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RE: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed

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  • Bill Tarkulich
    Anabeth, You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it s best to write an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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      Anabeth,
      You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it's best to write
      an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to alert
      people when they see a sender (me) that they don't know.

      I spend a lot of time "cold-calling" people in my genealogical work, both by
      email, phone and letter. A well placed letter of introduction is always in
      order. When someone like this writes to you, ask him/her all the same
      questions you might want to write in a letter of introduction.

      The first thing I try to do is prove they are serious in their intent. Many
      people throw out a bunch of names and see what will stick. Very lazy
      approach - they get out what they put in, very little. It has been my
      experience that people who are dead serious about their researcher (those
      are the people you want to talk to) will be willing to share lots of
      information.

      Some questions you should ask:
      Where village are your ancestors from? Where do you live now?
      Have you written to the family in the US? Where are they? What are their
      names?
      Have you written a family tree? Can I see it? What are your surnames?
      Have you looked at village records for family?
      Do you know people of my surname? Who?
      What can you tell me about the village?


      I think it's entirely safe to tell him/her:
      My immigrant ancestor NAME was born about 18xx in and came to the US in
      19yy. His spouse's name was... He had brothers/sisters/parents named etc.
      Have you heard of these names?

      This inquisition should not only demonstrate knowledge, but willingness to
      share, and seriousness of intent. Follow this with a series of measured
      exchanges and see just how helpful s/he is. The overwhelming number of
      people in the SR are incredibly sincere and generous. You also have the
      great pond called the Atlantic Ocean between the two of you. I used to
      worry at first that they would show up at my doorstep someday. That just
      simply isn't going to happen.

      I am in the enviable position of just having opened up "pandora's box" of
      immigrants from the village of Ulic and environs. I have located where a
      large number of them settled and am in the process of matching up American
      with Slovak national families. I have people in Ulic who are looking and
      people in America looking. Even being familiar with the village, you still
      have to approach each introduction with kid gloves. Not only to show I am
      serious, but also to measure how interested the receiving end is. I need
      not tell you how many of our relatives are NOT interested in genealogy!

      Good Luck and tell us how you make out.

      ______________
      Bill Tarkulich




      -----Original Message-----
      From: Dollins [mailto:axd2@...]
      Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:48 AM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed


      > It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
      suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to have
      a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
      looking for in the USA.
      > Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people
      > are
      wanting or needing help . . . There is a serendipity in helping, often by
      accident relatives make contact or are put in contact with one another.

      Last fall I went back and forth with someone who contacted me about one of
      my surnames. His first email was "want photos?" (Talk about suspicious!) We
      kept writing for a couple of weeks and eventually discovered that we have
      the same great-grandparents. Now I have about fifty more cousins in Slovakia
      than I did a couple of months ago!

      Keep writing. You never know what might come of the correspondence!

      Anabeth



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    • Vladimir Bohinc
      Since cold calling is my job I would like to add a couple of words too. There is an interesting difference between the US and Slovakia. If I call a person in
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 8, 2004
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        Since "cold calling" is my job I would like to add a couple of words too.
        There is an interesting difference between the US and Slovakia.
        If I call a person in Slovakia, their first thought is " this must be about
        inheritance or some money".
        If I call a person in US, their first thought is " he wants something from
        me, he will show up at the door,I do not want to be involved in any
        immigration related problems"
        Of course, I simplify, but these are main common denominators.
        Since 9/11, one additional factor came into play; terrorists. Now, everybody
        can also be a potential terrorist or their supporter. Now, since the big
        brother is watching everything already, any contact with a "suspicious"
        person can be dangerous. This is the thinking on the US side.
        I must admit, I do not know the right words to express my deepest
        disappointment over this issue.
        If this will continue, it will be the end of good relations among people.
        If a person has "fear", be it legitimate or "implanted" by propaganda, then
        the sick imagination has no limits any more. Imagination about what bad
        could happen to one and how mean somebody else could be is then predominant
        and always present. (Be on alert)Such thinking can not be a basis for any
        friendly, and sure not honest relationship.
        The problem with cold calling is, that it is very , very, difficult to make
        it look different than a spam.
        Since legitimate and illegitimate spammers are more or less all trained in a
        way, they know all the tricks, how to approach a person and how to generate
        interest.
        Since our researcher is after the same goal, he has to present his case in a
        way, that should generate interest on the other side. If it looks like a
        spam, he is branded as spammer, if it doesn't, he is suspicious.
        The suspicion hysteria, that not so long ago was at home here, is now
        overseas. I can say only one thing; it ruins everything. Forget the
        friendship, forget love. All fake.
        Is this what we want?
        Since presenting a case in a right way is very difficult, non english
        speakers have a big problem.
        They do not know even how to express themselves correctly. If they try
        harder, it is even more suspicious. ( Study the Nigerian scam)
        On the other hand, a slovak person, being called, just can not beleive, that
        there is not some money /property involved. For them, it is impossible to
        believe, that there could be something else, not to mention family love. All
        such cathegories have been killed by the former system which taught
        suspicion and alertness as a duty of every citizen. Love could be present
        only among the inner circle of the family. If you have not been identified
        as one belonging to it, you are out and thus suspicious.
        Internet and e-mails allow many things. In a way, they allow contacts that
        were not possible before.
        On the other hand, they also allow persons to hide their identity.
        If you want to build a good relationship, do not hide behind acronyms. Write
        your full name and test the contact with the snail mail as soon as possible.
        If you are affraid of identity theft, give up genealogy.
        For someone to steal your identity, I imagine, you would have to be rich, at
        least worthwile.
        Such fears remind me of an old woman, who is affraid to be raped.
        When I receive mails from persons with whom I would like to establish a good
        contact, and see, they are hesitating and evasive, I call them by phone and
        settle the matter.
        Since genealogy is about names, dates and places, at least with the dates,
        you do not have to be picky.
        You do not have to give away the full date. A year is enough. The same you
        should expect from your counterparts. I am talking about living persons. The
        rest is no secret.
        Who is a son of whom is known to more than only family members, so it is
        public. ( at least your neighbors know that) Most of the marriages are in
        public and so are the funerals.
        ( Once a Registrar would not tell me, when somebody died. I said, I will go
        to the cemetery and find this out. Go, she said. I went and found.)
        ===========
        Back to e-mails;
        I don't feel good, when I receive a mail from unknown person, that starts
        with "Hi" and ends with "John"
        This feeling has proven correct in most times.
        Sending mails without addressing the person and without signature is an
        insult.
        Well then, enough of this very early morning poetry.
        With best wishes,
        Vladimir Bohinc




