Associations between individuals other than those of biology and marriage can sometimes be difficult to determine. Biological connections may be documented in a variety of records, vital records, court records, probate records, etc. Relationships by marriage may be documented by the record of the marriage in addition to records that can document a biological connection.
It can be more difficult to determine other connections between two individuals. Determining that connection frequently involves researching everything extant that mentions one of the two individuals to see what overlap there is.
That overlap can be difficult to determine, but admittedly sometimes the connection is more of a curiosity than a research necessity.
Scanning through my hometown newspaper for obituaries, I ran across a name I recognized. The names of other individuals in the obituary meant nothing to me–the man was not a relative. It was only upon reading the biographical portion of the obituary that I realized the deceased was the “round baler man” who had sold and serviced some of my Dad’s farm equipment when I was growing up.
My research did not hinge on the connection–it was just curiosity. But it reminded me that connections are not always easy to find.