Monday, January 27, 2014

Finding Frederick Schmidt - Part II

As noted in my post - ,  My dear Great-Aunt, Martha FOX nee SCHMIDT (1924-2008) (named after her grandmother, Martha SCHMIDT nee TOLLNER from Lehe, Bremerhaven, Bremen, Germany) passed in 2008.  She was the 'family historian' and was apparently in touch with many 'cousins' I hadn't heard of.  On a visit to my Aunt Terry's, I was perusing her address book when I notice a name for [Pat H].  I recalled from my Aunt Terry's stories that [Pat H] was the daughter of my great-grandfather's brother. (Albert Herman SCHMIDT was my great-grandfather, August Frederick SCHMIDT was my great-great-uncle). 

I've never talked to Pat, and wasn't even sure if she was the right person.  I decided to reach out with a "out of the blue" letter to her.  In the letter I talked about who I was, my family history project, and what I knew about her history.

A week after sending the letter, I received a call from Pat.  I had the right person.  Game on.  I've had a great phone call with her so far, and am plannning on sending her a questionaire via snailmail.  Given she's 74, she even has email, which is often a bit of a problem for rapid communications with those in their 70s.

To date I've sent out two "blind letters" to folks.  One to a Stephen L in Seattle, and one to Pat.  I'm 50% on responses, which is good in baseball I guess.

TECHNIQUE - MINE any old address books you find.  If you have an address don't be afraid to try sending a letter to it.  It might be the person you are looking for.  If they don't write back you've put 0.49 cents into some nice postal workers retirement fund.  If you receive a response, you may find a goldmine of information you might not know exists.  

Has anyone else had a great success with blind letters? Pop a response in here if you like.

No comments:

Post a Comment