        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Bill Tarkulich" <bill@...>
        To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:19 AM
        Subject: RE: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed


        > Anabeth,
        > You make a good point. With so much spam running amok, it's best to write
        > an email subject carefully. I like to use surnames and place names to
        alert
        > people when they see a sender (me) that they don't know.
        >
        > I spend a lot of time "cold-calling" people in my genealogical work, both
        by
        > email, phone and letter. A well placed letter of introduction is always
        in
        > order. When someone like this writes to you, ask him/her all the same
        > questions you might want to write in a letter of introduction.
        >
        > The first thing I try to do is prove they are serious in their intent.
        Many
        > people throw out a bunch of names and see what will stick. Very lazy
        > approach - they get out what they put in, very little. It has been my
        > experience that people who are dead serious about their researcher (those
        > are the people you want to talk to) will be willing to share lots of
        > information.
        >
        > Some questions you should ask:
        > Where village are your ancestors from? Where do you live now?
        > Have you written to the family in the US? Where are they? What are their
        > names?
        > Have you written a family tree? Can I see it? What are your surnames?
        > Have you looked at village records for family?
        > Do you know people of my surname? Who?
        > What can you tell me about the village?
        >
        >
        > I think it's entirely safe to tell him/her:
        > My immigrant ancestor NAME was born about 18xx in and came to the US in
        > 19yy. His spouse's name was... He had brothers/sisters/parents named etc.
        > Have you heard of these names?
        >
        > This inquisition should not only demonstrate knowledge, but willingness to
        > share, and seriousness of intent. Follow this with a series of measured
        > exchanges and see just how helpful s/he is. The overwhelming number of
        > people in the SR are incredibly sincere and generous. You also have the
        > great pond called the Atlantic Ocean between the two of you. I used to
        > worry at first that they would show up at my doorstep someday. That just
        > simply isn't going to happen.
        >
        > I am in the enviable position of just having opened up "pandora's box" of
        > immigrants from the village of Ulic and environs. I have located where a
        > large number of them settled and am in the process of matching up American
        > with Slovak national families. I have people in Ulic who are looking and
        > people in America looking. Even being familiar with the village, you
        still
        > have to approach each introduction with kid gloves. Not only to show I am
        > serious, but also to measure how interested the receiving end is. I need
        > not tell you how many of our relatives are NOT interested in genealogy!
        >
        > Good Luck and tell us how you make out.
        >
        > ______________
        > Bill Tarkulich
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Dollins [mailto:axd2@...]
        > Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:48 AM
        > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed
        >
        >
        > > It is always wise to be cautious. Since Ladislav has not made any
        > suspicious requests I would continue the correspondence. He appears to
        have
        > a legitimate interest since your surname is the same as the family he is
        > looking for in the USA.
        > > Genealogy research by its nature requires you to trust that people
        > > are
        > wanting or needing help . . . There is a serendipity in helping, often
        by
        > accident relatives make contact or are put in contact with one another.
        >
        > Last fall I went back and forth with someone who contacted me about one of
        > my surnames. His first email was "want photos?" (Talk about suspicious!)
        We
        > kept writing for a couple of weeks and eventually discovered that we have
        > the same great-grandparents. Now I have about fifty more cousins in
        Slovakia
        > than I did a couple of months ago!
        >
        > Keep writing. You never know what might come of the correspondence!
        >
        > Anabeth
        >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
        > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
        > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS/
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
        http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to
        SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        > To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS/
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
        > __________ Informacia od NOD32 1.593 (20040105) __________
        >
        > Tato sprava bola preverena antivirusovym systemom NOD32.
        > http://www.eset.sk
        >
        >
      • nhasior@aol.com
        Vladimir, You are up at 4:00am!!!!!! You are earlybird. Yes, terrorism is sad. Lost opportunities will be the result if we let terrorism control us.
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 9, 2004
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          Vladimir,
          You are up at 4:00am!!!!!! You are earlybird. Yes, terrorism is sad. Lost
          opportunities will be the result if we let terrorism control us.

