Sunday, October 05, 2008

Are you my Cousin?


Are You My Cousin?
By Richard Rubin, November & December 2008

How the new DNA technology can solve mysteries in your family tree… and help you discover relatives you never knew you had

    * Trace Your Family Tree—Without Losing Your Mind (March & April 2005)
    * Genealogy Resources (Updated 2008)
    * Studs Terkel’s Tips for Preserving Family History
    * Web Exclusive: A Beginner's Guide to Genealogy on the Web (Updated 2008)
    * Share Your Family History in the Online Community

I recently received an e-mail from a cousin of mine out on Long Island—we’ll call him Harry—who was writing to invite me to a family reunion. It was an offer I couldn’t resist, even though, as family reunions go, this one is a bit unusual. For one thing, Harry and I have never met. I didn’t even know he existed before he e-mailed me. In fact, though I know for certain that he and I are related, I don’t know exactly how. Neither does he. For that matter, the entire family gathering is composed of people who know we are related, but little else. The guest list isn’t set—actually, it’s growing all the time—but that’s okay, because we don’t have to rent a space, or figure out how much potato salad to make. This reunion, you see, is happening online. It’s virtual. And perpetual.

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