Over the years, I have been lucky on genealogy forums to find connections with people who have the same surnames from my family villages. Quite the surprise came two months ago in my e-mail but I didn’t realize it until recently.
A woman contacted me about her great-great-grandfather’s family from the village of my great-grandfather. She told me about the children of her great-great-grandfather, who had 19 children but only 8 children lived past infancy.
Her great-great-grandfather and my 5th great-grandmother had the same surname from the same village in central Russia. The great-grandfather’s name seemed so familiar as I have heard it before.
I searched my e-mail for messages with that name and an interesting connection appeared. Another woman who is researching the same great-great-grandfather contacted me two years ago.
I stopped writing to the other woman because our information didn’t connect our family trees. The woman promised to contact me if she found any new information.
It was quite a surprise to learn that these two women didn’t know each other. Apparently, family reunions come in the form of randomly sent e-mail messages.
But a connection was there two generations ago, as I learned from the woman who originally contacted me two years ago. I shared with her the information from the woman who e-mailed me two months ago.
Their grandmothers were close friends in my great-grandfather’s village but the following generations didn’t have an interest in keeping the connection alive.
That was until these two women e-mailed me. I e-mailed both women whether they wanted to contact each other. Both are thrilled to reignite the connection their grandmothers had years ago.
These women are most likely my distant cousins. My great-grandmother whose great-great-grandmother had the same maiden name as their great-great-grandfather.
It is going to take some research to connect our family trees because a challenge lies ahead. The family was Old Believers and not as many documents exist in archives as the people who were Russian Orthodox.
Thanks to these women finding me on the largest Russian-language genealogy forum, there could be a second reconnection in this family. These two women may be gaining me as a distant cousin.
It took a stranger to reconnect them. Now, let’s hope documents still exist to confirm me as their cousin.
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