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RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe

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  • Caye Caswick
    I think basically nothing ventured nothing gained -- what have you got to lose?  You might find a relative -- or get nothing -- you have nothing now. Write
    Message 1 of 50 , Apr 25, 2010
      I think basically "nothing ventured nothing gained" -- what have you got to lose?  You might find a relative -- or get nothing -- you have nothing now.
      Write the letter -- at least you've put forth the effort to try -- God's not going to hold that against you.

      Caye


      --- On Sun, 4/25/10, Nancy Hayes <viewcards@...> wrote:

      From: Nancy Hayes <viewcards@...>
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, April 25, 2010, 11:55 AM
















       









      Hi Frank,



      Right off the top of my head, I know I received at least 20 letters all

      written in English; some were from people who were English-speaking anyway

      and who weren't related, but who wanted to acknowledge my letter. I'd have

      to look up this section in my genealogy records to actually count the

      letters. All the letters I sent included sending to all five branches of my

      parents' families that I was researching. Now with the Internet available,

      I should probably try this method again.



      Nancy



      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com] On

      Behalf Of Frank R Plichta

      Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 8:06 AM

      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com

      Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



      Nancy,



      OK, so out of the "close to 100" letters, how many replies did you receive

      in any language?



      I tried this about 10 years ago and sent 60 letters to Germany and did not

      receive a single reply. In my case I could write in German so my letter was

      two columns, one in English and one in German. Previously I had two years

      of college German and then lived in Germany for 6 years. My German was

      reasonable but since it had been several years since I had written anything

      in German, I enrolled in a German Language night course at Duke University

      in Durham, NC, for a semester just to brush up on my language writing

      skills. So I tried.



      What I learned later from several other Germans, that I was corresponding

      with, was that many Germans, especially the older folks of my generation,

      were embarrassed by what Hitler did to Europe in WWII and they avoided any

      discussion of genealogy. Just their opinion that several Germans shared

      with me 10 years ago.



      Frank



      _____



      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      ] On

      Behalf Of Nancy Hayes

      Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:39 PM

      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



      Actually out of all of the blind letters (close to 100) that I sent to

      people all over the world and always in English, the Hungarian woman was the

      ONLY one that I had a problem with. Everyone else, no matter what language

      they spoke, always wrote to me in either English or their own language, of

      which I then had those letters translated by my penpals which sometimes took

      weeks as I didn't have the Internet then. Everyone was very cooperative and

      so glad that I contacted them even if we weren't related. And my blind

      letters always stated that English was the only language that I knew and I

      apologized for not being able to write my letter in their own language. Of

      course this was all 15-20 years ago; maybe things are different nowadays

      when sending out blind letters; I wouldn't know as I haven't sent any out in

      years. If someone sent me a blind letter in their language today, I'd get

      it translated just to see what it said and then go from there. I wouldn't

      think they were arrogant just because they didn't send their letter to me in

      English. And I don't believe that I just had blind luck in the responses I

      received, but genuine interest in the genealogy hobby as well as wanting to

      help someone they didn't even know.



      Nancy



      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

      [mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      yahoogroups. com] On

      Behalf Of Bill Tarkulich

      Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:00 PM

      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

      Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



      Yeah! She had her friend , an English nurse named Maxine at the hospital

      in Bratislava translate it for her. By mistake, she sent Maxine's

      translation back to you instead!



      I think you are DOOMED TO LUCK if you expect someone to translate into our

      English (Arrogant American! is a typical response.)



      You really, really, really need to meet them at their level if you expect

      them to help YOU. Remember, genealogy is not a priority. You're setting

      a first impresssion - you may try again an now have had the door shut on

      you. Really, really, really!



      The other reason is that they then get an accurate read on what you are

      asking for. Include a picture or two, that seems to pique their interest.



      Indeed, I've heard of people writing in English and getting a response,

      but those are far, far apart and are simply just good fortune.



      Bill



      On Thu, April 22, 2010 2:07 pm, Nancy Hayes wrote:

      > Hi Bill,

      >

      >

      >

      > I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the 'blind letters' that you sent! You

      > have a very thorough and detailed and very helpful website; thanks for

      > sharing it with the group!

