In theory we're all cousins, writes Peter Calver, on his site lostcousins.com.On his site, he offers the likelihood that you'll find find 3rd, 4th, and 5th cousins - 'people who share one or more of your 2G, 3G, or 4G grandparents'. I have to say that I already knew who all my 3rd-4th-5th cousins were before getting on the internet. They are far from lost - I know all about them. I would need to be given more tempting bait before carrying out the serious amount of work involved in creating a presence on the Lost Cousins site.
Peter adds another clanger. 'The cousins we're most interested in are the ones who are also researching their family tree.' This most certainly is not the case. Thanks to Who Do You Think You Are, a lot of people have SOME interest in their family - and even more would do so if the death of a rich relative in their favour seemed possible. It's up to you the researcher to worm out the information. Researchers will always find each other. What's needed is a tool to rapidly find the next-of-kin, the photograph-hoarders, the storytellers. Many of whom are absolutely not researchers as they possess a completely different skillset. I never learn anything from fellow researchers - but rather from the real people who inhabit the lives of their ancestors. Who are still born in the house their grandfather built - who remember their grandfather getting a visitor from Australia in 1915.
Additionally, researchers are often keen to research, and to find other researchers may not be their goal at all. I'd rather spend time online researching than keying in data I already have, but we'll see what solutions technology can bring to the more basic puzzle of reuniting people with data that they want - Data Reunited?