In some families relatives may have remained in contact decades after they last lived in close proximity to each other. I'm researching a family where some individuals immigrated from England to the United States in the 1820s, settling eventually in Philadelphia. Fortysome years later, a niece and her family immigrated from England as well and likely settled near (or with little logistical assistance from) the family who was already in Philadelphia.
Some families kept in touch over the years and some did not---just like today. In some ways it was more difficult, but it was not impossible.