Gransnet forums


Australian relatives?

(26 Posts)
AlieOxon Thu 14-Jun-18 08:58:39

I've been conducting some research into a family related to mine, my mother's cousins, who went to Australia in 1948. (Via GenesReunited)
I've discovered that the two teenagers who I remember playing with, may well be still alive and I now have two addresses and phone numbers which may well be theirs!
Not quite definite though....
Now I feel really shy about contacting them and don't know which way to go. Do I phone? Do I write?

Email would be so much easier, but I don't have those addresses!
It's the first time this has happened in ten years of doing my family history.... any ideas?

HAZBEEN Thu 14-Jun-18 09:13:11

Alie I have just read this and your other thread about contacting your Aussie relatives. I also traced some of my family in Australia, I dithered like you about contacting them and eventually decided to write. I put myself in their shoes and thought a phone call out of the blue might be seen as a scam call so I put down on paper a bit about my research and asked them to email me with a response if possible. One week later an email popped into my inbox and yes I had the right people!
We are now in touch on a monthly basis usually by email and through them I am now in touch with more family in the USA!
Go for it, the worst that can happen is your research is wrong!
Best wishes for a successful outcome!

AlieOxon Thu 14-Jun-18 10:12:48

Of course, that's what I need to do.
I knew some one here might have had the same problem!
I just hadn't worked out that I need to send them my email. Duh. Thanks, HAZBEEN.

Now I just have to compose two letters!

paddyann Thu 14-Jun-18 10:13:49

can you see if they are on FB ? You could send a msg from that site

AlieOxon Thu 14-Jun-18 11:00:52

Probably a good idea, but I don't do Facebook!

goldengirl Thu 14-Jun-18 11:49:24

Write. More personal than email - it could be considered spam or disappear in the trash box. I discovered I had family in OZ thanks to WW1!!! After initial suspicion all has turned out well and we've visited and reciprocated. Being an only child it's been a wonderful experience. Go for it.

vandab46 Fri 15-Jun-18 10:42:29

I will say just go for it, My dad was Canadian, but my mum and he divorced when I was a baby. Lost touch with him and my Canadian side, I found him when I was 40 and kept in touch until he passed. I have other family members over there and found them through FB, myself, my partner. my son and my daughter and her hubby and kids all went over to Canada last year for a family holiday and met up with my cousin and her family. Had a great time and we are now looking forward to her and her hubby and youngest son coming over here next year.

Grannyanna12345 Fri 15-Jun-18 10:43:09

I’ve discovered long-lost relatives in East Anglia, and we’re in the process of organising a get-together. Go for it!

B9exchange Fri 15-Jun-18 10:44:07

If you found them through Genes Reunited, you could contact them through the website surely? I did that with, found a second cousin in the States, contacted her through the site and we have been emailing ever since.

It was extraordinary, she told me she had been over to England in the '60s and met some members of my family, and then described my grandmother's back garden in great detail!

Doversole Fri 15-Jun-18 10:53:30

Write. don't phone. that way they have the option of not engaging if they wish - you don't know what their feelings might be about it. Also it will be probably be a surprise for them, and a letter is something that gives them time to compose their thoughts and response.
A relevant photo might be good to send if you have one.

Synonymous Fri 15-Jun-18 11:02:40

AlieOxon we have done this and found some lovely people but we have also had two really horrible experiences. Just be aware that sometimes there are very good reasons why families split and why people sometimes 'leave the country' and that resentments and characteristics can go down the generations. We discovered just why those twigs on the family tree had been deliberately 'expunged'! Just be careful and quietly guarded until you are absolutely as sure as you can be that all is well. Wishing you well!

luluaugust Fri 15-Jun-18 11:27:11

I was just going to give a warning similar to Synonymous, I think a letter is a good start it gives the other side time to think things over. I think I have posted before that we had some family knowledge the otherside didn't have and when we mentioned it they were very upset and we have heard nothing since so just be careful.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 15-Jun-18 11:49:13

I love to hear when families find each other My first and 'last' attempt to contact relatives I did not know existed fell on stony ground. It was an out and out rejection and they made it plain we had nothing in common? although their great grandparents were my great grandparents.