          Regarding "cold meeting" people in other countries, when I went to south of
          Poland in 2000, I had a car rental and was driving around in the village of my
          grandfather looking for "lost relatives". (You could not get any more "lost"
          than I was.)
          I asked people about the family, and, of course since I was pronouncing my
          family surname "wrong".. no one knew what I was talking about. Then I wrote
          the name on a piece of paper and got the response "aha". They knew of the
          family. So, they pointed which way to go and off I went. Soon I found myself at
          the elementary school (actually the one and only school) and parked the car
          outside the gate. Withing five minutes, the teachers and students were looking
          out the window. A minute or two after that, the head teacher came out and
          wanted to know what I was doing there. I thought that they were suspicious of
          me. Maybe they were. Rightly so. I explained myself (Lord only knows how, did
          not speak any Polish at that point) and soon a girl of about 18 came out and
          opened the passenger door and just got in. she pointed ahead and said
          "prosto" and straight ahead we went. I was amazed. this was it. "prosto". No
          questions and no time for suspicion.
          We drove a few miles through some of the most beautiful farmland and hills.
          The perimeter of this village was a thick forest. In the background to the
          south, always the Tatra mountains. It was late April and the land was coming
          alive.
          How beautiful. I started asking myself "why would anyone leave this place"
          but soon reminded myself of the poverty in the 1900 timeframe.
          To make a long story short, we soon were going from house to house, people
          were getting in and out of my car and pointing "prosto". (straight ahead) I was
          nervous and maybe they were also. But this was why I came and I decided that
          one way or the other I would find the cemetary of my ancesters. Either as a
          visitor or as one of the newest additions. This was my one chance to find
          family. And these people were willing to help.
          The 18 year old girl turned out to be the daughter of the head teacher of the
          school. The people who got in and out of the car and gave so freely of
          their time soon turned into friends that I correspond with to this day and value
          their generosity. The teacher and her daughter are friends to this day also.
          Their kindness eventually led me to find my second cousin. His grandfather
          and my grandfather were brothers. The wonderful connection!! Unfortunately,
          the connection was made 15 minutes after I left the village was heading back
          to Krakow to catch a plane to go back to New York. So I did not actually meet
          my cousin Ryzard in person, but I did meet his Dad, my cousin Wojchiech, who
          was in his kitchen and just held out his blessed 84 year old arms and said
          "Witam Kuzyna". Welcome cousin. He knew the connection already long before I
          did.
          We write to each other, my cousin's children are learning English at school.
          Eleanor, this is why I recommend that you 'trust your gut feelings" my gut
          feelings let me trust some of the best people I ever met. However, elsewhere
          on this trip in 2000, my gut feeling told me to turn around and leave the area
          as soon as possible. I did .
          I wish you the best of luck and the happiest of travels. You may be starting
          one of the best friendships with Ladislaw. By the way, in the 1998 telephone
          book, there is a Cobirka in the city of Poprad also.
          best wishes,
          Noreen



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Bill Tarkulich
          Only a very few people take genealogy work very seriously (like you.) Others casually post a message and then forget about it. A common strategy is the
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 27, 2004
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            Only a very few people take genealogy work very seriously (like you.) Others casually post a message and then forget about it. A common strategy is the "dartboard method": throw a dart and see if it sticks anywhere. If it doesn't stick immediately they lose interest (an unfortunate American characteristic) That's too bad, since you put a lot of good work into it.

            My approach has been to teach the person how to fish, not to do the fishing for him/her. I will provide leads, resources, opinions, etc., but it is up to the individual to put effort into the search. This stuff is not brain surgery, but it does require a methodical approach and persistence.

            For the person who demonstrates effort, I will provide a bit more participation.

            Don't give up trying to help people, just make sure they demonstrate to you their willingness to go the full mile.


            >
            > From: Eleanor Chobirko <ellemarie15642@...>
            > Date: 2004/01/27 Tue AM 05:52:00 CST
            > To: slovak-roots@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [S-R] Your expert opinions needed
            >
            > Dear list members,
            >
            > I want to thank everyone who responded to my message,
            >
            > "Your expert opinions needed."
            >
            > I followed everyones advice and asked a few questions and gave
            >
            > some info and replied back to him. I did not hear from him for
            >
            > a good while. I resent the message, not knowing if he got the
            >
            > first one. He immediately replied saying that he was too busy.
            >
            > One of the question that I had asked was "What town or village
            >
            > are you from?" In his reply saying that he was busy, he didn't
            >
            > give an answer to this question. I have not heard from him since.
            >
            > Eleanor
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
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            > Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free web site building tool. Try it!
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, go to http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank email to SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
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            >
            > To visit your group on the web, go to:
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            >
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            >
            >
            >
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