Finally! People always ask me why I go so far “off the beaten path”, so to say, with my family tree by tracing the rootes of literally everyone who shows up on my GEDCOM whether they’re blood relatives, step or half relatives, in-laws, or other spouses. And today proved my goal exactly. I love finding connections between families. I’ve found many connections between the Wittmans, my mothers surname, and the Coonens, my great-great grandfather Michael Wittmann’s first wife Mary Coonen. Without my exhaustive search, I would have never discovered that Flavia Wittmann, my first cousin 2x removed through her father’s side, is the first cousin once removed of one of my oldest friends, Rachel Pupp, who I went to preschool with. As neat as these connections are, I’ve always wanted to find the connecting person that connected my mother’s family with my fathers family. It took countless hours of research, but I finally found that connecting person. Arnoldus Verstegen was Mary Coonen (et all her siblings)’s maternal grandfather, but he was also the father of Francis Verstegen who was the father-in-law of the wife of the first cousin of Ann Schommer who became my great-great aunt when she married Carl Johnson, brother of my great grandmother Elsie Johnson. Unfortunately it was not “6 degrees of separation”. Including myself, all people involved numbered 27, but you now what? I actually find these types of connections much more interesting than the closer ones. With genealogy, it’s so easy to get side tracked. If you do, go with it. And even if you don’t, expand your search anyway. You never know what, or who, you’ll find.
Have you ever gotten completely side tracked tracing your family’s genealogy only to be rewarded by an interesting find?