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Should I give up on trying to find meaningful relatives?

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  • Should I give up on trying to find meaningful relatives?

    When I watch the old family videos, my father had a lot of aunts and uncles. they had big parties. It never has been that way for me. I do have an uncle and aunt. And I recently became great friends with a 2nd cousin 1 removed and spend time with his family now. I should be fortunate for that.

    And I also see another 2nd cousin that lives more than an hour away.

    When I was young I used to see many 2nd cousins on my grandmas side but for some reason they have become estranged to us the last 10 years.

    I haven't taken the test yet but am about to. From what I've heard, it's a lot of work building your trees. I'm up to 206, a good start, but in order to find lots of people you may need thousands.

    Although I did talk to someone who had a reunion from the people she found. But I have come to the realization that even if I meet cousins, it probably won't ever feel like true family. No connections, never met each other before.. No history. No Christmas memories... I'll never really have that in the way I want. Might be able to make a friend though that has a similar interest.

    What are your thoughts? Am I too ungrateful? I mean some people have absolutely no family at all, so maybe I should just appreciate what I have? Am I ungrateful for wanting more distant cousins?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Intevel View Post
    What are your thoughts? Am I too ungrateful? I mean some people have absolutely no family at all, so maybe I should just appreciate what I have? Am I ungrateful for wanting more distant cousins?
    Just take the test and see what happens. Everyone's results vary.

    Jack

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    • #3
      I have a similar situation.It seems not so unusual.People moved around and lost touch.Others had family dramas,estrangement.I have many memories from the 50s and 60s.All my cousins are estranged since childhood.I would rather choose friends to bond with.Once the elders died
      It seems somdid everything.My family are known for shunning.You really have nothing in common with these people except dna.Its like a relationship would be pressured.I stopped looking for matches.You don’t know these people.You can make better bonds with friends.

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      • #4
        Whatever your family history has in store for you, there will be surprises that will help you understand why things are the way they are. Both the search itself -- the hunt, the puzzles you find along the way, the new subjects you have to explore to make sense of what you find -- as well as the actual stories, have turned out to be absolutely fascinating, and an invaluable resource for understanding how the world works.

        Yes, building a family tree and discovering the lives and circumstances of our ancestors is hard work, but it happens over a long period of time, unfolding almost at its own pace. It is a journey rather than a project that you start and finish. Even when you think you have finished a part of your genealogy, some new chapter can open up years later.

        Once you start this journey, you don't ever really quit, you just put it aside from time to time.

        I have met quite a few interesting people along the way, some related to me, some not. Pretty amazing what we have been able to accomplish in terms of resurrecting lost history.

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        • #5
          Cut-offs are really frequent in families, based on several reasons. But the cuts could generate gaps in generations and they get distant. I am from Portugal and 95% of my genetic cousins are from USA (mainly California), Brazil and other places. Of course I knew that I had dozens of cousins in Brazil, but did not knew any story of USA cousins.

          One of my genetic cousins (from 23andme) from USA contacted me saying the she had family in Porto, the city I lived and work. She was away from her first degree cousins for ever. Her father migrated to USA trying not to be part of the Portuguese army in time of war for the independence of Portuguese India, Angola, Mozambique and Guine Bissau. He could not contact the Portuguese family fearing political problems.
          Since I work in Porto, I asked her the address. She had it in a old postcard. It was really near my workplace. I said that I could look for the building, but it could be demolished or the persons could not live there anymore. I passed there, the building was there. I knock the door. And I was not prepared to have a real contact with that person cousins, but they were there. We had an initial strange talk and then they realize I was serious. They told me that they even contracted a detective to look for those cousins in USA. I smiled with a hearth full of good vibes.
          They are in touch, again.

          They are my distant, very distant cousins, more that 6 generations back. But I am happy that they are again connected.
          Last edited by Kafky; 20 March 2018, 12:24 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Intevel View Post

            What are your thoughts? Am I too ungrateful? I mean some people have absolutely no family at all, so maybe I should just appreciate what I have? Am I ungrateful for wanting more distant cousins?
            No you are not ungrateful. TV and movie always show huge large loving families have a great time at holidays or enjoying dinner together frequently. I do have some family and I am grateful for my siblings. However, I have worked hard to develop a large friend base and some of them are close enough to consider family. I am the one having parties or getting people together and I really enjoy being with friends. Do what you can.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LSS View Post
              No you are not ungrateful. TV and movie always show huge large loving families have a great time at holidays or enjoying dinner together frequently. I do have some family and I am grateful for my siblings. However, I have worked hard to develop a large friend base and some of them are close enough to consider family. I am the one having parties or getting people together and I really enjoy being with friends. Do what you can.

