Is That Even a Relative?

The picture discussed in this post is not included because the other two individuals are living.

There’s a picture of me in a suit taken in the early 1970s. I look to be approximately four-years old. When it was taken was a mystery. There’s a little girl, also dressed up and also about my age, standing next to me. I have no female first cousins, so that’s not who the person is. I did not recognize the person and she didn’t appear to be any female relative I could think of based on her age, hair color, and general face shape.

She’s not a relative.

As soon as I looked in the background of the picture and saw the woman sitting in the background in a church pew, I knew when the picture was taken. It was at the wedding of my Dad’s cousin and I was a ring bearer or something or other and I wasn’t excited about the girl my age I had to walk down the aisle with because I did not know her.

Turns out she wasn’t a relative of mine at all and must have been a relative of the cousin on the other side of her family or of the groom. I have no second cousins on that side of the family who are that close in age to me.

There may be a time where your relative appears in a document, record, or picture with someone and that person’s connection to you is more distant than you think. Don’t assume the relationship is close.

Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here and it’s not written to help you research your “famous ancestors.” It’s written to help with all of them. Learn more about it and get your own copy.

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