Your Success Stories
I really appreciate it when members who have found ‘lost cousins’ take the time to tell me what it has meant for them and for their research. It’s great to find out about your ancestors, but to discover a relative that you didn’t know existed can be a truly wonderful experience.
These brief extracts are taken from some of the stories sent to me by members - I hope you find them as inspirational and heartwarming as I did!
Margaret has been researching her family history for many years - but finding a 'lost cousin' is the most exciting thing that has happened in a long time!
"My 4th cousin who contacted me via LC is visiting the UK
this autumn from Canada, and I am making a trip up north to visit her
while she is over here.
"She gave me some information I did not have and I have been able to offer her some photos that she did not have. So a win win situation and we are looking forward to meeting each other.
"It's the first time in 25 years that I have had a breakthrough like this!"
Mike's cousin was waiting for him
"I have been a member since 2008 and prompted by the prizes on offer in Peter's competition I added all those I had been going to do 'one
day' and have now made contact with a key cousin who has been a member since 2004 and with whom I share 4 x great grandparents.
"We have shared lots of information and confirm we have the correct families based in the Potteries where he still works in the ceramics industry. I have been missing out on being able to follow up for about 8 years, if only I had entered my data
"This has been an area of my research where I have always had my doubts about the father of a child, we plan to meet up later this year and I am hopeful he will agree to a DNA test to help me confirm or otherwise the parenthood. Now need to start working out what will be the best DNA test to put this to bed. DNA is a whole new area of research. Peter, thanks for making this possible."
Mary in South Africa hadn't been a member for very long when she found her first new cousin - in England:
"Thank you for establishing the contact with Patricia, we certainly are lost cousins. There is quite a tangled story to be uncovered and this is going to take some time and provide lots of enjoyment!"
Antonia found an unexpected cousin in Canada!
"Dear Peter, I would like to share my success story. Through LostCousins I
have been contacted by my 3rd cousin in Canada who I didn't know existed
and we have been sharing information ever since and knocking down a few
brick walls together we have also become friends too. We continue to work
together on the family research so thank you LostCousins for putting us in
touch with each other. Antonia"
New member John found a new cousin soon after completing his My Ancestors page:
"I was very excited to make contact with a descendant of my gg
grandfather (her ggg grandfather) who has told me of three of his sons who
emigrated to Australia in 1870 and their descendants, all of which was
completely unknown to me or my family. Her family also has ongoing links
with family in UK and has provided pictures and some colourful family
"Your website has certainly been a huge success for me."
John was delighted to find a new cousin:
"I thought you'd appreciate a progress report. I'm now in touch with my
second cousin once removed - solely down to entering the 1881 census
details for my Great Grandmother and her parents and siblings on to your
"She has a large family tree going back to around 1776 so it's a
big breakthrough for me."
When Ian made his first new contact he couldn't wait to tell me about it!
"It was all so quick - I added a new entry on the My Ancestors page, found a match, sent off an email and had a reply within 2hours!
"Since then we've spoken on the phone several times - she's a lovely lady - and sent several emails every day. The only problem is that she's helping me more than I can her (if that's a problem), but she's a wonderful person and such a 'find' - all down to Lost Cousins!"
Anne joined LostCousins after hearing me on her local radio station and has been a loyal member ever since:
"Just to let you know that I recently found a 'lost cousin' who was able to
tell me the maiden name of one of my great-great-great grandmothers. From this I was able to trace that line all the way back to 1521!
"A big thank you!"
David was over the moon about the cousin he found in Australia:
"I have just enjoyed a very long weekend with a cousin from Australia who
came to the UK to visit us.
"Until she joined Lost Cousins neither of us was
aware of the existence of the other, in fact she was amazed to find she had
so many living relatives over here. We swapped photos, info, and had plenty
of sightseeing as well. Thanks from all of us."
A lot of members find their first 'lost cousin' within minutes of completing their My Ancestors page, but not everyone is that lucky - however, as Peter in Bedfordshire discovered, it was well worth waiting:
"May I say a big thanks to you. I have after well over a year as a member of Lost Cousins finally come up trumps with a blood relative. The person concerned
lives on the other side of the world and it has been a joy to be able to
exchange facts with each other and hopefully we will go on e mailing each
other for a long time to come.
