Author Topic: Found new living relative  (Read 3625 times)

Offline Umm Merlin

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Found new living relative
« on: Sunday 01 March 20 14:52 GMT (UK) »
Hello there,

Well, after what has been a long, frustrating, blind (at times) search for my biological grandmother and her family, I have finally found who I hope is my mother's living sister.

Bit of a back story: My mother was adopted back in the 1940s (long story..) and never knew her mother until her adopted mother passed away and her adopted father gave her some family history. The search to find her biological family began. This was some 25 years ago. Since then, and very sadly since the passing of my mother in 1999, I have been off and on researching, trying to piece together the puzzle for her sake. Going with my biological grandfather's details, I was eventually able to undertake detailed research and have just recently found that he had another daughter whose birth details have been confirmed and tally up with my bio grandmother's surname.  (By the way, both of my bio grandparents have passed.)

This find has been totally unexpected.  This missing piece of the jigsaw was put into place when I obtained a copy of my bio grandfather's death certificate - it was signed by his daughter (my 'aunt') and the rest of this puzzle has now unfolded.

Now.. what next? My mother's sister is still alive - she is around 65 and resides in Kent. How on earth would I go about contacting her? I understand this would be an extremely delicate matter, someone contacting you out of the blue announcing, oh I'm your long-lost niece! How does one write such a letter?

I'm not concerned about meeting her face to face (if it happens it's a bonus), I'm more eager to see  photographs of and hear about my grandmother - I feel that then I could be at peace knowing that I did this for my darling mother who always felt there was a piece of her life missing, and at times, was quite overcome with emotion at her sense of loss.

I have also found that she has a 20-odd year old daughter, who has the same middle name as my bio grandmother's first name (I thank the lord that my mother's side of the family has unusual names as it makes searching so much easier!) and her daughter has a Facebook account so I've actually now seen a couple of photographs of my 'aunt'.   My 'aunt' also has a Facebook account though not a great user, it does have a fairly recent entry.

Anyhow, so far I haven't contacted either.  I can't write as the last address I have is for my aunt's (now closed) business on company house and this is 2014, so too old to rely upon.  So it seems the only way is via Facebook but how do I write that initial contact? Should I just say something along the lines of, "Hi, my name's XXX and I've been researching the (surname) family history for over 20 years, I think I may be a (close) relative of yours on my mother's side.." -  how else can I phrase it - what other information should I include in this first contact?   I want to come across as genuine as possible however I don't want to go into a great amount of detail on FB, BUT I do want to give her something to ensure the genuineness and sincerity of my contact so that hopefully she'll respond! There are dubious characters out there on FB and I definitely don't wish to appear like one!   Help?!

(I've also drafted a letter and I have added the facts from my mother's birth certificate and stated that further research shows that my bio grandparents had another daughter... and that I think she may be my mother's sister.. Would it be best NOT to include the details about my mother? Should I also say INSTEAD, 'further research indicates that there MAY be some connection to you'? I just don't know how to say this, it's like walking on eggshells when inside I want to excitedly declare, 'You're my mother's long-lost sister!')

Any suggestions would be most appreciated and I thank you for reading this.
Upstone; Waterton; Roberts; Burgess; Glasspool

Offline louisa maud

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 01 March 20 15:56 GMT (UK) »
Haven't got any advice but I wish you luck with whatever you do

If it were me I would welcome contact, I have been researching my family for years and have always made contact by letter, everyone replied and was pleased with the contact but I think yours is more delicate,  they may already know and don't know how or what to do,  so, I think I would make contact the way you have suggested but with minimal details  possible , then after a reply give details bit by bit but you have to do it the best way you feel comfortable with.

Have you tried online to see if anyone has their family tree online?

Happy hunting and good luck

Louisa Maud
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Offline Umm Merlin

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 01 March 20 16:26 GMT (UK) »
Hi Louisa,

Many thanks for your response.

My mother's family have unusual surnames and I've not found many trees searching the same, however no-one with the same surname has acknowledged my bio grandmother as being part of their tree.  Whether they choose not to, or genuinely she is not related, I don't know.  Any name similar to my bio aunt comes up just twice so I've written to both tree owners.

I just want to get the phrasing of my intial contact right to pique her interest and not to scare her away LOL..  FB is not ideal but it's all I've got at the moment.

Kind regards,

Stephanie
Upstone; Waterton; Roberts; Burgess; Glasspool


Offline louisa maud

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 01 March 20 16:34 GMT (UK) »
If you send another message I can send you a personal message, hopefully

Louisa Maud
Census information is Crown Copyright,
from  www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Garner, Marylebone Paddington  Northolt Ilford
Garner, Devon
Garner New Zealand
Maddieson
Parkinson St Pancras,
Lethbridge Paddington Slough
Jenkins Marylebone Paddington
Mizon/Mison/Myson Paddington
Tindal Marylebone Paddington
Tocock, (name changed to Ellis) London
Southam Marylebone, Paddington
Bragg Lambeth 1800's
Edermaniger(Maniger) Essex Kent Canada (Toronto)
Coveney Kent Lambeth
Sondes

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 01 March 20 16:43 GMT (UK) »
Yes, always rather difficult making that first contact.  Is the surname also unusual or just the christian names?  If the surname is unusual have you tried either the phone book or the 192 website (electoral roll) to try and get a more up to date address?

You seem to know that your aunt resides in Kent so that is a starting point.

Otherwise you will have to take the plunge and make contact via Facebook.  Give your name and say you have been researching whatever the surname is and you think that you may be related.  Would she be interested in assisting or be willing to assist you with your research to confirm the possible relationship. 

As you say just give enough info for her to maybe make the connection herself and then wait and see what response you get.  It will be a gamble.  You will either get dead silence, i.e. no response at all or a who do you think you are contacting me (irritated) or it will be ooo yes tell me more.

From your point of view the last response would be the best.  Family history is full of ups and downs, you win some, you lose some.  You will now have to decide whether to take a gamble and make contact.  Until you do, you won't get any further.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.   :D
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Offline Umm Merlin

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 01 March 20 17:13 GMT (UK) »
Hi GirlGuide,

The surname is unusual however I can't find any electoral information post 2013.  I've tried variations and including her daughter's name however not results for either.

So it seems FB it is.  It's going to be hard to not divulge too much info as the facts simply speak for themselves, with the evidence to back it all up.  When she has the same parents as my mother, and she's given her mother's name as the second name for her daughter, I mean.. what else is there to say! ;-)  She is without question my mother's sister.

Steph

Upstone; Waterton; Roberts; Burgess; Glasspool

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 01 March 20 17:25 GMT (UK) »
Well all you can do is take a deep breath, write and wait and see what happens.

Good luck and let us know how you got on.  :)
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline Jool

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 01 March 20 17:43 GMT (UK) »
It may be better to contact the daughter rather than your "aunt".  If, as you say, your "aunt" is not a regular Facebook user she may not read your message, or she may be suspicious of someone unknown to her making contact and ignore it.

The daughter, as a younger person and a more regular Facebook user, may be more used to unknown people making contact and may respond to your message.

It may also be easier for you to speak to the daughter initially, as she is a little more distant from the story, and she may be able to speak to her mother on your behalf.  It may be better for your "aunt" to hear it from her daughter rather than someone who, at the moment, is a stranger.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
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Offline Albufera32

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Re: Found new living relative
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 01 March 20 17:47 GMT (UK) »
I would also recommend contacting the daughter first.
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