There is difference in how one does genealogical research now versus thirty years ago. Tracy and I were trying in the 1980's to connect one of my ancestors, Jacob Whittemore, to a Jacob Whittemore in a published genealogy. They were both in about the right place, at the right time. Yet it wasn't certain. There were other Jacob Whittemores in the region, and it took us months before we were finally able to find the cemetery in Litchfield and determine "Yes! This is our Jacob." Great rejoicing. My painstakingly-assembled research through grandfather and great-great grandfather now connected to a published record that went back to the immigrant ancestor.
Fast forward. Tracy has long tried to find out more about John Charles Henken, her grandfather who died (or perhaps ran off) in the 1920's. Because of her DNA sample, she communicated with a person who is descended from a Jacob Henken, slightly older than John, born in Holland but emigrated to America when young, also to NYC/NJ. I wondered, still thinking old style "Oh! I wonder if those Henkens are connected to ours?"
Duh. We would not have learned of them if they weren't connected, and very closely. He could only be the older brother of John Charles. It's not like the old days.I think people don't always get this, which is why another contact, in another line, wrote back "No, sorry I can't help you. All our relatives were on the West coast at that time, so they couldn't have any connection to a baby born in Massachusetts."
Well, no one wants to find out that their aunt (or grandmother) had a baby out of wedlock in the 1960's, so I didn't want to press the issue. We sign up for the full package for a few months once in a while, and we'll just look at that family tree and figure it out.