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Actually, this is something my wife wanted to start doing a few years ago, but I started doing the work and as it turns out, I've done almost all the research on both sides of our family tree. We have close to 4,000 names now. We're Mac people, so we're using Reunion.

As far as gathering documentation, a few years ago I noticed a lot of folks on my dad's side wound up in a town called Falls City, Nebraska. I looked through a phone book and saw what I thought was probably an elderly relative of mine, something like a second cousin twice removed. I wrote to him and his wife wrote back to me a couple weeks later -- and included some photocopies of some old family history documents they had, and an original old picture of my great-grandparents from around 1915.

I've "met" (in the online sense) a fair number of second and third cousins, and we've exchanged a lot of information.

In the course of tracking our family history, my wife and I have also discovered that we're 12th cousins. Our common ancestor was Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke.

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