Apricity Fri 15-Jun-18 13:20:13

Agree with others who've suggested writing first if you have the addresses. Phoning out of the blue would make most people think it was some sort of a scam and probably hang up. Even contacting someone on Facebook with no other connection or information would make people wary. Make sure you include the information that shows the family links or other relevant family history or stories. Then it is up to the long lost rellies to decide if they want contact.

In a couple of weeks I will be hosting a UK relative who I've met once before. We share a great great grandmother and made contact through Ancestry.

Send those letters, the worst that can happen is that you don't hear from them.

gillyknits Fri 15-Jun-18 13:33:48

Genes Reunited do have a message board for people that you want to contact We got in touch with a whole branch of the family ,that we didn’t know about,just by posting the name and dates . Good luck?

Happysexagenarian Fri 15-Jun-18 15:31:30

I would agree with others that a written letter is the best initial contact. I have been in this situation, but from the opposite side - I was the recipient of a contact (via a FH research website) from an unknown 2nd cousin in the States. Having never heard of him I was very wary at first. He then sent me lots of information about his family tree to explain the link between us - his grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister. But it was when he told me the name by which my gr'grandmother was known in the family that I knew he was genuine. Nobody else would have known that. That was about 15 years ago, we have met several times, we have become friends, and still keep in touch. I hope you get a friendly, positive response to your letters. Good luck smile

Sararose Fri 15-Jun-18 16:26:57

We were contacted by cousins in Australia and had a reunion four years ago. Two of the youngsters in the family have found work in Australia and one is marrying an Aussie this November. They would never have met if we had not been contacted by the cousin! We are meeting here again this year and my sister is visiting them too. We have also found distant cousins here in England and are in touch regularly.

granjan66 Fri 15-Jun-18 16:31:11

I think you should use the message board although it may take some time to connect with them. My mother in law taught English in Hungary before WW2 and lived with a Hungarian family, She lost contact and was afraid they had not survived. After her death I found a photo album of her time there with them. Hated to throw it out so put the family's name and other info on a genealogical website. Three years later I was contacted by a member of the family living in Australia and sent her the photos. I was so happy to have made contact.

AlieOxon Fri 15-Jun-18 16:53:26

I don't think they use GenesReunited. I tried leaving a message for a man with the name I found who I thought might be Jeffrey's son, but no response and I can't find any
of that generation on there. (I have a family tree from online, but it's one of those one-name things with no other details).
I've just written a draft letter, saved it and will look at it again tomorrow!

Marieeliz Fri 15-Jun-18 23:18:30

I was contacted, by e mail, by second cousin, he had traced me through Ancestry. I had last seen him when he came to visit my then home with his Gran, my great aunt, when he was 4 and I was 6.

He had joined the Navy at 18 as had my younger brother and myself. He had actually served on the same ship as my brother at the same time. It was the Ark Royal so I suppose the chances of them knowing one another was remote. I have met up with him three times now. His son is also in the Navy and a Captain.

AlieOxon Thu 19-Jul-18 19:00:34

Well. I wrote about three weeks ago to possible Jeffrey, but have had no answer.
Next I may try for his sister, who I also may have an address for - however not just yet as I will have visitors soon!

Treebee Thu 19-Jul-18 19:16:28 is a useful site to join if you’ve done research and would like to have contact with relatives you don’t know about. The sub is tiny, but it does take some effort to input your details from the censuses. I made contact with a distant relative and exchanged some information. It didn’t go further than that; you can decide whether to exchange email details or not. Plus there’s a very useful newsletter.

AlieOxon Thu 19-Jul-18 20:03:40

Yes, I'd forgotten about that site. I did look at it when someone recommended it a while back. I will have another look.

moggie57 Sun 21-Oct-18 18:15:34

Write first

Melanieeastanglia Sun 21-Oct-18 20:34:10

I think it is probably a good idea to write first.

However, I must admit I have been contacted by telephone by a relative in another country and it worked out brilliantly. I had heard of him and the things he said made sense.

I hope you have a successful outcome.