Sunday, October 15, 2023

Extending Family


This past week, our family has been in Kansas, where my daughter was able to help with wedding preparations for her second cousin once removed. Only a genealogist's child could relate to a label like that. Perhaps more than the average family historian, I've had to reach even farther than that to place my DNA matches in their right position in the family tree. It's no surprise, then, to see how large my family trees have become, over nine years since sending the original DNA test away for lab results.

Right now, that means my parents' combined family tree has grown to 34,846 documented individuals. In the last two weeks alone, I've added 323 more names to that tree, mostly by reviewing the ThruLines results linked to my mother's Tilson line. And I've hardly scratched the surface with the results yet to review just in that Tilson family.

Because this month's Twelve Most Wanted research project focuses on a relative in my father's ancestry, most of my work has involved my own family tree, but I did check out a couple details on my in-laws' tree, mainly because the bride-to-be relates to us through my father-in-law's family. While that tree grew by a modest two additional names, the total number of individuals in that tree also reaches far and wide at 34,021 names. Lots of distant cousins documented there.

While new additions to our DNA accounts at all of the five companies where my husband and I have tested have grown ever so slowly—only two more matches for me in the past two weeks, and a miserly one match for my husband at Ancestry, for instance—there are still plenty of unidentified DNA cousins yet to place in their proper place in the family tree. I'd say I've still got my work cut out for me in making sense of that ever-extending family.

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