Question of the Week: Have you had a "small world" moment through WikiTree?

+10 votes

Have you had a "small world" moment through WikiTree?

This could be something like a cousin connection or a coincidental encounter with another WikiTreer or ...? :)  

Share your moment below!

asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf
i added a story & it's not showing up. What's the problem?
I found out recently someone I've known most of my life, spent loads of time with growing up and Always considered Family is actually a Distant Cousin. We are connected through a Sherwood Ancestor who was married twice. We are also 17th Cousins, 3 x's removed through Henry Greene.

 It really is a Small World.
Um yeah! I found out that my wife and I are actually cousins! Well, 11th cousins that is, so it's all good. But it's pretty amazing that we share the same 10th-great-grandparents back in England! This was Thomas Gilbert I and Elizabeth Bennett. My wife is descended from the oldest of their seven children, Thomas Gilbert II, and I am descended from the youngest, Josiah Gilbert. It was also cool to learn that the name we gave our firstborn son, which we thought was quite unique at the time (Josiah), is also a family name. Josiah was the name of my 3rd-great grandfather, 4th-great grandfather, and 9th-great grandfather.
You may find more than one of your friends is a distant cousin.  I've found several of my old friends who are.  My husband is my 11th cousin and so on.  I have to wonder if something in our mutual dna draws us to one another.  Or is it just that we have so many ancestors with so many descendants that it's bound to happen? Whatever it is it's pretty cool.  (I even have two former classmates who are distant cousins.)

14 Answers

+16 votes
Best answer

I have two examples so I'll post as an answer.

Awhile back there was a WikiTreer that I'd become acquainted with through the Greeters project. One day, when I was visiting my Grandpa at his assisted living facility, I discovered that this particular Greeter was the head nurse of his unit!

Or as another member shared with me: "A woman (stranger) contacted me and asked about a profile I had recently created of a deceased cousin of mine. While communicating with her I noticed that one of her Facebook friends was also a Facebook friend of mine. And the Facebook friend was my wife's cousin and a WikiTree colleague I've worked with for several years! This was not a small town happening. We all live in a metropolitan area with a population of millions of people."

answered by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
selected by Pamjoy Major
Wow - lightning strikes twice.  Very cool.
WOW,, That's amazing.  Just never know whom may make contacts. Sweet feeling to have indeed. Had similar w/ Ancestry..
+9 votes
I just had one this past weekend.  Through a profile here on wikitree I was contacted by a distant cousin seeking information on an ancestor.  In the exchange of emails she casually mentions that our great great grandfather and his brother married sisters within a month of each other in the same town.  

It was a clue that knocked down a brick wall for me.  The only fact I had on my great great grandmother was the name "E.E. Farmer" from her marriage license.  Thanks to cousin "Betty" I was able to discover her name, her parents and grandparents.  

It was so random.  I had given up on E.E. convinced that I would never know her name.  Thank you wikitree!
answered by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Mach 8 (82.6k points)
A lucky run in breaks a brick wall - that's great!
+7 votes
Thanks, Eowyn. Now the song will never leave my head. Sigh...Sometimes I think you love to torture us. =)

My "it's a small world" moment was finding descendants of my 2x great-grandparents already on here when I started to make my tree back in 2017. I messaged both and we talk every once in a while. I am friends with one of them on Facebook.

And then you added me as a friend on Facebook too and it just kind of exploded from there. See you on Facebook. It really is a small world after all....

answered by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
+5 votes
Lovely story, Eowyn, For sure, many moments of the "small world" within our global community of WikiTree happened to me. When I started at WikiTree many moons ago, I was volunteering as a greeter, and in pops my long lost cousin, Cindy, from Ohio! Needless to say, her encouragement of our family history keeps me going at it.

Another 2nd cousin was already on Wikitree but I never knew it. He was from a long-lost paternal Aunt of my Grandmother in New Jersey. He was the final reason I finally succumbed to a DNA test which opened up a whole bunch of interested family members from Poland living in the USA who had photographs and stories.

