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Old 01-30-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
24,813 posts, read 24,468,813 times
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I knew my grandfather's two brothers died young, I knew one sister with whom our family kept in touch, then through records I learned of another sister. She is also listed in my mother's notes on the family.

Recently I did some work on Ancestry and traced the descendants of this sister. I want to find any living relatives and I was wondering if anyone, especially in England, could suggest the best online service for locating people. It looks like I will have to pay to find their phone numbers so I want to get the most reliable, up to date service. I know their names and they are probably still living around Halifax and Bradford, Yorkshire.

Is it better to get their home address and just write to them? Also, they have common names--believe it or not, one is Smith and another is John. Maybe with so many possibilities it would just be better to get their address. Any opinions?

Also, has anyone else ever done this? Just call someone and tell them that we are probably related? And what response did you get. It's kind of intimidating and I don't want the people to think that I am trying to make trouble.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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I think that maybe it might be better to write them than call. Maybe put in something about how you believe you all are related etc. Sorry that's all I can offer you on the subject.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:04 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
24,813 posts, read 24,468,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritos56 View Post
I think that maybe it might be better to write them than call. Maybe put in something about how you believe you all are related etc. Sorry that's all I can offer you on the subject.
I think you are right and I am relieved to think that it would be better to write than to call. If I write to all the addressed I find, I can make duplicates and I can include a family tree with each one. That would probably work better and be less nerve wracking than cold calling.

I have found one online site that gives you the age (and I know what their ages should be) along with the addresses. If anyone else has any ideas, information, or experience, I'd love to know.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Niagara Region
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I've discovered second and third cousins of mine and my husband's, and of the 5 that I contacted, 3 have remained in touch with me and we exchange emails/photos every so often. It's very rewarding! I agree that it's best to write. Have you looked for them on Facebook? That's where I found one of mine. Not so easy with Smiths, though. I've also found the UK British Telecom white pages to be extremely useful.

Residential Numbers - The Phone Book from BT
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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My great grandfather was either an Irish 'smith' or an English one. Grandma and great grandma said English. His sister lived in Manchester and mom remembered letters from her. Total I know except he was a mining engineer and died before grandma ever knew him.

I'm hoping there will be some hits on dna when I do that because I'd sure like to solve the mystery and it would be neat to find cousins in the UK.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:08 PM
 
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Try signing up for a free Rootsweb mailing list for England. You can post a request to help you find the person. Lots of genealogy mail lists for UK listed here: http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/UK/

I suggest writing to the person. I've gotten good results when writing to "found' relatives. If writing via snail mail I always include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Calling on the phone can be problematic, the person you're calling may be startled or confused by a call, especially an elderly person.

I once wrote to someone, but never received a reply. Years later her son contacted me & said that he had found my letter amongst his late Mom's papers. I ended up speaking to this cousin many times.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:48 PM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
24,813 posts, read 24,468,813 times
Reputation: 45680
Those are really helpful replies. Thank you.

I will look in that BT phone book. I definitely will write to them; it seems unanimous that it's the best way to do it. I do know about rootsweb--that's how I got started on my UK genealogy back around 1998--and I am still on two rootsweb lists. I posted on a rootsweb list recently to get the names that I have been looking for -- I love rootsweb.

The self addressed envelopes is another great idea.

I'm really going to go ahead and do this.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:17 AM
 
Location: MA
675 posts, read 1,543,701 times
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My husband did this with long-lost relatives in Canada he discovered through research. He did phone one person and it went ok but I think that was lucky - as you say, writing would probably be better. It is intimidating but can have good results - I think my husband had 1-2 people who didn't respond but two who were very enthusiastic about speaking with him, as his side of the family was as much a mystery to them as theirs was to him. Perhaps your case would be similar? I think my husband included photos, family trees, etc. but I'm not sure if he did this in the first contact or later.

Wishing you the best of luck.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:17 PM
 
9,238 posts, read 21,337,397 times
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If your UK relatives happen to also be into family history, they might be on this site:

RootsChat.Com - Index Family History


I've found some of the people there to be very helpful even just with questions, like how to find a person today.
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