Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are related.

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Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are related.

Postby cubsy2 » 12 Apr 2010, 20:02

Hello. Not sure if this was the right area to post in....

Have any of you ever written a letter to someone you looked in the pagine biache?

I want to try it....should i write freeform or is there a template somewhere?( I got a street name from birth records, so i am going to first write to the Guarino's on Santa Caterina in Mirabella Eclano..then branch out from there. )

What's the difference between Via Santa Caterina and Contrada Santa Caterina?

Also, i have some pictures that were sent to my Grandfather many many years ago...do you think i should include these? (as copies of course)

If you have done this before was it successful??

Thanks!

cubsy
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby maestra36 » 12 Apr 2010, 20:17

Back in 1999/2000 I wrote to 6 people from the Italian white pages who were the only people in my one town with a particular surname I was researching. I did get an answer from one. Despite the fact that he had his primary residence in another town, he went back to this town once every two weeks to check his home there and to pick up mail. As it turned out, he used to be a town clerk in that town. He wrote several letters to me, even sent me a hand drawn family tree he had on the surname in his family (which never connected to mine and we were back into the early 1700s). He even put me in touch with his son who was living and working in Milan and was able to get me a copy of an out of print book about the town. I did not use a form letter but just wrote in very simple Italian that I had learned in college, which had been many years before. The problem with some of the people who have remained in these small towns is that they are older, may not know how to read and write in English. A lot of the younger people who have studied English have left the smaller towns to attend universities in bigger cities. Once they finish their schooling, they don't necessarily return to these smaller towns to live and work. I never got an answer from the other 5 people to whom I wrote with the same surname. You just never know. It's always worth a try and a one ounce letter to Italy is only 98 cents now I believe. At the time I did it, it was only 60 cents.
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby Tessa78 » 12 Apr 2010, 20:17

Hi cubsy,

This is a great link for writing to potential relatives in Italy.

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/pearlsofwi ... etter.html

Including a copy of pictures might help validate your letter. Good luck...

T.
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby cubsy2 » 12 Apr 2010, 21:09

Thanks for responding! so i really am gonna do it! thanks for the template...very handy.

The people on this website are awesome!

cubsy
Researching: Guarino, Di Prisco, Zizza, Panichella, Magno,and now Antonelli, and Calvo....with a few others sprinkled in. Towns: Mirabella Eclano and Bonito (so far).
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby maestra36 » 12 Apr 2010, 21:24

Another story-the older sister of my one Sicilian grandfather settled in Argentina and had 9 children. A fist cousin of my mother had someone translate a letter into Spanish, and we sent it to 12 people whose names and addresses we found in the internet white pages for there. We did not initially send any photos, but they sent us a photo of my mother's paternal grandmother which was an identical photo we had of her here in the U.S. So we had our proof that these South American individuals were related to us. Hopefully you will get lucky too writing to Italy. It's always worth a try. Good luck.
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby oilman19 » 12 Apr 2010, 22:48

Hi,
I gave it a try to someone who lives about 5 miles from my ancestral town. I wrote the letter, had someone translate it into Italian, indicated I spoke/wrote no Italian but could get translation if necessary, and sent it off about 3 weeks ago for 98 cents. This woman had the surname of Mattora, a not very common name in the area, and I provided details of people in my family tree with the same surname.
I don't know if the template would have made a difference, but I have not heard back yet. I'm still hopeful.
Good luck to you,

Jim
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Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby PeterTimber » 12 Apr 2010, 23:40

Cubsy the difference between a VIA and a contrada is Via=street and Contrada =lane The postmen in town know everybody so don't worry about addresses and just write to potential relatives and you will do fine. =Peter=
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby cubsy2 » 13 Apr 2010, 19:52

Thanks Peter.....
I'm still learning!

; )


cubsy
Researching: Guarino, Di Prisco, Zizza, Panichella, Magno,and now Antonelli, and Calvo....with a few others sprinkled in. Towns: Mirabella Eclano and Bonito (so far).
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby Sirena » 13 Apr 2010, 20:55

I wrote to a few who were in the white pages and I enclosed a copy of my GF's parents & siblings. I figured with such a small town, if they weren't related, they may know someone who was related to those in the picture. It worked well. The person who responded was the baby in the picture.
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby cubsy2 » 06 May 2010, 09:13

UPDATE! I have found a few relatives! I am promised a letter in the mail about my Grampy's family....Already friended the people on Facebook. I didn't want to pressure my new found relatives and will be patient for the letter to come....Antonio Guarino looks similar to my grandfather...it's cool. and i am way happy!
Researching: Guarino, Di Prisco, Zizza, Panichella, Magno,and now Antonelli, and Calvo....with a few others sprinkled in. Towns: Mirabella Eclano and Bonito (so far).
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby PeterTimber » 06 May 2010, 12:10

Dear Cubsy.....seeee! I told you so. Am very happy for you. =Peter=
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby cubsy2 » 07 May 2010, 00:40

Yes Peter....you did tell me that. I now believe you!

Anyways....This person Antonio Guarino is the son of one of my grandfather's brother. He actually came over here in 1983 (when i was 19) and he spent some time with my Grampy. My grampy died 1989 at 1 month shy of 93.

Also, I found out that i have relatives here that are from the other brothers of my grampy's and they live about 10ish miles from here.

I was provided with names and phone numbers of these people...but i really would feel weird calling them.
One of them works near me in a public place, so i may visit that person....

I received 2 letters in the same envelope...the other one from Antonio's cousin-Antonio Guarino, but having trouble with the translation...even tho i am using gogle translate. I think it says, we are related, but indirectly. He said he would treat me as part of the family and 2 of his kids are now chatting with me on FB.


I am glad i did this! i just wish i could speak Italian so i didn't have to rely on translation service.

Also...My landlady is from Italy so i will have her read the letter out loud to me in English....

:)
Researching: Guarino, Di Prisco, Zizza, Panichella, Magno,and now Antonelli, and Calvo....with a few others sprinkled in. Towns: Mirabella Eclano and Bonito (so far).
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Re: Letter Writing To Strangers...with hopes they are relate

Postby PeterTimber » 07 May 2010, 01:47

enroll in an Italian University for 6 months and learn Italian and speak nothing but Italian and yhou will know Italian sufficiently well to handle the language nicey nicey. =Peter=
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