Finally got my FTM software. It's all installed and syncing and everything is coming up little shaking leaves.
I'm also enjoying the 3 free months of Ancestry.com access. Granted, it's only US records, but I've found lots of records on my collateral lines, not to mention photographs and family stories.
Lastly, I've managed to make contact with several distant relations re; information on their trees and offering to share what I've found in my own research.
I'm hoping that with collaberation, we can knock down a brick wall or two.