LostCousins is a relative newcomer in the genealogy website stakes. It is based primarily on the 1881 census of England and Wales but in early 2007 extended to the Canada and U.S. censuses of the same decade. Registration is free but a paid subscription gives you more contact options (except in the occasional periods when it is free to all).

Its specialty is letting people make contact with others who are researching the same lines.

FREE WEEKEND until midnight on Monday 9th October 2006Edit

(The following message was sent to members with a request that it be widely promulgated.)

This weekend the LostCousins site will be COMPLETELY FREE - from now until midnight on Monday 9th October all members will have the privileges normally reserved for subscribers!

When we ran a similar offer in the Spring, more members visited LostCousins in that ONE weekend than the total who attended the UK's THREE biggest family history fairs (London, York, and Gateshead).

Numerous records were broken and more members found their 'lost cousins' than ever before - and this weekend promises to be even better!

Feel free to SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS to your friends and relatives, on forums and mailing lists, and on other family history sites, as this will further increase the number of 'lost cousins' discovered during the weekend.

(Remember that when a new member finds a 'lost cousin' the cousin is invariably an existing member - and that member could be you!)

DON'T MISS OUT on this opportunity to get the benefits of subscriber status and make contact with the other members who are your living relatives!

To make it as simple as possible we've prepared a checklist that will help you make the most of this great opportunity:


(1) Log-in at LostCousins ( If you can't remember your password, click on "Forgotten your password?" and enter your email address to get an instant email reminder.

(2) Go to your My Ancestors page and enter as many relatives from the 1881 British Census as you can - every one is a potential link to a 'lost cousin'.

Remember that most of the matches we make involve the brothers, sisters, and cousins who by 1881 had families of their own. It's important to enter your direct ancestors, BUT it's the other relatives who are likely to be the link to your 'lost cousins'!

(3) Click the Search button. You'll be told within seconds if there are any new matches.

(4) Go to your My Cousins page. If there are any New Contacts shown, click on 'Make Contact' or 'Reply'. (If nothing appears to happen hold down the Ctrl key and click again).

(5) Once your relative has responded his or her name will be revealed, and you'll be able to start exchanging information.

(6) Please click the red ? symbol alongside your cousin's name and tell us whether the person we've found is someone you already knew (you may need to hold down the Ctrl key while you click).

(7) Don't worry if you don't find a 'lost cousin' immediately - new members are joining all the time. However if you're able to add some more relatives from the 1881 Census, that will speed up the process considerably.


Remember to tell as many people as you can about this great offer, because you'll not only be doing them a favour, you'll be helping everyone in the LostCousins community. The more people who join, the more 'lost cousins' will be found!

At the end of this email you'll find answers to some of the questions you may have. If there's any other way we can help, please email ...

Have a great weekend!

The LostCousins Team

Here are answers to some of the questions you may have:

Q. What happens when the offer ends - will I have to pay to stay a member?

A. Free basic membership of LostCousins will continue indefinitely.

Q. If I make contact with a cousin during the offer, will I still be able to contact them afterwards, even if we haven't exchanged email addresses?

A. Absolutely - once contact is made you can continue sending messages through the site, and you can agree to exchange email addresses at any time. Unlike some other sites we actually help you to exchange email addresses when you're ready.

Q. Suppose that I try to contact a cousin, but don't get a response before the offer ends - will I miss out?

A. Absolutely not. As long as you click on 'Make Contact', then on 'Contact' in the pop-up window that appears, they'll be able to respond to you even after the offer has ended.

Q. When I click on 'Make Contact' (or 'Reply') nothing happens - what do I do next?

A. What you should see is a small pop-up window where you choose whether or not to exchange email addresses with your cousin.

Internet Explorer and some other programs can confuse pop-ups like this with those annoying adverts that appear on less reputable sites (the Firefox browser doesn't have this problem).

If you hold down the Ctrl key when you click on 'Make Contact' this usually fixes the problem (if it doesn't, then please contact us for advice).

Q. What happens if my cousin doesn't reply?

A. These days it's all too easy to discard important emails when we're getting rid of junk mail (sometimes our ISP or email program does this automatically).

So if you don't get a response within 14 days email us and we'll follow up on your behalf.

Q. If I decide I want to subscribe, are there any special offers?

A. Yes, if you enter the code AUTUMN on the Subscribe page between now and Thursday 12th October you can get a subscription to 1st January 2008 - almost 15 months for the price of a 12 month subscription!

Free use at Christmas 2009Edit

"As in previous years, all LostCousins members will have subscriber privileges between Christmas and New Year. Please make sure you update your My Ancestors page in advance, so that your cousins can find you!

"To read my latest newsletter simply click the link below (or if that doesn't work for any reason, highlight it, copy it, then paste it into your browser). Remember, you don't need your password - it's not necessary to log-in if all you wish to do is read the newsletter.

"I suggest you add this address to your favourites as it will be used for future newsletters (see my newsletter article if you're not sure how to do this). Each newsletter links to the one before, so it's easy to catch up on any you've missed.

"If you want to circulate the newsletter to friends or relatives who share your interest in family history, it's really easy - just copy the link above and paste it into your email. But why not invite them to join LostCousins so that they'll get a copy regularly?"

Free periods in 2010Edit

"Good news - until Sunday September 5th the LostCousins site is completely free for all members!"

Later free periodsEdit

Several in subsequent years (not all noted here).

  • January 12-15, 2017.
  • Easter 2018

External linksEdit