A Facebook friend was sharing some exciting development news regarding her toddler. Since my daughter is about the same age, I made a relevant comment under her post. Of course, I received a notification when the next person commented on the thread. I noticed that this woman's maiden name was Magoto, which is the maiden name of my husband's great-great-grandmother, Amelia Magoto. It's a unique name and spelling (originally 'Magottaux,' but changed after the family settled in America). I went out on a limb and asked this friend of my friend if she was, by chance, from Ohio. Now, I'm not sure where she currently lives, but our mutual friend lives in Kentucky, so it could have seemed like a random question. She quickly responded that she was born and raised in the SAME Ohio county in which Amelia was born (Darke County). At this point, it was pretty clear that she and my husband share a common ancestor. I apologized for hijacking my Facebook friend's discussion and went on to exchange a few messages with Ms. Magoto. And it turns out that her father actually has a family history book that has a lot of information about the Magoto family ancestors, which could turn out to be a great source of information for building my husband's family tree.
Lesson of the day: If there is an unusual surname in your family tree and you see someone on Facebook with the same name and spelling, go out on that limb and try to message him/her. You may just find a relative. :-)
©2012, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder