The most thrilling parts of researching my ancestry are hearing and/or finding distant cousins – especially those whom I didn’t even know existed. Case in point – a child put up for adoption by a great-aunt, an uncle’s child that no one ever knew about, children of a woman I thought had lived as a nun her entire life (but didn’t!), and descendents of my maternal great-grandmother’s sister! Not only have I connected with these people, but we shared information and still email each other.
Another exciting aspect of digging into my roots is when I find documentation and proof of a relationship. Family lore and stories are one thing but to see an actual document that proves those stories is a “stand up and cheer” moment! I’ve had many of those over the course of the last 10 years.
Hopefully I will make contact with more distant relatives and uncover much more documentation as I continue my quest!