      >

      >

      >

      > I sent my letters out on one legal size piece of paper (longer in length,

      > but still only one page and typewritten for easier reading, but only in

      > English); my letters included my parents' & grandparents' information and

      > was concise and to the point so they knew exactly why I was writing to

      > them.

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > Here's a strange story of what happened when I sent one of my blind

      > letters

      > in English to a woman's name & address in Hungary in the mid-90s. A few

      > weeks later, I received an answer to my letter, but it was all in

      > Hungarian.

      > No big deal since the letter I had sent this woman was in English. My

      > sister was working at the time with another nurse and this nurse was

      > Hungarian and could read the language, so I had Augusta translate the

      > woman's letter into English for me. I then gave Augusta a nice gift for

      > taking the time and effort to translate that woman's letter. I couldn't

      > wait to read it to see if we were related or not; but it turned out that

      > the

      > letter I had sent this woman in English, she sent back to me in Hungarian!

      > My same exact letter, word for word! No other explanation was given about

      > being related or not, the contents of my letter, nothing. I don't know if

      > this woman translated my letter or had someone else do it. I just can't

      > imagine that anyone would translate into their own language a letter they

      > received in another language and then send it back to the sender; it makes

      > no sense to me, but even though this story is strange, it's true.

      >

      >

      >

      > Does anyone in the group have any ideas as to why this woman translated my

      > English letter into Hungarian and then sent it to me? I've often wondered

      > if she did it as sort of a 'joke', but still can't believe that anyone

      > would

      > take the time, effort and postage to do such a thing. I forgot all about

      > this incident until the matter of 'blind' letters came up. Has anyone

      > else

      > had any kind of weird things occur when having sent out blind letters?

      > Out

      > of all the letters I sent out, this woman's letter was the only one that

      > never made any sense to me.

      >

      >

      >

      > Nancy

      >

      >

      >

      > From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      [mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      ]

      > On

      > Behalf Of Bill Tarkulich

      > Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 12:40 PM

      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

      <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

      > Subject: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > I wrote about my experience and lessons learned several years ago.

      > It is posted here:

      > http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com/gen/public/ blind_letters. htm>

      com/gen/public/ blind_letters. htm

      > Bill

      >

      > On Thu, April 22, 2010 1:30 pm, Jenet Kozlay wrote:

      >> There are three listings in the Hungarian phone directory for Szaladnya

      >> (http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main>

      telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main

      > <http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main>

      telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main

      <http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main

      <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main&xsl= main> &xsl=main>

      telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main& xsl=main> &xsl=main>

      &xsl=main), all in

      > Miskolc,

      >> two different addresses, probably all related. I suggest you write them

      >> to

      >> see if they can help you.

      >>

      >> Janet

      >>

      >>

      >>

      >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      >>

      >>

      >>

      >> ------------ --------- --------- ------

      >>

      >> To visit your group on the web, go to:

      >> http://groups. <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/SLOVAK- ROOTS/>

      yahoo.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS/

      >>

      >> To unsubscribe from this group, go to

      >> http://www.yahoogro <http://www.yahoogro ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS>

      ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to

      >> SLOVAK-ROOTS- <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

      unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. comYahoo <mailto:unsubscribe %40yahoogroups. comYahoo>



      <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

      > <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo> ! Groups Links

      >>

      >>

      >>

      >>

      >

      > --

      > Bill Tarkulich

      > http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com> com

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      >

      >

      >

      > ------------ --------- --------- ------

      >

      > To visit your group on the web, go to:

      > http://groups. <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/SLOVAK- ROOTS/>

      yahoo.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS/

      >

      > To unsubscribe from this group, go to

      > http://www.yahoogro <http://www.yahoogro ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS>

      ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to

      > SLOVAK-ROOTS- <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

      unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. comYahoo <mailto:unsubscribe %40yahoogroups. comYahoo>



      <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo> ! Groups Links

      >

      >

      >

      >



      --

      Bill Tarkulich

      http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com> com



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






























      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Caye Caswick
      I think basically nothing ventured nothing gained -- what have you got to lose?  You might find a relative -- or get nothing -- you have nothing now. Write
      Message 50 of 50 , Apr 25, 2010
        I think basically "nothing ventured nothing gained" -- what have you got to lose?  You might find a relative -- or get nothing -- you have nothing now.
        Write the letter -- at least you've put forth the effort to try -- God's not going to hold that against you.

