17 November 2012



Dear Ancestry Worship Genealogy,

After years of research, I found some information on a lost relative (someone I never met but who my mother wanted contact with) on the Internet.  The person had married and was celebrating a special occasion and there was a brief biography on the net that mentioned her maiden name.  It was the right state but not the right city, as much as I knew, but I decided since there was an e-mail address to contact her.

I did so honestly.  I told her who I was and how we were related, and I gave enough information to back up my claim and flat out asked her if she was the person in question.  I told her I was the family genealogist and that there were some mysteries I hadn't been able to solve.

A couple weeks later I got an e-mail back from her.  She didn't say I was right or not.  She mentioned talking to her husband about it and also said that over the summer they would go through some old pictures and documents.  It was almost a yes.  I responded right away telling her I was looking forward to it.  Then a couple months passed and I e-mailed again, just a hello how are you kind of message.  This time there was no response.  Now it's almost winter and there has been no more contact.  I have only her e-mail address or I would send a Christmas card. Should I just leave this alone?


A: From Ancestry Worship Genealogy

I think you should leave it alone even though the holidays are near and it would be nice to send a card by the United States post office (I don't do e-mail cards).  Maybe this person is just so busy that she hasn't gotten around to the old pictures and documents or going through all the memorabilia brought up bad feelings, maybe she has lived her life without contact with your mother and doesn't want it, maybe her husband doesn't think it's a good idea...  One thing for sure is you've done your part and so it's now up to her. 

I know this is difficult to accept after so many years of earnest research and good heartedness, but there are many people who just are not at all into genealogy.  There are also people using genealogy databases and other public information wrongfully and good reason for people to be concerned for their privacy and security.  I know that the information this woman has might prove to be valuable and it's really tempting to try try again, but when I find myself hitting a brick wall like this, I use my time to work on some other line of family.  In other words, maybe this reunion is not meant to be, not now, not in the near future.

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