There are many reasons to contact long-lost relatives. Perhaps you’re curious about your family history and want to uncover any stories about your ancestors. Perhaps you have a specific question or need to know the exact date or where someone was born. Or perhaps you’re looking to arrange a family reunion and want to invite your long-lost relatives.
What am I going to consider in contacting a long-lost relative?
While it may be impossible to recreate the excitement you may have had when you met your long-lost relative, contacting them may allow you to learn more about them and maybe even reconnect. Most people have at least a few distant relatives on their parent’s side, and these relatives can be just as interesting as those who are closer in age. If your family is large, it may be hard to track them down, but if you only have one or two relatives, chances are pretty good that one of them resides in the same town or city as you.
How do I contact my long-lost relative?
Finding long-lost relatives can be a rewarding experience, and it’s something that a lot of people are interested in doing. But what is the best way to go about contacting your long-lost relative? Some do it the old-fashioned way, with letters; others opt to use online tools like Facebook to track down long-lost relatives, while others simply contact their parents and ask about their past family members.
Things to Consider Before Contacting a Long-Lost Relative
While it may be tempting to jump right in a communicate with long-lost relatives, consider these few tips before doing so.
- Do some research first – Search online using the ancestral surname of the person you are trying to locate
- Find out if other searches are being conducted at the family genealogy website by visiting the website’s message board or forums.
The saying goes, “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” But we do not live in a perfect world: sometimes, you may discover a dark secret about a relative, and it may be best to go ahead and air it out.
How do you start a conversation with a long-lost family member?
It can be a challenge to break the ice with a distant relative or former best friend. It’s important to approach a subject you don’t know well so that you don’t come off as rude or ignorant. However, you don’t have to wait until you are face-to-face to start a conversation. Start by sending a short email, text, or voicemail. Get the conversation started early so that your feelings don’t get hurt.
It can be difficult to start a conversation with a long-lost family member and, even worse, to figure out how to end the conversation without offending anyone. If your family member hasn’t responded to a letter or email, but you still want to speak with them, then email is a good way to initiate a two-way conversation. Emails get deleted, so getting your message across quickly is important. Start by telling them you are writing to follow up on a missed call or letter and suggest meeting in person as soon as possible. Try to avoid getting too personal since your family member may be uncomfortable opening up to you over the phone or in writing.
It’s a great way to connect with family members you haven’t seen in years, but your connections through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media sites don’t compare to those you make face-to-face. That is why we love family reunions.
For most of us, meeting family members for the first time can be an intimidating experience. It’s even more daunting to meet a long-lost family member, especially for the first time after losing touch with them. But meeting your long-lost relative doesn’t have to be scary. It can even be quite exciting and interesting when you reconnect with someone from your past.