        Caye


        --- On Sun, 4/25/10, Nancy Hayes <viewcards@...> wrote:

        From: Nancy Hayes <viewcards@...>
        Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe
        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Sunday, April 25, 2010, 11:55 AM
















         









        Hi Frank,



        Right off the top of my head, I know I received at least 20 letters all

        written in English; some were from people who were English-speaking anyway

        and who weren't related, but who wanted to acknowledge my letter. I'd have

        to look up this section in my genealogy records to actually count the

        letters. All the letters I sent included sending to all five branches of my

        parents' families that I was researching. Now with the Internet available,

        I should probably try this method again.



        Nancy



        From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com] On

        Behalf Of Frank R Plichta

        Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 8:06 AM

        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com

        Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



        Nancy,



        OK, so out of the "close to 100" letters, how many replies did you receive

        in any language?



        I tried this about 10 years ago and sent 60 letters to Germany and did not

        receive a single reply. In my case I could write in German so my letter was

        two columns, one in English and one in German. Previously I had two years

        of college German and then lived in Germany for 6 years. My German was

        reasonable but since it had been several years since I had written anything

        in German, I enrolled in a German Language night course at Duke University

        in Durham, NC, for a semester just to brush up on my language writing

        skills. So I tried.



        What I learned later from several other Germans, that I was corresponding

        with, was that many Germans, especially the older folks of my generation,

        were embarrassed by what Hitler did to Europe in WWII and they avoided any

        discussion of genealogy. Just their opinion that several Germans shared

        with me 10 years ago.



        Frank



        _____



        From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        ] On

        Behalf Of Nancy Hayes

        Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:39 PM

        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



        Actually out of all of the blind letters (close to 100) that I sent to

        people all over the world and always in English, the Hungarian woman was the

        ONLY one that I had a problem with. Everyone else, no matter what language

        they spoke, always wrote to me in either English or their own language, of

        which I then had those letters translated by my penpals which sometimes took

        weeks as I didn't have the Internet then. Everyone was very cooperative and

        so glad that I contacted them even if we weren't related. And my blind

        letters always stated that English was the only language that I knew and I

        apologized for not being able to write my letter in their own language. Of

        course this was all 15-20 years ago; maybe things are different nowadays

        when sending out blind letters; I wouldn't know as I haven't sent any out in

        years. If someone sent me a blind letter in their language today, I'd get

        it translated just to see what it said and then go from there. I wouldn't

        think they were arrogant just because they didn't send their letter to me in

        English. And I don't believe that I just had blind luck in the responses I

        received, but genuine interest in the genealogy hobby as well as wanting to

        help someone they didn't even know.



        Nancy



        From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

        [mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        yahoogroups. com] On

        Behalf Of Bill Tarkulich

        Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:00 PM

        To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

        Subject: RE: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe



        Yeah! She had her friend , an English nurse named Maxine at the hospital

        in Bratislava translate it for her. By mistake, she sent Maxine's

        translation back to you instead!



        I think you are DOOMED TO LUCK if you expect someone to translate into our

        English (Arrogant American! is a typical response.)



        You really, really, really need to meet them at their level if you expect

        them to help YOU. Remember, genealogy is not a priority. You're setting

        a first impresssion - you may try again an now have had the door shut on

        you. Really, really, really!



        The other reason is that they then get an accurate read on what you are

        asking for. Include a picture or two, that seems to pique their interest.



        Indeed, I've heard of people writing in English and getting a response,

        but those are far, far apart and are simply just good fortune.



        Bill



        On Thu, April 22, 2010 2:07 pm, Nancy Hayes wrote:

        > Hi Bill,

        >

        >

        >

        > I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the 'blind letters' that you sent! You

        > have a very thorough and detailed and very helpful website; thanks for

        > sharing it with the group!

        >

        >

        >

        > I sent my letters out on one legal size piece of paper (longer in length,

        > but still only one page and typewritten for easier reading, but only in

        > English); my letters included my parents' & grandparents' information and

        > was concise and to the point so they knew exactly why I was writing to

        > them.

