I've discovered over the decade that I've been researching my family's history that the one thing that fascinates me the most about the work is finding connections that are surprising to me.
One time I found, while searching a neighborhood on a census, that my birth mother and my step-mother were neighbors as children, so obviously played together as small children. That was a fact I hadn't known and was amazed by since they were not friends in later life.
When I discovered that a 4th cousin of mine, Isaac Strait, in 1822 married a 5th cousin of my husband's, Phoebe Rush, I was astounded, since our families come from very different backgrounds.
When I discovered, again through census research, that my son's great grandaunts and uncles by birth were farming neighbors of his great, great grandparents by adoption, I was just stunned. What are the odds of that happening?
Yesterday as I was looking at family trees on Ancestry.com, I was reviewing some information that had been submitted on the family of my maternal great grandmother Emma Cornelia Strait. Her great, grandniece, Juanita Grace Strait, in 1958 married Leroy Henry Stieben. I was shocked while looking at the family group sheet to see that Leroy's mother was Elizabeth Margheim. My maiden name was Margheim, so that's my paternal family line.
I know there are those who will comment: "What's the big deal? We're all related anyway". I get so tired of hearing that. I guess "you just had to be there". When my brain is following one family line, as in my maternal line, and I see a relationship to my paternal line, I'm surprised and amazed. And I'm happy that I'm amazed by such simple discoveries. It sure makes this "work" fun and interesting. It opens the door to a new discovery every day!