"The site is a work of genius and may I say
to other members do not give up hope - it will happen to you one day!"
Cherry found a 'lost cousin' on the other side of the world - yet just a few months later they were face to face:
"Imagine how excited I was when I found a match with a lost cousin in Australia! We swapped information, stories and photographs, but as I live in France I never expected to meet my new cousin in person.
"Amazingly it turned that she has a sister who also lives in France, and who she was planning to visit after Christmas. Yesterday the three of us all met up and spent a wonderful day together, so many thanks to LostCousins for making it all possible."
Beryl has made great strides since discovering a new cousin on the other side of the world...
"Success in getting into contact with Eric in Australia. Fabulous - it's my 1st contact with any relation on this side of my family!
"Where I had been at a bit of a stalemate with my research, Eric has
been able to point me in the right direction - he has been researching our
family a lot longer that myself."
Janet in New Zealand took advantage of one of our free weekends to contact her new cousin...
"Just letting you know that because of your generous free offer of being
able to contact 'lost cousins', I am in contact with a 5th cousin in
England. Until researching my genealogy some years ago, I knew very little
about my ancestors or relatives, so it has been very important to me to be
able to 'find' some living relatives. Thank you very much. I am so glad
that I registered on your site."
Brenda discovered that her cousins were living just a few miles away...
"Another success story for your site! I was contacted recently by a 3rd cousin once removed. I have been looking for this branch of the family since I started my research some 5 or 6 years ago. When we compared notes it turned out that the two branches were living about 5 miles apart but hadn't had any contact for about 60 years . We are now busy swopping photos and information."
Juna in the USA was very pleased to find a 'lost cousin' in Australia...
"I had been a member for about a year before I entered my relatives from the British census; within minutes I had a match and less than week later I was in contact with a 'lost cousin' in Australia. We share a great-great grandfather and are now helping each other in our research."
It took Juna just a few minutes to enter those 12 relatives from the 1881 Census, but she will benefit from that decision for years to come.
Just 3 months after joining LostCousins, Nancy flew to England from Canada to meet the new relatives she'd discovered in Yorkshire!
Almost 130 years before, Nancy's great-grandfather had left the small town in Yorkshire where his family lived to head for Canada: now Nancy would meet, for the very first time, the descendants of that family (some of them still living in the same Yorkshire town).
One-third of matches at LostCousins involve members who live in different countries, and usually in different continents.
Dave in England found a cousin in Australia just days after joining...
"I should have contacted you sooner to let you know that within a week I had a contact from Australia and since then I have been in contact with several more relatives who have kindly sent pictures and details.
"It worked, I am now inundated with data!"
When Leslie invited her friend to join LostCousins she didn't expect success to be so close....
"My friend was very lucky and connected with a 2nd cousin who lives just an hour away! Ironically her relative had attended the same genealogical conference that my friend and I attended last May."
It took Leslie just a few minutes to tell her friend about LostCousins, but the results will last a lifetime. Are your friends worth a few minutes of your time?
Isabelle in New Zealand was delighted when she found her first 'lost cousin':
"I wish to thank you so much for the LostCousins website. I have been able to make contact with my Father's cousin who we have never met, and we'll hopefully be able to share a lot of information with one another now, and fill up those missing gaps that have been in our family tree for so long."
The discovery of one new relative often leads to many more, and when Michael found a 'lost cousin' this led him to a close relative he'd never met:
"I am very pleased to have joined your excellent site as I have made contact with a 'lost cousin' who provided me with information which in turn has led me to contact with a 1st cousin. I had always known that my mother had an elder brother who 'left' the family, and I often wondered about possible cousins."
Sandra in New Zealand found a completely unanticipated branch of her family:
"I've recently made contact with two distant cousins in the UK. I was unaware that one of my Welsh great great grandfathers had had a second wife, from whom my two 'new' relatives are descended. What fun!"
Lightning may not strike twice in the same place, but good fortune sometimes does! Barbara from England found two cousins in Canada, one connected to her own tree, and one to her husband's....
