At what point should you stop going sideways? This is a question I've been struggling with a lot lately. I have certain areas where I love doing research. (Connecticut is one, of course!) My problem is as follows. I'm actually starting to run out of direct line ancestors to research. Soon I'll have to explore a new area -or I can keep going sideways.
Thus far, tracing sideways has actually served a purpose. I had a few family members that I could only place by tracing the generation. I also have several spouses that shared a last name, even though they were not closely related. Only by tracing their full families was I able to figure out why this occurred. In these cases and in others like them, tracking down the whole family makes sense to me.
My fear is that I'll keep going sideways just for easy research. Is there any reason for me to know my third great-grandfather's cousin?