True Friends, The New Family



Following on from the Family Feud Blog, it got me thinking about the fact that researching the family tree can branch out in all directions but still not include some of the most important people in our lives.

Some friends are for life and the truth is some family come and go…

I’m no different to anyone I know in that I have a few family members that are not blood to me but have been just as close. Like that handful of true life friends that you can count on no matter what the crisis in life.

Some of this group do get a mention in the family tree due to connections of marriage but a small few don’t and this is a great loss to a person’s life story if those connections aren’t recorded.

Many times I have found myself looking at an old marriage certificate or funeral notice that lists people’s names that don’t seem to have any connection to the person I’m researching. It’s apparent from the document that this stranger was more than just a passer-by. Being a witness to a marriage is normally a position held by someone of importance to the couple getting married. Pallbearers or the people that give a eulogy at a funeral also can be lifelong friends rather than that of blood.

So I’m now starting to see that to really record a person’s life in the family tree we may need to cast the net even wider to include the “True Friends”

So did you know that I’m a Twin?

Yes I have a twin brother, he was born first and then 5 years later and to different parents came me…
“How does that work?” You ask!

I have no idea how it works but about 23 years ago I came face to face with my twin and straight away we knew something strange was going on. He starts a sentence and I finish it… We hear something and turn to each other and say….. “Yep, you know exactly what I’m thinking don’t you.”

I was best man at his wedding – He was best man at mine.

Our wives laugh at the things one of us does and the other copies. If I have a dumb idea he will back me all the way to the realisation that, yes, it was a dumb idea, but so what we had fun. If he’s in trouble he never needs to ask for my help… because I’m in the same trouble already.

Everyone should have a twin!


If you don’t have the family connection, don’t let that stop you. I have a few very close friends that don’t need to be blood to be family. Maybe I will blog about them in the future, but through stories I will record them in the tree, so others will know the important role they play in my life.

Don’t forget to record your “True Friends”

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7 thoughts on “True Friends, The New Family”

  1. My family tree program has a function to attach people to a person who may be unrelated but are connected in some way – witness on a marriage certificate is a perfect example.. sometimes they turn out to be related (by marriage perhaps). The other way it works is if you find someone you believe is related, in connection with someone in your tree, but you havent found the relationship connection yet.

    • Thanks Michelle, Yes I use FTM and can see it will allow this also. I hadn’t used it before in the past as I felt that without a proven connection it was not really part of the main tree. I think from now on I may start to record a few of the important people this way.

      Found this article for others also: Family Tree Maker: Unrelated Individuals

  2. Oh you old softie you 🙂

    It’s a very valid, and valuable post Darryl. Especially for some people who are not close to their family, but have built a network of friends as their family. I have a best friend who is more like my sister, we have been together since we were both 7 years old. She has been at every significant event in my life, so yes, it would be nice to acknowledge her in my family history.

    Again, another well written, thought provoking post.

    Cheers Jodie

  3. Not sure what happened to my first comment? Damn I hate that.

    So I think I called you an old softie Darryl.! But you have a very valid and valuable point. Friends are our family too, often more treasured and closer than real blood family.

    Your writing and posts are excellent, well thought out and relevant.

    Cheers Jodie

    • Jodie, The SPAM blocker knew you had posted before but was looking at “It’s a very valid, and valuable post” as common SPAM so had put it in my Needs Approval List… Sorry x

      I told the silly thing it should approve anything you say… so now I’m worried 😉 – Thanks for encouragement and glad that people are finding the posts worth reading.

      “Time goes by fast, and people go in and out of your life so quickly, so you should never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. I met my best friend as a teenager after I had left home and was down on my luck. She took me home to her place and put a roof over my head. She was there for the birth of my first child and she was witness to 3 of my marriages. The list could go on. In an indirect way she is part of my family. She is aunty to my daughter. The most wonderful gift I could give this person is to recognize her as part of my life and family.

    • Great comment Shirley and I’m sure not everyone is so lucky when they find themselves down on luck. It’s truly a rich person that has nothing other than a true friend.

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