My great-great-grandmother died in February of 1888 in rural Illinois. Her obituary indicates that relatives from two separate towns, one 8 miles away and another nearly 20 miles away, came to her funeral. The travel would not have been easy, given the time of year.
Chances are those people were related to my great-great-grandmother, even though the newspaper did not mention any relationship, and the last names were unfamiliar to me. I would have researched them even if great-great-grandmother died in the summer, but given the probable difficulty of travel in February, the chance of a connection was even greater.