Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blogging for Cousins

Genealogy is a fascinating hobby.  Sometimes it is a scene from Indiana Jones (the dusty library scenes, not the grabbing artifacts from tombs and running from Nazis scenes), sometimes it is solving a mystery like on CSI.  It satisfies my inner nerd, collecting and analyzing data, citing sources, and compiling detailed histories of my family.  It helps me figure out “Who Do I Think I Am?”  But the greatest part is finding out that you have a whole lot more family somewhere in the world. 
When I began my genealogy research I knew of one set of cousins from my St. Croix tree.  My great uncle Willmar (Ludvig Conrad’s brother) had children and grandchildren.  That’s it.  We didn’t know of anyone else at all, no matter how far back.  Then I started my research. Then I went online…
  • The first cousin I found was a close friend of my mother’s.  They always thought they were related but didn’t know how.  I connected our trees – New Cousin #1 (4th cousin 1x removed)
  • Then I found some of my van Beverhoudt ancestors in someone else’s tree on  Like a good genealogist, I looked at each person, checked their sources, and contacted the owner.  He was actually quite closely related to Cousin #1, and therefore to me. – New Cousin #2 (5th cousin 1x removed)
  • Then I found another person, through their website, still living on St. Thomas. – New Cousin #3 (3rd cousin 2x removed)
  • Then I started my blog. I knew that specializing in such a specific little territory like the Danish West Indies would attract a miniscule following, but it did.  I’ve was on line for a couple of days when I was contacted by another person - New Cousin #4 (3rd cousin 1x removed)
  • Then just this week, a mere two days after posting about my latest find, C. A. Conrad, I got an email from someone who was related, through marriage, to my great grandfather’s sister, Mary Conrad – New Cousin #5 (4th cousin through marriage)
  • From information he sent me I tracked down a lady in Florida who was Mary’s great-grand daughter - New Cousin #6 (3rd cousin)
So, in just over 3 months of genealogy research, with the help of online tools like and blogging, I have gone from 1 line of living cousins to 7.  And the best part is that all of the cousins I am finding are Also Researching their Family Trees. This means that I can share information with all of them and all of them are interested in what I find, unlike the relatives I see every day (If my wife is reading this: No, sweetheart, of course I don’t mean you).
The moral of the story is get your genealogy out there and participate in the online world.  While you are looking for cousins, your cousins are also looking for you.  Be findable.


  1. David,
    I have another reqest for a name; Christian Fritz Valdemar Roberts, born abt. 1936.
    He might be a Moravian. Everything I found for a Christian Roberts, show him born a slave, being baptized 1937, but with such a grand name, I wonder?
    It is possible the info was recorded in the Anglican records.

  2. Ann,
    Do you mean 1837? Not a lot of people born slaves in 1937. If so, he was most likely Moravian. I did search the Anglican records and found a Fritz Waldemore baptized 29 May 1836 with no birth date born to a Frances Aaestrup, living in C'sted. That was the closest name I found. In the census for 1841, 1846, and 1855 there is a Christian Roberts at Solitude, but no indication of the family. Moravian records are hard to come by, I believe what exists are in Bethlehem PA with the church. You may be able to contact them and ask for research, but there will be a fee.

    If you have any more information on your Christian Roberts, send it and I'll poke around. Also, if you're interested, if you send me your email I will be happy to send you an image of the Fritz Waldemore I found.

    Contact me at

  3. Like you David, I have been curious about my family ancestry since I was a teenager some 40 years ago). I was always asking my elders questions about my relatives and taking lots and lots of notes. But, I also found out not everyone is as excited as I was about knowing about the family. Many of the elders in the family were so closed mouthed about things.

    Well, I began a serious quest for family information in 1996. It began with my father's dream to have a family reunion. Several of the cousins that I knew, my father and all of the younger cousins organized our first family reunion in Aiken, South Carolina in July of 1996. It was small but it was wonderful! I met people I had not met before. I spent the entire day talking to my family, sharing phone numbers and addresses which became the basic for my first research logs.

    Over the course of the next few years the family continued to meet every two years in Augusta, GA and Aiken, South Carolina. But, it wasn't until approximately 2008 that I stumbled on a branch of my family tree that few knew still exsisted. This was the family of my grandfather's younger sister (my grand aunt). Her family moved away from South Carolina and settled in Florida and for four generations they only knew of their Carolina relatives by way of one cousin who drove across country for a cookie company.

    It wasn't until 2008, that the family tree was finally reconnected. The great granddaughter of my grand aunt was researching her family and stumbled upon me. What a wonderful eye opening discovery for her. She knew almost nothing of the SC/GA side of her family and I knew so much more. However, I knew nothing of the FL part of the family and I was so very curious to find out more from her.

    Through the research of my second cousin and my own research; we have begun to introduce our cousins in SC/GA to their cousins in FL. I have gained over 600 cousins and she has gained over 1600 cousins. And we have only begun to rejoin this family that began in Saluda and Trenton, SC in the early 1700s.

    I share your passion and great joy in the discovery process and get a great kick out of share all I have learned and discovered with my cousins who are also on their own personal journey to find their ancestors.

  4. How exciting! I understand that feeling quite well. my mother was an only child so my VI family was quite tiny. As a result of my research and this blog, it has grown considerably! Keep plugging away and thanks for reading.