On my Hungarian side, I knew that my Great-Grandfather Nagys' siblings had no descendants. Also knew that many of his father's siblings seem to have died at birth as well except one, WHO I FOUND ON WIKITREE! That day She was a regular genealogy blogger I followed and there she was on WikiTree with family connections.

It's simply marvelous how wonderful it is.
answered by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (562k points)
That's a great small world story Maggie!!
Small world indeed!
+6 votes
Mine would be having make a great friend here on WikiTree and find out we’re (reasonably) close cousins (compared to all those 18th 5x). Last week, I found another who frequently participates on the Chat who has the same common ancestor as the first case. Three cousins!

Closer, a cousin via Andreas Killian whose profile is on WikiTree.

On more: a member who grew up in the same neighborhood as I did, went to my high school (ahead of me) with whom I share many contacts on WikiTree and off. Both of our families came to that area very early on, so many years of marrying one’s neighbor made all those connections.

One member comes oh so close. Many of our ancestors were neighbors in what is now Gaston County, North Carolina, but no kinship.
answered by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1m points)
+5 votes
Just yesterday, WikiTree very active member Liz Shiflett contacted me about a common profile - and told me she and I are 6th cousins!! That is the most recent small world event but I have had a couple of others over the past few years.

I love WikiTree!!!
answered by Virginia Fields G2G6 Mach 1 (13.5k points)
+8 votes
Just a couple weeks ago I got a PM from someone who thanked me for putting his maternal grandparent's profiles up. Turns out his mother is one of my first cousins that I had lost contact with around 40 years ago. I've "met" other, more distant cousins as well, but his was a nice one to have.
answered by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
+6 votes
I received an email from a woman asking about a 2nd cousin of mine. She wondered if he was the same man she had lived next door to when she was a child. He was. She filled me in with some details, including the fact that he had used his middle name (I know him by his first name). That led me to finding more sources for him - including death notice. And explained why I could never find a phone number for him when my Mom died.
answered by Kristina Adams G2G6 Pilot (139k points)
+2 votes
I recently had my DNA checked via Ancestry, so now have people contacting me with possible matches. One lady contacted with a possible Walker link in Yorkshire on my fathers side, but I could find it, but whilst messaging discovered I had a direct link with her husband with the Layton’s in Worcester on my mother’s side. Weird
answered by
+4 votes
About 6 months ago I had a chance encounter with a Wikitree Astronaut:
answered by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (335k points)
+1 vote
I discovered one of the few genealogical items in which my husband has shown interest.  His lineage from a Jamestown minister named Benjamin Doggett is verifiable.  Mine is a little shakier because the third generation is a younger daughter.  Never mind.  He is enjoying telling friends that we're cousins.
answered by Joy Harrison G2G6 (9.7k points)
+2 votes
I've been searching for descendants of my grandmother's first husband for 2 or 3 years.  I found an obscure source about a train ride from Idaho to Canada ... and there were the names I needed to connect a profile.  Within 1 week I was in touch with a first cousin once removed.  Oh happy day !
answered by Jo Gill G2G6 Mach 6 (63.6k points)
+1 vote
A 1st cousin, once removed of my wife contacted me and said she was so amazed to see I had created her mother's profile. Then she added, "But I'm more amazed to see you created a profile of my father too! The bottom line, my wife's cousin is related to my wife through her maternal side (from Loleta California) and she is related to me through her paternal side (from Uniontown Washington)!
answered by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (214k points)
+2 votes
The substitute organist at my church is named Ellen Powers.  I remarked that was the name of my great-great-grandmother. We compared our family trees and found we are 5th cousins!!
answered by Patty Freeman G2G Crew (840 points)
Just wow!!  Thanks for sharing!!

Related questions

+28 votes
71 answers
+12 votes
64 answers
+17 votes
35 answers
+15 votes
57 answers
+70 votes
145 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright