You’ve performed an ancestor search for free and have found contact information for a living relative who may be able to help you in your research. The thing is, you haven’t been in touch with them for quite some time, possibly ever, and are feeling a little nervous about contacting them, and what you’ll say if you do. Never fear, we’ll provide advice in this article about the approach you should take when contacting long lost relatives during your ancestor search for free.
You’ve laboured for hours tirelessly, and now are experiencing the excitement of finding the contact details of a living family member who may be able to assist in your ancestor search. Free to hop on a plane or train and show up at their house unannounced? We strongly recommend that you resist this urge! Showing up uninvited at the front door of someone you may not have ever met can make them feel uncomfortable, even threatened, no matter your good intentions. They will be totally unprepared for your visit, and may not be at their best.Try Ancestry.com and get 14 Days FREE!
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A phone call to the person you’ve found during your ancestor search for free would be more acceptable, but even this should be carefully considered first. They could be busy, or dealing with a personal crisis, and a phone call out of the blue might not be the best way to approach them. An unassuming way to contact this person would be a personal hand written letter. It need only be a short note expressing your wishes and providing contact details for them to follow up.
This is a gentle way of contacting lost relatives during an ancestor search for free, and will give them time for thought as to whether they want to make contact, and what they will say themselves if they do. The response may be in the form of a letter also, and it might be some time before you actually talk. Don’t be discouraged, you don’t know the circumstances or personality of the one you’ve made touch with, and besides, slow and steady wins the race in an ancestor search for free.
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This unfortunately is a possible scenario during an ancestor search. Free to contact you or not, many people choose not when surprised by a letter or phone call from a distant relative. The reasons are many, and it’s important not to take this personally. There are a number of reasons the person may not respond, such as:
A lack of response may lead you to conclude that your invite to make contact was unwelcomed. Keep in mind though, that there are many possibilities such as those listed above. Don’t completely give up at this stage of your ancestor search. Free your mind from negative thoughts and wait patiently. If you haven’t heard anything after three weeks to a month, follow up by writing another short note, or if you have the telephone number, make a short call.
If you feel that the contact you have made during your ancestor search for free has caused some upset or shock, consider using a third party to initiate further communication. A close friend or another family member might be able to smooth the way, and allay any fears your distant relative may have about becoming involved in your ancestor search for free.
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