Lots of Fun! Create your own or your Friends Family Trees!
Compiling family trees can be a lot of fun, particularly if you find people in your family you never knew existed. Looking at other people's family trees can also be fascinating, particularly when you discover that your own family trees link to theirs.
Can you imagine how exciting it would be to find a real-life snail-mail letter in your post box written by a relative you never knew existed? That happened to me when I was 50-something years old!
It all started when this 'new' relative decided to produce a family tree. Born in Canada, but now an American citizen, she and her sister used to wonder whether they had cousins in other parts of the world. And so the search began. The paperwork wasn't too difficult, and she managed to piece together much of the puzzle on the Internet. But then she needed to try and find the people behind the names that she had uncovered. Because I am a well-known writer internationally, she found me pretty quickly. But not wanting to be too forward, she opted for regular mail when contacting me.
As it turned out, we are the same age - within just a few months - and we share a great grandfather who produced a string of children in the late 19th century. While my grandfather emigrated from England to South Africa, hers chose Canada instead. We don't know whether the grandfathers ever communicated with one another. They probably did because there are similar photographs that we have found in all three countries. But neither of them produced a family tree that we are aware of.
The snail-mail letter led to regular emails, and then to a real-life meeting at my home. With this as her base, my 'cousin' was able to travel our country in search of all the other cousins I already knew. She was also able to visit the Cape Town church where our 'common' great grandfather ministered in the 19th century, and also his nearby grave.
So if you too want to catch up with unknown relatives, why not start work on your very own home grown family trees?