Where to Look for Cousins
9/28/2009
If you think the odds of meeting online cousins are slim, think again. By the time you go back 15 generations, you have more than 32,000 ancestors. Since some of them had 10 or more siblings, the number of potential cousins alive today is staggering. Suddenly, the odds are in your favor.

Even though your Internet cousins aren't in your direct family line, they have records that trace your ancestor's siblings—and often those are where you'll find brick-wall-busting clues such as a wife's maiden name or a place of birth. In my family, finding the birthplace of one of my ancestor's siblings led me to census records I wasn't even aware of.

Although finding that one piece of data you need isn't always easy, finding Internet cousins is. It's just a matter of posting queries on high visibility sites and then letting the mathematics of Web traffic do their magic. Get started with these five sites. Your cousins may already be there, looking for you.

USGenWeb
www.usgenweb.com

GenForum
genforum.genealogy.com

RootsWeb Surname List
rsl.rootsweb.com

Surname Helper
surhelp.rootsweb.com/srchall.html

Ancestry World Tree
ancestry.com/search/rectype/usersub/worldtree/main.htm