bonnie gary tommy

Some of my favorite kin – from left: cousins Gary, Bonnie, and Tommy Rogers.

KIN means almost the same thing as family. The difference is you always know who is FAMILY, but sometimes you have to be introduced to KIN.  Like when you’re a tired child standing in the sun at a cemetery and your mother insists on introducing you to everybody: “This is cousin Jane, she’s my third cousin on your grandpa’s side. That little redheaded girl you played with at the reunion last year was her granddaughter, remember?” 

It may be years before you see Jane again, but when you do, you’ll know she’s KIN, although you won’t remember exactly how. Thirty or forty years down the road, when you begin to research your family history, you’ll come across Jane’s name and for the first time, you’ll try to get better acquainted.

Family Historians, and Genealogists are always looking for more KIN, because we all hope that distant cousin knows the fact that will help us add a generation to our family tree. Or cousin Jane may have photos of your great grandparents and other family members. And best of all, cousin Jane may know family stories.That’s what it’s all about, collecting and sharing family stories.

The Internet helps us connect and communicate with distant kin.  There are many family pages on Facebook, for instance. I check two of mine frequently: The Kemp-Rogers Reunion site is for all descendants of Riley & Mattie Rogers and/or Dora & Henry Kemp. The other page I use is Daniel & Hugh Paul Descendants .

You can find out if any of your family lines have a Facebook page by simply typing the surname into the search box at the top of your home page. You may have to play around with it for a while. Try adding “family” to the surname, or “descendants” or “ancestors” or even “cousins.”

Another free site to help you find kin is WikiTree.  FamilySearch can help you find cousins through their family tree search.  There are many others.

 After you find new kin, use this  Cousin Finder chart from Carolyn Leonard to help you figure out exactly how you are related.

K is for KIN. Writing my way through the April A-Z Blogging Challenge.


This entry was posted in A to Z April Challenge, Genealogy Resources, Memoir and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to KIN

  1. Connecting to the past is connecting to the psyche as well and deeply.
    Garden of Eden Blog

  2. I never thought of kin in that way but it makes sense. Great ideas for finding those kinfolk.

  3. Liz Brownlee says:

    So true! I keep thinking of tracing my tree, but somehow never get round to it. My nan was brought up in a children’s home and it would be interesting to see what happened to her father, who quite literally left my nan’s mum, pregnant with her, at the alter… I have this ambition to find out that nothing good happened for him! My grandfather, her husband, was a Mayor and town crier, and wrote all his own speeches, and i would like to know if there were any other writers/poets further back than that. Must try and find time!

    Liz – working through the A-Z too –

    • What an interesting story! You should write down all you already know, so that when you do get time you’ll have a head start. We always think we will remember, but sometimes important details are lost forever.

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