Re: Improving the Odds of a Reply When Contacting Someone by E-Mail #general

Deborah Wiener

This is an interesting question. Years ago when I started genealogical trawling I wrote snail mail and also sent faxes(remember them?) to those I thought were relatives as I was able to find those via online telephone books. It was prior to Ancestry etc. I received I think 100 per cent success rate. Possibly due to the fact that the relationship was quite close(g grandfathers were brothers) and I was able to demonstrate it. Also, I have received and sent messages via jewish gen family finder and found people helpful, but I suspect that in the latter case one is pushing through an open door anyway.  These days it is harder as on Geni for instance you get a message that you have a smart match and it turns out to be a cousin’s bother’s sister’s aunt’s inlaw or something incomprehensible like that. I always reply but a lot of people don’t. Maybe they are just suspicious of it all, maybe afraid of being hacked, maybe a time factor, ie they intend to but just forget. My guess is the more information you can offer up the more likely you are to get a reply.  And some people just aren’t interested in new/more relatives.


Debbie Wiener


Melbourne, Australia

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