Find Living Relatives

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Genes Extras

Genes Reunited subscription bonuses

As a way of saying thank you to our subscribers, we have launched Genes Extras. You'll find exclusive competitions and discounts on family history magazines, days out and much more.

Take me to Genes Extras


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

No Reply

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


susan Report 13 Sep 2012 02:56

SORRY, I am saddened that I not only posted/messaged, paid to find out from the electrol roll a potential relative of my mum in law, I actually wrote a heart felt letter to who we beleived to be her cousin, and asked if they would be kind enough to eliminate themselves from our search. This was within a 20 mile radius, and a 10p 'phone call. How callus.

To date, nothing Love you Eileen


jax Report 13 Sep 2012 04:37

Are you saying you sent a letter to someone and they have not replied?

If so are you sure they still live there?


Penny Report 13 Sep 2012 05:24

Alll sorts of reasons why a person may not have responded - callousness probably the very least reason.

They could have moved
They could have died
They could be partially sighted/blind
suffer with dementia

It also depends on the questions you asked - you say heartfelt- was it a sensitive subject? 'The older gereration' sometimes feel differently about things, and simply may not want to discuss , admit ( Or tell lies by denial).


Reggie Report 13 Sep 2012 11:11

Did you enclose an SAE?

And the person concerned may not have appreciated an unsolicited 'heartfelt' letter...............

Something less demanding may have been more appropriate


Clara-Jane Report 14 Sep 2012 14:23

Reggie always so compassionate and thoughtful in what you write!

Like the others said there are probably a million and one different reason before Reggie's idea of them just not wanting the letter or them actually being callous. Perhaps they just need time to think it over.

The other thing is some people really are suspicious of relatives suddenly turning up out of the blue. I know it sounds silly but did you include enough in the letter to let them know you are genuine? ie family history or birth records?

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 14 Sep 2012 14:38

I don't think there is anything wrong with Reggie's reply, and the suggestion of sending an SAE is very sensible, why should someone have to pay for a stamp to respond to a 'stranger' or phone them which then gives their private number to a stranger? it was the OP who used the word "callous".

A 'heartfelt ' letter may have been intimidating perhaps to an older person who does not feel they want any more relatives than they already have to deal with, and they may even be suspicious that it is just a stranger trying to scam them...and lets face it they're are enough scams out there to make anyone cautious!


susan Report 20 Dec 2012 02:17

Judge for yourself....

Dear George,

I hope you will forgive me for writing to you, but we are hoping that you may be my mother-in-law Eileens cousin.

Eileens mum was Martha born around 1910. She married EO in 1933 and tragically died in 1943, when Eileen was 9. Martha had an older sister Ethel born in 1901, who's first marriage was to (name of husband) We think she had 4 children,Eric,Ronnie, Vera and Reene

In 1935 Ethel married George Henry ( x). Were George & Ethel your parents?

Eileen is now 78 and lives in (address given) She has no photographs of her mother, or indeed of her maternal side of the family, and knows very little about martha. She does however remember living in Fletcher Street, Ashton for a short while after their home had been bombed during the war

Despite my best efforts, I cannot trace any history of Martha, so we are hoping Ethel may lead us to a more positive outcome.
If any of this information seems relevant to you, or even if you would be kind enough to eliminate yourself from our search, could you possibly contact Eileen? Her No. Is xxxx

I thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and hope you didn't find it too intrusive.

Kind regards

daughter in law


susan Report 20 Dec 2012 02:40


Thank you.


Penny Report 20 Dec 2012 05:51

My mother is the same sort of age as the recipient o your letter. She wouldn't have replied. Not because she's callous. burt because she doesn't have the ability through ill health. She'd have just put it in the bin.

I spend a lot of time talking to her about NOT calling people back if you dont know who they are, and not to tell people things over the phone, particually personal things. I might, had i seen the letter replied on her behalf,but maybe she doesn't have anyone.

Dont assume shes callous, you really dont know


Kay???? Report 20 Dec 2012 07:52

There is far too much detail in the letter for anyone elderly to absorb,,,,,more simplified would have been better,also this person is a stranger and should have been addressed.

Dear Mr xxxxxxx.

you only need to establish his connection to Ethel and George xxxxxxx the rest of details could come into it later after contact from him,,,,,,as there could be names dates addresses that on the spot he cant recall,,,,,,,,,,but parents names are always remembered,

wait into the new year and try again,,,,,keeping it very short.,


Reggie Report 20 Dec 2012 09:03

You haven't said whether you enclosed a SAE

If you decide to write again, you really must do so..............and Kay's point about not using the forename to address someone you have never met is very valid.


ZXO Report 10 Jan 2013 18:32

I agree with most of what has been said, but not necessary about age. I have only been doing family history for a short time, and one of the first persons I wrote to who I think is a second cousin.replied with in weeks,Since then we have been corresponding regularly. And her age is 90.!! I'm nearly 70 and I would have replied but not telephoned.
So try again, after all the letter might have gone astray in the post. :-)