How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking?

Having problems with the Italian language? Do you need help to translate or understand an old family document? There is always someone who can help you!
35 posts • Page 1 of 31, 2, 3

How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking?

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 01:58

I've seen the example letters and I have yet to find a translation for an explanation as to why we are looking for our relatives and trying to complete our family history.

Does anyone have a sentence or paragraph in Italian that would help set the potential relatives mind at ease as to why we are contacting them?

I am told many people in Italy, and I would expect especially in the rural areas of Sicily, do not understand why we do this and are suspicious.

Anyone???
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby PeterTimber » 11 Feb 2008, 04:53

If people are suspicious then whatever reason you give them would not work so best be honest and send them $5.00 for stamps to encourage a reply.=Peter=
User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
 
Posts: 6640
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 19:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby Italysearcher » 11 Feb 2008, 10:16

People are suspicious because they may be afraid you are going to try to claim some land that their family may have assumed in the absence of the emigrant.
It would be important to reassure them that you are not interested in any land or portion your family may be entitled to in Italy. That you are proud to be Italian and want to learn more about the beautiful land and heritage your ancestor had to abandon so many years ago.
I wouldn't send $5.00. If you are going to send money send Euro (cash) and ask them to say a mass for the family. (about 20 euro). This could be expensive if you are writing to several families. Alternately send the money to the priest and ask him if any of his parishioners are related to you. You might also send also a photo of your family (looking prosperous with the house in the background indicating that you don't need anything from them).
Ann Tatangelo
http://angelresearch.wordpress.com
ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505
User avatar
Italysearcher
Master
Master
 
Posts: 1448
Joined: 06 Jan 2008, 20:58
Location: Sora, Italy

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 12:48

ah...this makes sense thanks
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby pink67 » 11 Feb 2008, 12:56

John,

I agree at all with Ann..... This is why here so many people are not interested and very suspicious about people doing genealogy researches.....
Laura
User avatar
pink67
Master
Master
 
Posts: 4447
Joined: 25 Oct 2005, 00:00
Location: italia - liguria

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby peggymckee » 11 Feb 2008, 13:24

Italysearcher wrote:It would be important to reassure them that you are not interested in any land or portion your family may be entitled to in Italy.
IMHO I'd be careful what I say in letters--even to people who are (or may be) relatives-- especially concerning renouncing property rights. All the best, Peg
Surnames: Bertellotti - Ridolfi - Marchi
User avatar
peggymckee
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 263
Joined: 22 Jun 2007, 00:00

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 13:31

So maybe a indirect approach as suggested by sending a photo , this is a very interesting topic and I hope we get more opinions especially if they have had success in getting a response from their potential relatives
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby PeterTimber » 11 Feb 2008, 15:28

The whole idea is to approach a potential relative so why all the evasion since to satisfy their suspicions, especially from abroad, you must rely of the credulity of your letter. And what makes people think priests are going to be enthusiastic about assisting you since they will need "a donation" for whatever is asked of them as you well know. Sometimes you just have to trust in people's judgement. I suggested $5.00 since the US dollar is only worth 75 cents in Italy and stamps cost more than a dollar. If they are related to you they will be able to read the contents of your letter and will k now who you are talking about or not..and if they mistrust you then find another "cousin". =Peter=
User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
 
Posts: 6640
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 19:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby Xaymara » 11 Feb 2008, 18:42

John,

I agree with Italysearcher's message except on the money part. I would never send money to a potential relative in fear of offending them, even if it's intended for the priest. I don't think money is the determining factor on getting a reply. If the potential relative wants to make a connection with their cousins, they will answer and what you say on that letter is far more important than including money.

I know that my relatives in Palermo were elated to receive, some 20 years ago, that first letter with a picture of my grandfather with his mom and siblings. Had we sent money, they would have thought that their American cousins thought of them as being in a tight financial situation where they couldn't afford a postal stamp. For the last nine years I have visited them every year and to this date they have never accepted any money, not even an euro, to cover any expense they incur while I'm there.


So, send that letter with pictures but no money, please.

