I was looking for two “missing” grandsons of an ancestral couple who married in Germany in the 1790s. The men had the common name of Hess and while I knew where they lived shortly after immigration to the United States they seemed to have dropped off the radar after 1855 or so when they would have been in their early twenties.
They were alive until at least 1871 when they were heirs to an estate in Illinois. Those records indicated they were alive, but that one could not be found. The records provided no clues as to where the one who could be found was living. If they lived until 1871 they would have been in their forties and old enough to have left their own descendants.
Then I looked at my DNA matches to known descendant s of the couple who married in the 1790s. Some of those matches had trees attached–incomplete ones most of the time. Two of those trees had men with the last name of Hess as ancestors–not back far enough to help make an immediate connection, but at least a clue.
My next step is to trace those Hess men in other records to see if their ancestry has a connection to the Hess grandchildren of my ancestors that I am looking for.
After all, the presence of that name in the trees may be a coincidence. The actual connection could be through one of the other blanks in those trees.