Unsolicited Surname Information Requests #general


Although I can sympathize somewhat with Ms. Greenblatt (my surname is
FRIEDMAN-how much more common can you get than that!), I thought the entire
purpose of genealogical research (especially on the internet) was to make

I think it's wonderful that she knows *exactly* where her ancestors were at
any given time in the past. I wish I knew half as much about my ancestors.
(They're >from "Russia" according to my parents).

For those of you who have been researching longer and who have more
information, please be patient with those of us who do not have your
experience or information. We want to learn >from you.

I have checked the listings on JewishGen Family Finder, etc. for my
surnames. Many of the postings are several years old and the e-mail
addresses bounce. Yes, I have also posted my own listings and I have not
received any responses >from them yet.

Since I know that I have relatives out there that my immediate family has
lost track of (some may be alive, some may have passed on), I make it a
point to try to contact anyone who has a similar surname in the hopes of
making a connection. I try to do this as politely as possible. I cannot
force people to respond. If you don't want to answer, don't answer, but I
don't see why I don't have the right to ask.

I should think that if I were truly annoyed by unsolicited requests about
my surname that I certainly would not join genealogical mailing lists!

I apologize if this sounds like an attack against Ms. Greenblatt. It is not
intended as such. It is actually an attack against intolerance. (If you
want to know what the results of an attitude of intolerance are, read the
history books.) Intolerance helps no one. Consider the other person's
circumstances. Do good to others. This is now, and always has been, the
Jewish way.

Vicki Ina Friedman
Acworth, GA, USA

From: Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@postoffice.worldnet.att.net>
Inevitably whenever I post a message to this forum, often the only
response that greets it has nothing to do with the matter at hand, but
rather a question asking if I am related to or connected with this or that
GREENBLATT. The latest example was that my message about the upcoming
March 4, 2001 JGSNY "Beyond the Basics" Seminar was met with:

"Do you by any chance have ..."

Since I am getting at least a dozen of these type messages per year, it is
time to set the record straight about the surname GREENBLATT, which is
something I've wanted to do for some time now.

The point I'm making is that one cannot assume that all GREENBLATT's are
related to each other. There are simply too many of them and they were too
widespread in area. In other words, a single-surname research group for
GREENBLATT would not be recommended, as appealing as the idea is.

In the future, before one posts a message to a total stranger asking about
the surname GREENBLATT or any other common surname, it is important to
first check the surname in the JGFF and see if the intended recipient of
your message is listed. In a case like GREENBLATT, it is not enough for
just the surname to match -- both the country and the town of research
have to match as well. It's not a matter of either the country or the
town, but rather both. Otherwise it is an exercise in futility and
unproductivity, both on your part as well as on the part of the person who
has to take the time to negatively respond to your message. >>

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