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Probable success at very distant cousin

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  • Probable success at very distant cousin

    Recently a Family Finder match showed up as very distant: W.E.H & I have shared cM 24.75, longest block 7.77, "5th to remote cousin". One may wonder why bother attempting to check this out; I chose to do so because I have too many Ashkenazi Jewish matches on my paternal side and that tree is not back far enough, and the surnames are no match. W.E.H. & I didn't have any "matches in common" so I was intrigued.

    My method is to Google search that person's email address and/or name (she had not yet uploaded a gedcom or surnames). I found various message board postings and scoured back through the surnames. Pay dirt - found that she descended from WILLEY in New Hampshire, where I had a possible WILLEY & SPURLIN connection. She has documentation that seems to connect my WILLEY ancestor to her known line.

    My connection to WILLEY had been established via paper trail & message board postings pre-FF, but there was some doubt. My gr-grandfather CASWELL's 1869 birth record gave different parent names than his death record. The male WILLEY child & his descendants remained in NH; his sister (my gr-gr-grandmother) married a CASWELL & came to Ohio. Throw in more confusion (a female WILLEY remarried and died as RILEY; another death record said Pittsfield, MA instead of Pittsfield, NH; my 3rd grandmother & her brother had been given up to a trustee when their father died in Civil War) and it was quite the genealogical puzzle to tease out.

    So I hope this is encouraging for everyone. It helped me to know that other people do this sort of digging & research, even though the match appears too distant to bother with.

    And if anyone with FTDNA is reading...the "Matches in Common" really have to be separated from the "Known Relationship". The FF page should just show the "matches in common" automatically.

  • #2

    Very happy for your apparent breakthrough - let us know if the paper trail is definitely confirmed. Thanks for the encouragement - great strategy!