Obit Uncovers A New Cousin ~ Westby

Over the weekend I was reading my local newspaper and checked the obits as I always do. This was the first time I have found a new family relation I didn't know about. The name Westby isn't that common. This person was born a Westby, but was listed under her married name.

Maxine Marguerite (Westby) Boysen was 92 years old. She passed away on November 20, 2009. She lived so very close to me, and yet was such a stranger. If I had only known I would have gone to meet her.

The obituary is full of information. Once I read the full article, I contacted another cousin of mine in Montana and asked if she was aware of Maxine and if she was related. I was so sure she was. I recently learned of cousin Westbys in Washington, and Maxine was born in Spokane. The response I received was, yes she is related! I was given further information explaining the connections.

My first cousin once removed (in Montana) is third cousins with Maxine's parents. I haven't even begun to figure out the cousin relationship that Maxine is to me. My recently discovered cousin in Montana has shared so much information on the Westby line with me but I have not had the opportunity to enter any of it to my tree yet.

It pays to read or at least scan through the obits, even if you don't think you know the person. This is how I found a new cousin.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!


  1. Cheryl, that is amazing! Will you contact the family who are mentioned in the obituary?

  2. Kathryn, if I can track them down I will! She had a daughter a grandson and two great grandchildren.

  3. It is always good to meet family. Too bad you didn't know about her earlier.

  4. That's so sad! That you didn't discover each other before she passed! I've had such 'serendipitous' meetings of kinfolk happen that I wonder just how many people that I pass each day in the grocery store, the Wal-mart, on the street, that are distant cousins. Probably a lot more than we realize!

  5. Hi Sherry,

    I agree it is sad. I often wonder who may be related to me too of the people I pass in my daily life. Thank you for commenting!

  6. Hi Gravestones,

    It is a shame I didn't know about her earlier, it took her death for me to find out.


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