In assisting a professor with a research project, a St. Lawrence University student has instead found her own roots.

Melissa E. Cosmus '02, of Niskayuna, New York, is working as a research assistant to Assistant Professor of Sociology Patrice LeClerc, who is writing the social history of northern New York and southern Ontario in the 1800s, focusing on a prominent family in New York's Monroe County. As Cosmus was looking up information on the Phelps family, she found that they had ties to Simsbury, Connecticut, where her own family is from. Further research revealed that she is related to the family she is researching with the professor.

Cosmus took her research a step further recently, visiting distant relatives and the historical society in Simsbury during her spring break. The Phelps family were business people in the area, as well as elected officials, education and religious leaders during the period being studied.

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