Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Staying in touch with newfound cousins

When it comes to staying in touch with newly-found cousins, how often is too often? I'm connected to a couple of cousins via Facebook and post or send a FB note every other month to say hello if I haven't heard from them. I exchange e-mails with a couple of other cousins about 3-4 times a year or so. One cousin I call every few months to say hello and update her on my genealogical adventures. And of course I send ("e" or snail mail) season's greetings and new year's wishes to all my cousins. I've even met some cousins face to face!

One cousin on my husband's side, an avid genealogy researcher, is in touch every couple of weeks; it's a real pleasure to hear that family's news, or share in the latest family-tree expansion, or at least get a "hello." Even if I receive only a forwarded joke now and then, I'm glad to be thought of and considered part of the family circle.

Probably few relatives remain as excited about renewing long-lost family connections as I am, although most are delighted at the outset. Everybody's busy these days, with work or family or hobbies or just the details of everyday life. How often is TOO often to be in touch? I'm not just looking to fill out the boxes on the family tree. I'm genuinely interested in staying in touch and learning more about my family members, sharing memories of our mutual ancestors and enjoying the genealogical adventure together.

What are your thoughts on staying in touch with relatives you've recently discovered in your family research?


  1. It sounds as though you are creating some relationships that you and your "newfound cousins" are enjoying very much. I believe that the majority of us wish we were better at keeping in touch. So, I'd say your cousins welcome the contacts, whenever. I, too, have found a few and it's been fun getting to know them. We haven't shared a lot yet, but they do seem to add a dimension to the family history exploration. I hardly knew this particular family in my paternal line and now I've made email friends with a young woman who is my cousin in Chicago. The list of reasons to be involved in the family history search grows. (As if I need another reason, right?) You are reminding me that I should keep communicating.
    Nancy Hurley

  2. Thanks, Nancy, for stopping by and adding your thoughts. Just this week I heard from one of the 2d cousins who I've been e-mailing now and again. He told me he's still a bit amazed at discovering an entire limb of the family tree that he never knew about. That's just how I feel. I hope the cousins and I can keep getting to know each other. It's a joy. And I hope your newfound cousin stays in touch with you!