Part. 2: Leads on Living Relatives

V9137 copyFun Easter with family? Check. Stomach full to capacity with ham, turkey and desserts? Check. Continued difficulty finding living relatives? Check.

I hope everyone had a great Easter! It was a great, but exhausting week for me. My wife and I became aunt and uncle to our new baby niece! After 17 long hours in the hospital waiting room with my family, she finally arrived. An important lesson was learned in that waiting room–there is such thing as too much coffee.

I continued researching living relatives this week in the hope that I’ll find new family connections to share stories and pictures with. Again, it took quite a bit of time before I found anything. Since the ancestors are living and the stories are fresh, I’ll keep the findings as general descriptions instead of using actual names. Through my brother, we discovered what a small world it truly is when we found a distant cousin from the Parotto tree. My distant cousin’s boyfriend knew my brother’s wife from college, and reached out to her to see if she could look into a job for her. When my sister-in-law and distant cousin spoke over the phone, they discovered that they had the exact same first name and last name! What are the odds! After my brother talked with our new cousin briefly, he learned that her grandfather was our grandfather’s cousin, and that they are the only other living Parotto’s from our tree going back to my great-great-grandfather. My brother promptly let me know, since I’m researching our family history, and I plan on contacting her over the next week to share my findings and to see if she may have any stories or pictures to share.

On my Blake side, my grandfather once told me that his cousin’s son had contacted him a while back to interview him. My grandfather didn’t recall his name, but apparently he was investigating some of the Blake family history. This could be a great help to me if someone has already done some research on my family, so I began searching for his family on the internet to see if I could determine who they might be. I found potential contact information for my grandfather’s cousin, so my plan is to call him this week as well. In my search for my grandfather’s cousin, I happened across an obituary for my grandfather’s aunt. It matched the location my grandfather remembered her living in at some point, and also mentioned her daughters that he told me about. The obituary was rather basic, so I searched it a bit more on the internet, only to find a few news articles about her death. I was shocked to read that she was allegedly killed by her caretaker, who had pilfered money from her account for years.

Even though I didn’t expand my living relatives as much as I had hoped this week, I was happy about the connection I did find, and will keep you posted on the results. Have a great week!

Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Brian Parotto of Hampshire, Ill.

Here are some of the tools Brian is using to launch his genealogy education. Check them out:


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