Posted by Kristie Wells on September 27, 2013 in In The Community

It is great when you can find a shared passion with one of your ancestors – like when the 1940 census shows your grandfather owned a bakery and it makes sense as you love to eat cookies, or your 3x great-grandmother working as a seamstress and you happen to be handy sewing a rogue button back on your shirt.

Connections like this are wonderful to find, and can help answer the question of how you, actually became you.

Ok, maybe those aren’t the strongest of ties, but here is one.

A shared love of hockey, and more specifically, the LA Kings, brought two biological cousins together for the first time. 

Steve Burnell was adopted as an infant, never knowing anything about his biological family. His wife Heather signed up for and quickly discovered a baptism certificate listing Steve’s original last name (‘Duganne’), which then led her to two half-sisters, a half-brother, and several cousins – many of them Season Ticket Members of the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Team – just like Steve. And interestingly enough, the Burnell’s and the Duganne’s all had tickets within a few sections of each other.

“My biological family has given me a feeling of belonging because I fit in with them so well, and it is a great feeling to know that I am always welcome with my blood relatives and that I have so much in common with many of them.” – Steve Burnell

For the past two years the newly connected family members have been meeting at L.A. Kings hockey games and building a new set of memories with their extended families.

We are thrilled to have a small part in this story and would love to hear yours! Has helped you connect with a family member? Share your story here.

Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.


  1. Always Questioning

    One would think that with the sheer number of paying customers (and 14-day freeloaders) who come to the site, there would have been at least one comment made regarding this blog post.

    Perhaps nobody cares about your social blahblah in the “community.”

    Also, in which Ancestry data set does one find an actual baptism (sic) certificate? (“Baptism” is a noun. The document to which you refer is a baptismal certificate.)

  2. Steve is so lucky to have found his family. This is a wonderful story. I wish I could break through the brick wall and find out about my paternal great grandmother, Monica Morris.

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