Atkins (1772-1856).
I wrote some years ago about discovering the DNA connection between my husband Greg and his cousins descended from Rebecca (DNA analysis: taking the tree back two generations).
Back to the numbers. Although my daughter’s matches include my forebears and those of my husband, she has only about 40% of the number of relatives I have. More than 60% of my relatives are so distant they are not included in her results. Testing the distance I found that two of my distant cousins from Argentina, a ninth cousin and an eighth cousin once removed, are not included in my daughter’s results table. These relatives were both on my Dana line, an early colonial American line. I am sure it was the source of many of my distant cousins, for that line is well researched.
While looking at relatives I used the opportunity to edit the FamilySearch tree. Some incorrect branches I edited and removed, but in other cases I merged profiles. I also managed to add a few people to my German pedigree. Despite this effort in contributing to the single family tree at FamilySearch, I haven’t yet connected with cousins from my mother’s German family who are interested in genealogy.