Friday, 24 July 2009


Over the A303

I get queries from time to time about possible family connections. Indeed I initiate a great number myself. I can do this quite easily on the Internet as a rule.

Sometimes the lead I am following needs a snail mail follow up to another party and it can require a little caution to send something that the recipient will be getting out of the blue. How do I introduce myself and phrase my query so that I get a reply? On the Internet a percentage of approaches is ignored and this can hold true for written post as well.

Some months ago I received a query from a young lady in the next village who wanted to know if we were related. She did not tell me that much about her family and I do not blame that caution in these days when youngsters tell the world about themselves and their families thus facilitating fraud. Gradually I discovered details about her kin and wrote to her to get confirmation I was on the right track.

Finally I identified her grandfather and sent my snail mail letter to him. He telephoned today and I found he was in my files already. Trouble was that he uses his second given name. That happens so often and makes identification so difficult. Once we got talking I could give him a run down of what I had deduced from computer research and get his confirmation about his parents and siblings.

Now I have updated my files and printed a copy to post to him so he may discuss the family with his granddaughter. Pity but we are not cousins as I have too many missing links because of records that have gone astray over the past five centuries. Something may crop up in the future, though. There is always hope in genealogy as the past wants you to make your discoveries and give them an airing.



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