"I knew that my grandfather had a sister who emigrated to Canada and the names of her husband and two daughters but had no way of contacting them until I received your e-mail. We are now in contact thanks to your excellent service, and this is the second genuine blood relation you have put me in touch with, the other was from my husband's line of descent, both of these families live in Canada - amazing."
If you're researching your spouse's family tree, remember to follow Barbara's example and open a separate account for your spouse - it's the only way to get the best results.
Barbara in Washington found a cousin in Canada just a week after completing her My Ancestors page....
"I submitted information in early January. Within one week, I heard from a 'lost cousin' in Canada! We are 3rd cousins, once removed. We shared information. She filled in some blank spaces for me. And we are having great fun exchanging information about each other. What a great service you provide!"
Gwyn in New Zealand found her 3rd cousin in Yorkshire!
"I had begun to think that I was the only one researching my family tree, but was delighted to be proved wrong when I heard from my 3rd cousin in Yorkshire. We have corresponded regularly since the link was found, exchanging certificates, filling in blanks, and sending photos. I am delighted that we were able to make this connection because of Lost Cousins, so thank you. It has inspired me to try and broaden the scope of my research."
Leigh in Sydney, Australia was delighted to discover a new branch of his family in England....
"A huge thank you to LostCousins for facilitating my 4th Cousin in
Surrey, England tracking me down in Sydney, Australia through a common
ancestor listed on LostCousins. What I found amazing was that I didn't
even know that this branch of the family existed. I can not thank LostCousins enough for hosting this fantastic site to link relatives across the world."
Veronica wrote from Australia to tell us about the British cousin she'd found:
"Just to say thank you for finding a 'lost cousin' for me. We have made
contact and will be able to exchange family notes as he didn't know about
any Australian connection. As contact had been lost over the last two
generations, I had been hoping to find someone on that branch in
Leicester, as I am coming to the UK in Aug/Sept and hopefully now we will
be able to meet in person. My sincere thanks once again, Veronica."
Sheila in the USA struck lucky very quickly....
"I joined LostCousins just a few days ago and I am already exchanging
information with a newly found "cousin." We both live in the US but our
common ancestor was in Scotland. My thanks also to the LostCousins Team
for solving the mystery of a missing family of relatives in the US 1880
census. The name was misspelled so badly I would never have found it."
Jill was so pleased to discover a 'lost cousin' in New Zealand that she wrote to tell us all about it....
"...the contact from Del in New Zealand has been fabulous. We are definitely related. My grandfather was born West Derby 1885, and moved and settled in Cork, Ireland pre 1909 and then married my Irish grandmother. Like many men he did not tell us that much about his family. My grandfather was the only one of his siblings who had children that grew to adulthood and so as he and his siblings are long dead we thought that side of the family was lost to us. Now through Del, who is descended from his mother's sister, we have discovered a whole host of relations that we knew nothing about. She has even sent a family wedding photo from 1923 that I have been able to identify for her some of the family links - she had the names but not how they fitted into her family, whereas I knew the connection. It is clear that this contact is wonderful for us both and would not have come about without the Lost Cousins site. Thank you."
New member Karen in Canada struck gold just days after joining...
"Thank you so much - the first day after having entered my ancestors' 1881 info from the census, a cousin and I "found" each other. The link was GGG Grandparents for her and GG Grandparents for me.... We are half a world away, as I live off the west coast of Canada, while she lives in England. Thank you so much for your wonderful site."
Laurie, one of our US members, was delighted to discover a 'lost cousin' in England:
"This site is a fantastic idea... Very soon after I entered the English and Canadian relatives of my ancestor I made a match with someone from the
family of his brother James who remained in England. If that weren't
exciting enough, my new-found cousin held the answer to a mystery of mine.
Even though I had the 1864 funeral memorial card and his death certificate
from England, I could not locate where William's father Thomas was buried
in England. He was not listed in the burial register of the family parish
church where he would be expected to be buried. The first email response
from my found cousin included a photograph of the tombstone of Thomas and
his wife Mary located in the churchyard of the "new" church opened in 1871
in their village. The tombstone indicated that Thomas had been interred in
the original churchyard where I had expected him to be in the first place;
he had been left out of the burial register!"
