Tips for contacting relatives you’ve never met or spoken to

Genealogy entails a lot of challenges but can reap tremendous amounts of benefits. Before you get the best results, you’ll need to overcome pitfalls, problems and even more hindrances— one of which is contacting relatives you’ve never spoken to.

So how exactly do you approach this? Well, here are some tips that should guide you along the way.

1. Coordinate with those you know.

For instance your uncle is more than willing to help you out with your genealogical research. You can ask him for help in contacting those relatives he know but you haven’t met before.

This could ease possible tension and communicative barricades you could encounter doing it yourself. Moreover, this will set a lighter tone.

2. Organize a family reunion.

This can be a brilliant way for you to get all the relatives together. Apart from having various reinforcements, there will be a more casual atmosphere to it.

So ask help from your mom or grandmother in order to pull this off the best way possible. Just be open to the fact that other relatives are not as enthusiastic as you are and may end up not attending.

From here, you can approach those you haven’t spoken to and spark easy conversations to get them comfortable.

3. Contact them via social media.

This tip can either make you a creeper or a friend. The risk of adding someone as a friend in Facebook is it no longer lets you put in the reason why you’re adding them. So a better approach here is for you to send a message to them.

Soften up and don’t bombard them with hard knock details right away. Also, you need to consider the age of this relative of yours. If s/he is young and seems like a Facebook-savvy, then it will be easier to send him/her a message.

Keep in mind that anything can happen. Not everyone could be as receptive as you are so be open to surprises and hope for the best.

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