31 December 2014

Using LostCousins for genealogy (UK, Ireland, USA and Canada)

LostCousins logo
LostCousins is probably the only Web site that identifies (with virtually 100% accuracy) people who share the same ancestors. You do not waste time corresponding with people who are not related to you!

I have found several new relatives via the site, and its free newsletter is packed with useful information.

To use LostCousins you need to find your relatives in the census for England and Wales 1841, 1881 or 1911; Ireland 1911; Scotland 1881; Canada 1881; or United States 1880 or 1940. Then at LostCousins you enter the census source/page details for those names.

Before gathering and entering data, read the instructions on LostCousins very carefully ('Information - Read this first') because requirements for each census are different. If you prepare well, entering the data is a lot quicker.

Be sure to enter census data for brothers and sisters of your direct ancestors, because their descendants are the cousins you want to contact. One such descendant had a family bible and a letter from my great-great-grandfather, which overcame a dead end in my research.

After entering your relatives' census references, click 'Search', and the system checks whether anyone else has already entered identical data. If they have, it means that you are both researching the same people.

Remember to log in periodically, go to your 'My Ancestors' page and click 'Search' again to check for matches with new LostCousins members.

It is free to join LostCousins and enter your data, but I choose to pay a small annual subscription (about $10) so that there are no delays in making contact with my distant cousins when they are identified by the extremely accurate matching system.

The more people who enter census data for direct ancestors and their siblings, the greater the chances of finding our 'lost cousins'. Maybe you are my distant relative! I'm trying to find you - so please... start using LostCousins today!
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(This post first appeared on http://genie-leftovers.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/using-lostcousins-for-genealogy-uk.html.)

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