How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

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MaryGenottiCollins
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How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 02 Jun 2008, 14:14

I've sent many letters and Christmas cards to Italy wanting to know information about my family. I've even "nicely" worded it to basically say " i realize that my grandfather my have some secrets, I am well prepared for whatever the news is about his life in Italy".....

Any suggestions on how to get them to respond?
Mary Genotti-Collins

Names currently researching:

Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero

A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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bonval
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby bonval » 02 Jun 2008, 17:21

This can be a difficult one - we Americans tend to be so friendly and open about our lives - I have found the Italian relatives although loving and gracious, do not like our tell-all lifestyles. They are a little more reserved until they know you better or at least understand the need. Our family thought I was crazy to do this project until they got into it with us. The first two years I visited, they would laugh but give a few details. But then all of them began to enjoy watching the banner grow larger every year as I unrolled it on the table -- and as we found lost relatives, it became more interesting. As teenagers aged, they wanted to know more about family -- and now? Now I have them begging me to include collalteral family lines - to share ALL the in-laws! :P And once we left 1800s for the 1700s, they were hooked!
Now the hardest part -- are they friends with you? Do they send cards? Do they know you face to face? That is when I gain the most - no one answers cards or letters for us! But phone calls work when they can remember or even know the information my husband asks them. Sometimes getting them talking about old family stories help to jog the rest of the scenario. Your family may want to know and believe yoiu are doing this because you want to be involved with them too. And there is always a possiblity they are afraid you want to lay claim to some inheirited property that was never divided before. We have run into that too but when they understand it has nothinhg to do with looking for money, they enjoy telling the stories.

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MaryGenottiCollins
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 02 Jun 2008, 17:40

I think you may be right, because my grandfather may have been less than a gentleman.....they may feel it is "telling tales out of school." or speaking ill of the dead.

They live in Italy, I live in PA. So they do not speak english and I do not speak italian. I've had letters translated so they can easily read and explained I have someone to translate so they can also respond in italian.

Not a card, letter or response of any kind :(
Mary Genotti-Collins



Names currently researching:



Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero



A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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juanminbar
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby juanminbar » 02 Jun 2008, 19:53

mary, the people you are corresponding with have no idea who you are and more importantly they have no idea who you grandfather may or may not be. one thing you cannot do is CHANGE THE PAST.there is no need to dwell on his shortcomings if he did have any.

i have met my family and i was treated like a ''king''. i followed up with phone calls and they are happy to hear from me. the one thing they do not do is ''write''.

ciao, j

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MaryGenottiCollins
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 03 Jun 2008, 00:04

Hi Juan,

While I do not want to dwell on anyones shortcomings, I'm out seeking the truth.....I only want to record the actual truth in my family history.

As they say "It ain't true 'til you can prove it!" :wink:
Mary Genotti-Collins



Names currently researching:



Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero



A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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Poipuo4
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby Poipuo4 » 03 Jun 2008, 14:51

Mary, have you included an e-mail with your cards? I seem to only get replies via e-mail. I would write again, include your e-mail and a picture of yourself and your family and don't mention anything about finding out the truth, etc... until you build a rapport and see if these people will warm up to you. Just tell them that you are working on your family tree and that you would like to get to know them better. Maybe they will respond if you take baby steps.
http://www.celenzaheritage.com

dedicated to the people of Celenza Valfortore, Province of Foggia

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MaryGenottiCollins
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 03 Jun 2008, 15:10

Baby steps is an excellent idea. thanks for the suggestion I will start to compose a letter.

Do you think type written is ok or do you think hand writing will be more personal and less formal?
Mary Genotti-Collins



Names currently researching:



Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero



A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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Italysearcher
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby Italysearcher » 05 Jun 2008, 19:15

Typewritten is probably better, Italians find it difficult to read our handwriting as their style is so different.
Are you sure the people you are writing to are related to you? Or are you fishing for relatives? Maybe you should plan a trip to Italy and meet them face to face.
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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TonyDiNobile
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby TonyDiNobile » 07 Jun 2008, 00:10

:roll: I am in the same boat as they say....I have been able to determine my Great-Grand Father's town(Ripalimosani , Molise)....I have been able to research my family line back to the 1800s so far , but I have Not been able to make contact with any possible relatives....I was hoping to exchange information and if possible identify people in some old pictures that I have.....To this point I have Not been able to find any E-Mail addresses for possible relatives....In my case the funny part is that the Mayor of the town has the same name Guiseppe Di Nobile as my Great Grand Father.....Any suggestions would be Appreciated !....Thank You ,

Tony Di Nobile

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MaryGenottiCollins
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 08 Jun 2008, 12:38

No, I "know" they are my relatives. Years ago was "fishing" as you say on the net and a man from italy responded that "he wasnt related but I should contact his friend who lived in the area" so I emailed him. The man went to Mezzenile and went to the cemetary to see the stones of my great grandmother....while he was there a lady was also viewing the same family---turns out to be my fathers second cousin! Dumb Luck, huh!? :lol:
Mary Genotti-Collins



Names currently researching:



Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero



A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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Poipuo4
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby Poipuo4 » 09 Jun 2008, 14:03

Tony, what worked for me, is that I googled my family's surname with the name of their ancestral town and dug and dug until I was like 10 pages deep into google and then I found a site with an e-mail address. Most younger people have some presence on the web, so you may get lucky. Also if you find some names of paginebianche.it, sometimes there are icons for e-mail addresses...or you can google those names and see if you can find an e-mail address.
http://www.celenzaheritage.com



dedicated to the people of Celenza Valfortore, Province of Foggia

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TonyDiNobile
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby TonyDiNobile » 10 Jun 2008, 15:35

Thanks Poipuo4 !....I will try the White Pages and Googling :)....

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karolhg
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby karolhg » 10 Jun 2008, 21:18

Hello, my name is Carolina
Looking for information on Italian emigrants living in Chile.
Our family has Genotti surname, and we know nothing of our ancestors, because our grandfather died very young and the parents too.
The information we have, it might have migrated to the eighth World War 1.

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MaryGenottiCollins
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby MaryGenottiCollins » 11 Jun 2008, 09:14

Carolina,

Where was your family from in Italy? Do you know the name of the person who left Italy to go to Chile? If so, what was his name? Do you know who his parents were?

My grandfather was Giovanni Costantino Genotti, son of Carolina Vottero and tomasso Genotti of Bogliano, Mezzenile Torino Italy.

My grandfather was born around 1886
Mary Genotti-Collins



Names currently researching:



Genotti, Garibaldi, Vottero



A family without a genealogy is like a country without a history.

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Romano1970
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Re: How to get Italian relatives to respond to my letters

Postby Romano1970 » 11 Jun 2008, 14:27

I have also found this to be very very true unfortunately. I started looking for my family in Sicily (Romano & Nigrelli) . With the help of some very intellegent people here on this site I was able to find them in a matter of 1 months time. Since then I have written letters to them. Sent emails with pictures of my family and I have received nothing in return.

I do not take it as a snub to me. I agree with what one of the people said earlier in this subject. They do not know us from a whole in the wall LOL.

I did get one letter back from a cousin of mine ( My grandmothers, sisters grandchild) he gave me his email address and I have sent him corespondence but nothing back. I know he has opened the emails because the return receipt comes back to me saying the email has appeared on the screen of this person.......LOL I dont know what else to do but keep writing and be polite.
Michael Romano

Chi va piano va sano e va lontano

Those who go slowly, go safely and go far

Looking for family history in Piazza Armerina, Aidone, and Musomelli Sicily.
Names researching: Romano, Nigrelli, Ristagno, Piazza Maida Triolo.


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