Dear Mark Saul,
Many of us found ourselves in this exact same spot. Contacting relatives who
do not know they are relatives can be disconcerting especially on the
I always included a genealogy chart showing that persons family in relation
to my own. You might also include the statement you made in your query -
"I have lists of names, and even addresses, of distant
relatives in America whom I would like to contact. My
grandparents knew their grandparents, my parents
corresponded with their parents, but time has passed
and I don't know them or their adult children. "
Also include your telephone number and most importantly - a self addressed
stamped envelope (or international postal coupon).
This is what worked for me and I rarely had a problem with anyone questioning
Freya Blitstein Maslov
Morton Grove, IL