Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lost Cousins

We all have 'lost cousins' or we wouldn't likely be pursuing our genealogy.

There is a free website called Lost Cousins. Are you familiar with it? Lost Cousins is a United Kingdom-based website that operates a little differently. Instead of offering data, it helps create cousin connections.

After a simple registration, Lost Cousins wants you to enter your family members by census. For example, if you have a family that appeared on the 1881 England and Wales census, you would enter each person in the household. They are primarily labelled:

  • Direct ancestors
  • Blood relatives
  • Related by marriage

There are many other options for deciding the person's relationship to you or to the household, if you need other choices.

You also need to be aware of the source details of your census page. The English censuses are on short pages divided by county, parish or other similar community, and identified by piece number, folio number, and page number. These identifiers are listed on whatever website you used to view your census page.

For example, one of my English ancestors is Bernard McAleer who resided in Consett, County Durham, England in 1881. His census page is sourced as Piece RG11 / 4945, Folio 41, Page 75. Once the page data is entered, you can enter each person and their relationship to you. Bernard is my 3rd great-grandfather, so I entered him as a Direct Ancestor. His second wife, Margaret, is not my ancestor, so she is listed as a Marriage Relation. Some of Bernard's children from his first marriage (my line) are still in the household, so they are listed as Blood Relatives.

The difference in using Lost Cousins is that it doesn't "show" you any more than the families you entered. But if you click on the "Search" button on the left, it will show you a match to any other person who entered the same ancestral name. It is a pretty neat idea!

I have been a member of Lost Cousins since 2007. Unfortunately, I have not yet found any cousins. My lines in England are pretty sparse, so the simple lack of numbers may prevent many connections. But for a little bit of data entry on a free's worth it just for the possibility!

Got English or Scottish ancestors? Get entering and find those lost cousins!

© 2013 Sally Knudsen