Lesley in Sussex had a surprise present this Christmas!
"I just want to thank you for such a wonderful concept and a great website. Thanks to LostCousins I made contact with an unknown distant cousin in Australia on Christmas Day, and we have exchanged some fascinating information and photos. The concept is such a good idea - it's exciting to have the possibility of being put in touch with distant relatives. The way it works makes it safe to make contact and I'd like to thank you for making it possible."
Cath was absolutely delighted when she discovered her first 'lost cousin':
"Just wanted to thank you. Up to now I have contacted two cousins, one which I already knew, but the latest is somebody from Australia whose grandfather emigrated there as a child - and he didn't know anything about his great-grandfather's siblings. It's really exciting when something turns up - whoever thought this idea up was brilliant, and I am passing the word around to anybody who is interested in family trees. Can't wait for the next match!"
Sheila travelled all the way from her home in the Midlands to the family history fair at Gateshead in order to meet her 'lost cousin' Pauline.
"I had been contacted through LostCousins by a lady named Pauline who turned out to be my 3rd cousin. We share great great grandparents, and though Pauline and I do not look alike it was exciting to meet her. I gave her a photo of my mum and her cousin and also a picture of a family gathering where many of my great aunts and uncles were present."
Heather in Australia was very lucky indeed:
"I was so excited when I found a lost cousin almost immediately, but ironically she had been waiting for ages and thought she was the only one on the site." It just goes to show that you should never give up - there could be a lost cousin just around the corner!
We helped Jan in Dorset to track down some of her relatives, and she found a 'lost cousin' shortly afterwards:
"Just to let you know have been in contact with my first find from your site......from yet another branch of my father's family. We are now busy exchanging BMD certs, census details, photos etc. Both of us hoping to identify mystery people in various photos. Brilliant site; let's hope I can soon find some more. PS I'm still telling people how helpful you were in my quest for my great-grandparents and their baby son on 1901 census!"
Louise in Bedfordshire was highly delighted:
"I'm amazed!! I only subscribed and put my ancestors on Lost Cousins yesterday. Within a few hours the granddaughter of my great great grandad's brother had contacted me. I couldn't believe I had found someone so quickly!"
Vivian found her first 'lost cousin' the day after registering! Her story is particularly heart-warming:
"I was told by my grandmother that she was only allowed to marry my grandfather on condition that he disowned his 'working class roots'. I knew nothing about his family except for the names of a few of my father's uncles and aunts, but no details. I was delighted when Lost Cousins put me in touch with a descendant of my grandfather's brother who supplied not only details of my grandfather's immediate family, but also three more generations of the family tree and photos."
Sandra in Portugal was absolutely delighted that just 4 days after joining she found a cousin who shared the same great-great grandparents:
"I'm so excited that for the first time I've met someone else researching this family", she told us. She was soon busy exchanging information with her new-found relative in England.
Veronica wrote to us about her experiences:
"As I live in Australia I tend to have to do most of my research via the
internet. On my first attempt using the Lost Cousins website I found a
third cousin once removed on the maternal side of my family tree living in
England. This was very exciting for me as I had exhausted most of the
usual web sites and was in need of some fresh leads. We have exchanged emails and photographs and I am looking forward to learning as much as possible about our relatives. I have a particular interest in social history therefore the way our ancestors lived and survived is of particular interest. It
was a wonderful surprise to learn about LostCousins, and to
actually trace a living relative on my first attempt was a wonderful
treat! I now hope to find some 'lost cousins' on the paternal side of my
Frank in Ireland wrote to thank us:
"I should like to thank LostCousins for putting me in touch with one of mine who so kindly has given me my grandmother's full family tree right back to 1575. To say that I was 'gobsmacked' would be putting it mildly."
