For those of you who have done genealogy research, you know how exciting it can be to find a missing piece of information or to discover a new branch in the family tree. And you also know how hard it can be to wait and be patient when you're on a quest.
I've recently been researching my paternal great-grandfather's side of the family. My father didn't talk much about his family, so it's been hard to piece things together. I have been able to locate some relatives from my parents' and my generation of the tree via the internet and was even able to locate what I believe to be current addresses for some of these distant relatives. I've written letters to these relatives, asking for missing dates, marriages, and offspring, but so far I haven't gotten any responses. In my letter I identified where I fit into our family tree and mentioned our common relatives, hoping that would be enough for them to realizee I'm researching the family tree as a hobby and out of my interest in our family history, and not because I'm out to steal their identities or something. I've even included printouts of what information I have on a particular branch of the tree and have offered to share information if they also have the genealogy bug.
Well, it's been a month and so far I haven't gotten any replies. I know it's not a high priority for people to respond to a blind letter such as this one, but I also know that if my letter gets put aside (if it wasn't trashed immediately) it will get buried and forgotten. Am I just being impatient? Is there something I should do differently? Do any of you have luck sending out letters such as this? If you received a letter like this, would you be willing to share this information with a virtual, albeit related, stranger?