I received the following message today from the LostCousins site:
All users of the LostCousins site will have totally free access from December 26 to January 6, so it's a great opportunity to find and contact living relatives who share your ancestry!
The LostCousins website has a unique system that identifies living relatives who share the same ancestors automatically, confidentially, and with virtually 100% accuracy. It's all done using census data, most of which is available free online at the FamilySearch site.
The more relatives you enter on your My Ancestors page, the better your chance of finding a cousin immediately - and the more cousins you'll find over time.
Founder Peter Calver explained why the system works so well: "Using the census ensures that two members who share the same relative enter precisely the same data - this means we can not only match you automatically, but do it with 100% accuracy.
"Once you've told us about your relatives from the census, it takes just seconds to search for other members who share your ancestors - and you can repeat the search as often as you like, even after the offer ends. Our simple search and accurate matching will save you an enormous amount of time and effort that might otherwise be expended following up false leads."
A recent survey revealed that the average LostCousins member has been researching her family tree for over 10 years, so the cousins you find are likely to have lots of useful research to share - as well as photographs and other memorabilia.
Although new members are required to register, no credit card or other financial information is requested - so there's absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain by taking part. From January 7 onwards you'll need to be a subscriber to initiate contact with a new cousin, but otherwise you'll continue to have full access to your data and to the site.
The LostCousins website can be found at: http://www.LostCousins.com