              Yea I know, in the movies you always see all these families. And the family all seems to be very close. But in real life, a lot of people say they don't know most of their family. Some have large families and say they aren't close with many of the people in them. I have come to realize the reality.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Miamio View Post
                I have a similar situation.It seems not so unusual.People moved around and lost touch.Others had family dramas,estrangement.I have many memories from the 50s and 60s.All my cousins are estranged since childhood.I would rather choose friends to bond with.Once the elders died
                It seems somdid everything.My family are known for shunning.You really have nothing in common with these people except dna.Its like a relationship would be pressured.I stopped looking for matches.You don’t know these people.You can make better bonds with friends.

                Well I guess I should be grateful that I did became close friends over the past year with a 2nd cousin one removed. And his family. I did learn a lot about the history and the break ups of that side of the family. But now we are reunited. But this didn't happen through the website, it just happened in real life and has encouraged me to try to find more people.

                But over the next year he might move for a while to the East Coast for school. His mom was thinking of moving somewhere else cheaper but isn't sure. I guess I should just be grateful for what I have found though. And I met one of his aunts who I stay in touch with on social media. Lives a couple hours away and we have talked about seeing each other. Very nice lady.

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                • #9
                  Intevel my thoughts based on my own experience are these -

                  I have built a family tree with 1,600 names, reached out to tons of people who are somehow related to me and have contact information online.

                  My results: a few friendly people and a lot of disappointment. And initially, I was disappointed in others but then I came to the realization that people don't want the same things and they don't necessarily want what you want at the exact point when you reach out to them. And to really make a connection, you need someone who shares your common goal or can at least appreciate and entertain your goal. Sometimes meeting that one or two people you bond with makes it all worth it. But I would harden yourself to the possibility of making connections. Expect nothing and keep trying until you do find someone who shares DNA who possibly wants to bond like you do.

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                  • #10
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karenina_principle

                    If you find the academic analysis of Tolstoy's original quote too contrived, just return to his original quote and draw your own conclusions. The concept of family interaction need not be complex, it only needs to be universally applicable.
                    Last edited by Carpathian; 5 June 2018, 09:40 PM.

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                    • #11
                      As an only child with a single mom, I questioned her once as a child upon seeing all the X-mas cards addressed to her, "Mrs. Soandso & family" I asked her who this "family" was, she said "you are". So, I am "the family". The other family members I have now, I had to marry or make, and no one gets an inheritance unless I get grandkids! I'm so jealous of my ancestors with 10 kids, 100 grandkids etc.
                      Appreciate what family and friends you have and never give up hope, you never know who may be waiting to meet you. I know some young adults who have no siblings and no first cousins. Other friends are long past ever having grandchildren. Family lines are dying out. Author Laura Ingalls Wilder had no grandchildren.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bre View Post
                        As an only child with a single mom, I questioned her once as a child upon seeing all the X-mas cards addressed to her, "Mrs. Soandso & family" I asked her who this "family" was, she said "you are". So, I am "the family". The other family members I have now, I had to marry or make, and no one gets an inheritance unless I get grandkids! I'm so jealous of my ancestors with 10 kids, 100 grandkids etc.
                        Appreciate what family and friends you have and never give up hope, you never know who may be waiting to meet you. I know some young adults who have no siblings and no first cousins. Other friends are long past ever having grandchildren. Family lines are dying out. Author Laura Ingalls Wilder had no grandchildren.
                        What is it that you want? It sounds like you want an inheritance. It also sounds like your mother wants no other "family" other than you. Maybe there were others than just yourself and your mother addressed in those Xmas cards. Those things sound like they are problematic for you. Such things happen in many families, but an expectation or coercion to produce children or grandchildren can be detrimental to anyone who is being pressured to do so.

                        Once you decide whatever it is that you want, other than what you mother or anyone else might expect from you, then you can become free of the controlling aspects of familial emotional manipulation, including that of monetary inheritance.

                        When you do let those expectations go, you will be free of them. But that requires the courage to think and if necessary actually say "no" and be your own person. Your becoming an emotionally mature adult is something money or familial ties can't buy. It is more valuable than remaining dependent upon the goodwill of a manipulative family, or the enticement of any allure of inheritance - which might or might not ever be given to you - if and only when you do that which you have been told to do, with no guarantee that it will ever happen.

                        Do you want to continue to be controlled by those things? Or can you decide what it is that you want, rather than what others want from you?

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