It’s easy to focus on the direct line ancestors in our research. Their names appear in our direct ancestral tree and, if we didn’t inherit any property or wealth from them, we sometimes hope to have inherited some spunk or personality trait from them.
That’s all fine and good, but don’t forget those ancestral siblings. I’m not talking about the ones who have living descendants with whom we hope to share some bit of autosomal DNA so that we can make a genealogical connection. I’m talking about the ancestral siblings who left no descendants of their own. The ones who grew to adulthood and, for one reason or another, have no living descendants of their own. Then there are the ancestral siblings who died as children.
They have stories to be told as well. Some of the stories are unfortunately short and some, because of the records that did not get left behind, will be lacking in abundant detail. But their lives likely impacted your direct-line ancestors. The deaths of children or baby brothers or sisters impacted the family members who were left behind. The “maiden aunts” who raised the children of their deceased sister and her husband left an impact on the family even though they had no children of their own. The great-aunt who had a photo album which included numerous pictures of each of her brothers’ children and their communication with her has a story that deserves to be told.
So when the genealogical information on the direct-line ancestors runs a little dry, move over to the siblings of those ancestors–the ones who didn’t leave descendants of their own.
They have a story to tell as well.