Almost added a cousin

Got an interesting Facebook message the other day from a woman claiming to be my cousin. I wrote back to say this was an unexpected treat, and what part of the clan did she hail from? She then wrote back to apologize — she was in fact cousin to another Steven Hart, farewell and adieu, and have a good life.

Oh well. Would’ve been nice to have had a cousin who lived on the Jersey shore.

Probably she was using some of this family-searching software I see advertised here and there, or one of those online genealogical services that claim to trace your family back to the afternoon before the ink dried on the Magna Carta. I played around with them a few years ago, while I was researching The Last Three Miles, and I can’t say I was impressed. When you type in the family name HAGUE for Hudson County, New Jersey, and come up dry, I think it’s safe to conclude you are dealing with a pretty lame search engine.

I am occasionally asked if I’m a descendant of the Hart who signed his name to the Declaration of Independence. If only. I wouldn’t expect any benefits beyond a spiffy beer mug with the family coat of arms, but you know.

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