Jean from Perth, Western Australia found a cousin in another part of the continent:
"I decided to research my husbands grandfather's family (Richard Harrison). I had very little information, I found out that he had two brothers that migrated to Australia - Reuben and Walter Harrison. Richard worked for the Government Printers and lived in Glen Forrest in Western Australia. The brothers we heard stayed in Victoria. I tried looking in the shipping lists, but now know I was looking a lot later than when they actually came to Australia. I got Richard's marriage and death certificates which told me his parents names, so then was able to get more information from the 1881 census - I now knew he had quite a few brothers. My friend told me about the Lost Cousins website and so I quickly put typed out all data on the site. The next day I could not believe it - I was contacted by "LostCousins" and told yes there was a "lost cousin". Our lost cousin lives
in Queensland, Australia. He has given me so much information and photos
- in fact we have found MANY LOST COUSINS. We have exchanged information and are keeping in touch. It was an incredible experience to find all our lost relatives and hopefully one day we will meet. Indeed a wonderful
site. Thank you LostCousins."
Virginia wrote to tell us about her dicoveries:
"I have made contact with a second cousin in New Zealand who I didn't even know existed. This is very exciting and useful. We had each found some information the other hadn't yet found, and we also each have some photos the other didn't have. In addition, we have been able to exchange a lot of information about the family which would not be available in any records. I am so glad to have found my lost cousin and am looking forward to many more exchanges of emails and information."
When Janet from Brisbane discovered that she'd inadvertently omitted an ancestor from her My Ancestors page, little did she know what would result.
"I entered her details and within a short time I was connected to a distant cousin and we exchange emails almost daily and encourage each
other with our research. We are now researching some ancestors in 1698! I
have since entered every ancestor I can find who was around in 1881."
Gordon in Yorkshire was clearly delighted when he wrote that:
"Within a week of joining I have made contact with a lost cousin in Canada!". A few weeks later he wrote to us again: "Since contact was made emails have been flying backwards and forwards across the Atlantic; I have had loads of background family information from my 'lost cousin' and lots of old photographs."
Carmel from New South Wales was amazed when she found a 'lost cousin':
“I was very excited and could scarcely believe my luck” she told us. Since then they’ve shared research, discovered the truth behind some of the family stories that had been passed down - and according to Carmel “we are about to share some photos which each of us would never have seen without the help of LostCousins”.
Just because links are made through the 1881 Census doesn't mean that the common ancestor was still alive then:
John from Essex discovered this when he found his first 'lost cousin' - their common ancestor was born in Devon in 1749! "It was extremely helpful", said John, "As a result I have visited the village churches where our shared ancestors came from and found more interesting facts."
The ‘lost cousin’ that Barbara from Yorkshire found was right on her doorstep!
He was distant in one way – a third cousin once removed – but very close in another, because once they’d got to know each other they discovered that they were living just a mile apart!
Pamela in Australia was “very pleased” to find a 3rd cousin, and discovered that it helped her research in two ways:
“Firstly, we each had information that the other didn’t. Secondly we are now co-operating in our research and this has been very fruitful. We share tasks and exchange results, and it has given us a new impetus.”
Barbara in Wales found a ‘lost cousin’ in New Zealand:
“It’s really exciting, and so helpful to research.” When we spoke to Barbara they had exchanged information from the different branches of the family – and Barbara was looking forward to collaborating on future research.
Kate in Canada found a 'lost cousin in England:
"I'm very excited” she told us, as she described how she had been exchanging information with her previously unknown cousin.
Jenny in Yorkshire found a ‘lost cousin’ in Hampshire:
As a result she was able to fill in several gaps on her family tree. How did she feel about finding a new cousin? “Very excited!”
Carol in Essex was “very excited” to find a ‘lost cousin’ in Lancashire:
Finding a living relative who shares her ancestors has helped her complete a section of her family tree that previously she knew next to nothing about!
LaRae in the United States discovered a cousin in Britain!
She told us that “had a great time sharing information” with her new-found British cousin. “We were totally unknown to each other, yet our ancestry matched - I am so impressed with the LostCousins method.”
Gemma in Yorkshire reckons that finding a ‘lost cousin’ was fantastic:
"I was beginning to wonder if any other cousins existed.” Her new cousin has helped her to go back into the 1700s, but also to extend her tree forwards. She likes the way that LostCousins finds accurate matches – she considers it is “a lot better” than other websites.