Second Cousins Discovered on Geni

Posted January 20, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments

We love hearing stories from our users when they make fascinating new discoveries. Recently, genealogy blogger Kitty Cooper shared an amazing discovery she made just last week thanks to Geni. Through the power of collaboration, she’s found her long lost second cousins in Germany!

Kitty shares that her family has always known of family in Bavaria, but surnames and where they lived remained a mystery. According to family lore, Kitty’s great grandfather, Benedict Reiner, was studying to be a priest when he had an illegitimate son with the daughter of a local inn keeper. Benedict would leave for Munich and later have family of his own. According to Kitty’s mother, his illegitimate son was named Xavier and he paid the occasional visit to Benedict. With little information to go on, Kitty was unsure if she would ever find this missing branch of her tree.


Image: Margarette and Benedict Reiner, 1889 / Courtesy of Kitty Cooper

While doing a quick search to upload a marriage document to the profiles of Benedict and her great grandmother, Kitty made a startling discovery. After entering the name of her great grandfather into the search bar on Geni, she was surprised to find two profiles appear in the search results. As expected, one of the profiles was the Benedict Reiner she had added to her family tree. The other was a Benedict Reiner with no dates and a different wife and son. However, upon closer inspection, she noticed that the child’s name was Franz Xaver Löffler. The son had been born two years before Benedict married Kitty’s great grandmother. She quickly sent a message to the profile manager to ask if she thought the two profiles could be the same.


Image: Franz Xaver Löffler and his family / Courtesy of Katharina Eder

In her reply, Kitty received more than she could ask for. The two profiles were indeed the same! Benedict was the profile manager’s third great grandfather, thus making her Kitty’s second cousin twice removed. The new cousins have already started sharing family history information and photographs. And Kitty’s brother will be heading to Munich for a visit soon, too!

It’s stories like these that illustrate the power of Geni’s World Family Tree. Through the collaborative efforts of genealogists and family history historians, the World Family Tree is helping to connect families all around the world. Geni’s Tree Matches automatically find profiles believed to be duplicates, to make it easier for you to connect with new branches of your family. Sometimes the information on similar profiles may be too different, so a match will not be found. With over 150 million profiles on Geni, it never hurts to do a manual search on occasion to see what new possibilities may await. It may just lead you to the breakthrough you’ve been searching for.

Congratulations to Kitty on this exciting discovery! Be sure to check out Kitty Cooper’s Blog to read more about it.

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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