03 April 2009

A Postcard from a Stranger - Family Members Rediscovered

Are you trying to locate a long lost relative?

Have you looked up an online telephone directory of a town where your family once lived, to find out who might have the same surname?

There are, quite rightly, many privacy issues relating to contact with strangers. I find that the best way to initiate contact is to send a postcard (not in an envelope).

My postcards usually include my email address and post office box, plus the name of a person who may be a common ancestor. I find it is best just to have two or three brief sentences in simple handwriting.

I like to have a cheerful but otherwise neutral picture on the postcard, such as a cute animal, beautiful flowers, pretty scenery or a colourful or humorous bird.  It might then show that I am friendly!

So far, I have had a 100% success rate with the above technique.

You may be searching for the genetic history of your family and want to know of the experiences of others who share your genes.

Perhaps your parents or grandparents had siblings who were sent to orphanages and you want to know if you have cousins somewhere out there.

Maybe your family was separated by war, or you are the child of a fleeting wartime relationship.

Here are some more links you may find useful:

Barnardos Australia - tracing service

Red Cross - tracing service

Genetic Genealogy

International telephone and address listings

Good luck with your own searches!

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I especially appreciate historical insights.