        >

        >

        >

        >

        > Here's a strange story of what happened when I sent one of my blind

        > letters

        > in English to a woman's name & address in Hungary in the mid-90s. A few

        > weeks later, I received an answer to my letter, but it was all in

        > Hungarian.

        > No big deal since the letter I had sent this woman was in English. My

        > sister was working at the time with another nurse and this nurse was

        > Hungarian and could read the language, so I had Augusta translate the

        > woman's letter into English for me. I then gave Augusta a nice gift for

        > taking the time and effort to translate that woman's letter. I couldn't

        > wait to read it to see if we were related or not; but it turned out that

        > the

        > letter I had sent this woman in English, she sent back to me in Hungarian!

        > My same exact letter, word for word! No other explanation was given about

        > being related or not, the contents of my letter, nothing. I don't know if

        > this woman translated my letter or had someone else do it. I just can't

        > imagine that anyone would translate into their own language a letter they

        > received in another language and then send it back to the sender; it makes

        > no sense to me, but even though this story is strange, it's true.

        >

        >

        >

        > Does anyone in the group have any ideas as to why this woman translated my

        > English letter into Hungarian and then sent it to me? I've often wondered

        > if she did it as sort of a 'joke', but still can't believe that anyone

        > would

        > take the time, effort and postage to do such a thing. I forgot all about

        > this incident until the matter of 'blind' letters came up. Has anyone

        > else

        > had any kind of weird things occur when having sent out blind letters?

        > Out

        > of all the letters I sent out, this woman's letter was the only one that

        > never made any sense to me.

        >

        >

        >

        > Nancy

        >

        >

        >

        > From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        [mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        yahoogroups. com <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        ]

        > On

        > Behalf Of Bill Tarkulich

        > Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 12:40 PM

        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com

        <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com>

        > Subject: [S-R] Writing to "cousins" in Europe

        >

        >

        >

        >

        >

        > I wrote about my experience and lessons learned several years ago.

        > It is posted here:

        > http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com/gen/public/ blind_letters. htm>

        com/gen/public/ blind_letters. htm

        > Bill

        >

        > On Thu, April 22, 2010 1:30 pm, Jenet Kozlay wrote:

        >> There are three listings in the Hungarian phone directory for Szaladnya

        >> (http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main>

        telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main

        > <http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main>

        telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main

        <http://tudakozo. <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main

        <http://tudakozo. telekom.hu/ main_en?xml= main&xsl= main> &xsl=main>

        telekom.hu/main_ en?xml=main& xsl=main> &xsl=main>

        &xsl=main), all in

        > Miskolc,

        >> two different addresses, probably all related. I suggest you write them

        >> to

        >> see if they can help you.

        >>

        >> Janet

        >>

        >>

        >>

        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        >>

        >>

        >>

        >> ------------ --------- --------- ------

        >>

        >> To visit your group on the web, go to:

        >> http://groups. <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/SLOVAK- ROOTS/>

        yahoo.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS/

        >>

        >> To unsubscribe from this group, go to

        >> http://www.yahoogro <http://www.yahoogro ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS>

        ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to

        >> SLOVAK-ROOTS- <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

        unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. comYahoo <mailto:unsubscribe %40yahoogroups. comYahoo>



        <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

        > <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo> ! Groups Links

        >>

        >>

        >>

        >>

        >

        > --

        > Bill Tarkulich

        > http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com> com

        >

        >

        >

        >

        >

        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

        >

        >

        >

        > ------------ --------- --------- ------

        >

        > To visit your group on the web, go to:

        > http://groups. <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/SLOVAK- ROOTS/>

        yahoo.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS/

        >

        > To unsubscribe from this group, go to

        > http://www.yahoogro <http://www.yahoogro ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS>

        ups.com/group/ SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to

        > SLOVAK-ROOTS- <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo>

        unsubscribe@ yahoogroups. comYahoo <mailto:unsubscribe %40yahoogroups. comYahoo>



        <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS-unsubscrib e%40yahoogroups. comYahoo> ! Groups Links

        >

        >

        >

        >



        --

        Bill Tarkulich

        http://www.iabsi. <http://www.iabsi. com> com



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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