Using One Wedding Announcement to Find Multiple Cousins

If your family comes from a small town, you’ll often find that nearly everyone who was born in that town is related to you in some way. This is the case with many of my maternal cousins from Sanbornton, Belknap County, New Hampshire.

Photo: Bay Meeting House, Sanbornton, New Hampshire, built in 1836
Photo: Bay Meeting House, Sanbornton, New Hampshire, built in 1836. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

I wanted to learn more about these Belknap County relatives, so I picked one of the surnames of my Sanbornton cousins – Huse – and searched for it, along with the keyword “Sanbornton,” in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

A screenshot of GenealogyBank's search page showing a search for Use and Sanbornton
Source: GenealogyBank

Among the first few search results, I found a wedding announcement that mentions one of my Huse cousins:

“In Sanbornton, December 20, by Rev. V. E. Bunker, Mr. Orin D. Huse of Sanbornton to Miss Stella A. Porter of Laconia.”

Wedding announcements, Lake Village Times newspaper article 30 December 1871
Source: GenealogyBank, Lake Village Times (Laconia, New Hampshire), 30 December 1871, page 3

I know that Orrin Daniel Huse (1847-1919) was my cousin. The wedding announcement states that the presiding minister was Rev. V. E. Bunker – was he also my cousin?

A quick search of shows that the Rev. Valentine Estabrooks Bunker (1811-1881) is also a cousin of mine.

And, let’s look at the next wedding performed by the Rev. V. E. Bunker, a few days later, according to the same newspaper article:

“By same, December 24, Mr. Stephen R. Sanborn to Miss Hattie A. Moulton; both of Laconia.”

“By same” refers to the same minister, the Rev. Valentine Estabrooks Bunker.

I’m related to most of the Sanborn’s from Belknap County, New Hampshire. So it’s likely that Stephen R. Sanborn (1847-1934) and his wife Harriet A. Moulton (1852-1937) are also my cousins. I’ll have to do a little more research to find out.

Wow – multiple cousins in one wedding announcement section: brides, grooms and even the minister. Distant cousins – but still all my cousins just the same.

What a lucky find!

Genealogy Tip: Use weddings and obituaries to find new cousins by searching for your family’s surname in one particular city and then researching each of them to see how they are also related to you. Find your family at

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