Good luck,

María
User avatar
Xaymara
Rookie
Rookie
 
Posts: 87
Joined: 11 Jan 2005, 01:00

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby Poipuo4 » 11 Feb 2008, 20:27

Hey, John, make sure to include your e-mail address. When I included my e-mail address, my Italian cousins wrote back to me right away. The older relatives without e-mail asked younger ones to write for them via e-mail. I wrote one letter with no e-mail address and received no reply. Do include a photograph of yourself to show good faith and potential family resemblance. My cousins were struck by the resemblance. I would not send $ for stamps either.

Just be sincere with your true reasons for looking for them. My Italian cousins and I have been in touch constantly since the first letters. If they are suspicious, they will verify the relationship on their end, so give them as much facts and names as you know.
http://www.celenzaheritage.com

dedicated to the people of Celenza Valfortore, Province of Foggia
User avatar
Poipuo4
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 387
Joined: 01 Dec 2006, 01:00
Location: Connecticut

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 20:42

Poipuo4 wrote:Hey, John, make sure to include your e-mail address. When I included my e-mail address, my Italian cousins wrote back to me right away. The older relatives without e-mail asked younger ones to write for them via e-mail. I wrote one letter with no e-mail address and received no reply. Do include a photograph of yourself to show good faith and potential family resemblance. My cousins were struck by the resemblance. I would not send $ for stamps either.

Just be sincere with your true reasons for looking for them. My Italian cousins and I have been in touch constantly since the first letters. If they are suspicious, they will verify the relationship on their end, so give them as much facts and names as you know.
I just received this from a former co worker who was raised in Sicily...it seems to make sense but does address the land issue...

John: do not send money. They can feel offended with this.

You can start you letter writing something like this:

Prima di tutto voglio cominciare questa lettera, spiegandovi che quello che mi motiva a scrivervi é soltanto il mio desiderio di riconstruíre la mia storia familiare e se un giorno é possibile, visitare la Sicilia e conoscere la terra de i miei antenati. Non ho nessuna disposizione di fare alcun reclamo di terre o di propietá in Italia, é soltanto un interesse per conoscere meglio la mia storia.
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby Xaymara » 11 Feb 2008, 21:37

johnlabarbera wrote:
Prima di tutto voglio cominciare questa lettera, spiegandovi che quello che mi motiva a scrivervi é soltanto il mio desiderio di riconstruíre la mia storia familiare e se un giorno é possibile, visitare la Sicilia e conoscere la terra de i miei antenati. Non ho nessuna disposizione di fare alcun reclamo di terre o di propietá in Italia, é soltanto un interesse per conoscere meglio la mia storia.


Your friend gave you a perfect introductory paragraph to your letter!
User avatar
Xaymara
Rookie
Rookie
 
Posts: 87
Joined: 11 Jan 2005, 01:00

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby lilbees » 11 Feb 2008, 22:12

Anyone have a transcription of this paragraph. Sounds interesting.

lilbees
Researching: RESCIGNO, CATALANO, LA MAGRA, ANGRISANO, CALABRESE, PAGANO, GAGLIO, DE ANGELIS,COSTABILE Campania-Napoli/Salerno/Palermo, Italy and Tunisia Africa
User avatar
lilbees
Master
Master
 
Posts: 877
Joined: 09 Mar 2007, 01:00
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 22:24

I will post it later today...my friend tells me it is not necessary to mention the land issue, in his opinion, but he wrote it because he thought someone may prefer to say it in their letter....
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Re: How do you tell a potential relative why you are looking

Postby johnlabarbera » 11 Feb 2008, 23:04

lilbees wrote:Anyone have a transcription of this paragraph. Sounds interesting.

lilbees


First of all I would like to start my letter explaining to you that I am simply interested in completing my family history, and if possible, traveling to Sicily one day to see the country of my ancestors. I do not have any intention to claim some land or properties in Italy, it is just an interest in knowing better my history.
User avatar
johnlabarbera
Veteran
Veteran
 
Posts: 199
Joined: 23 Dec 2007, 16:31
Location: Katy Texas USA

Next

35 posts • Page 1 of 31, 2, 3

Return to Italian language, handwriting , script & translations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests

Copyright © 2014. www.ItalianGenealogy.com.