To hopefully break the ice, and get them to be more willing to give you information, let them know exactly who you are right away, and how you are related to them. Also make sure you can give their parent's, and at least grandparent's names, and further if possible. Then tell them your line, and exactly how that line fits into their family tree, so they know you're not and I.D. thief/scam artist ;)
After you've found a living descendant, you can write a letter, email, message them on Facebook, or call them. Even though the preferred method is to write a letter, so they have a little time to decide if they want to reach out to you, I seem to always call because it's the quickest method, and to be honest (even though it's sad), who writes letters anymore. :)
Out of all the Genealogy Lost and Found Cases I've Done, this was probably my most interesting one, because of how different it was! I've never had a time capsule case before! This was one of my most memorable cases, not only because it was unique, but because it went so viral and spread all throughout the world! I'm so glad I was able to locate the original time capsule owner, and in only a couple hours! :)
You can check out the original post here:
Even though I have a section about me/the author on the side of this blog, many people on other sites are asking about me, what I do, and how I came to do what I do. I never thought people would ask to know my story, as I didn't know it was pertinent to WHAT I do. The thing about me, is I think more scientifically about things, and in a "matter of fact" kind of way with everything I do. My daughter told me the other day, that I need to be more personable and build connections with my clients and blog readers, so here is a little about me...
Hi, I am Diane Henriks, a Professional Genealogist and investigator who uses advanced deductive reasoning and logical constructs to thoroughly investigate a case, with a specialty in finding living descendants in family trees, and have worked closely with private investigators to find living people, while also assisting in background investigations, in both civil and criminal cases. I also do heir search, and volunteer search for genealogy lost and found cases, that I deem as interesting; although, my day job is the one that pays the bills, lol! ;)
I have been researching family history and genealogy for the past 11 years. I have researched many of my own family lines, as well as that of my clients, and am a member of APG and SCGS. Besides my family of course, my absolute favorite things in the whole world, and that bring excitement to me, are: tea, fog, bridges, and genealogy! I was asked by genealogists at the Southern California Genealogical Society years ago to publish my works. What started out as a small hobby, when a hand drawn family tree was given to me by my father, has since become a great obsession!
Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, or any advice you may need! I'm always happy to help! :)
Is this still said in a "matter of fact" kind of way? I'm learning, Lol ;)
I gave the Original Post Owner/ Diary holder the phone number for the living descendants I spoke with, and she messaged me back and said the lady I had spoken with ( and her son) sounded like she was about to cry because she was so happy! The lady I had spoken with on the phone, messaged me back after I sent her a pic of the post, and was shocked at how well kept the 151 year old diary was! she Said, "What a treasure!" She told me she wished her mother in law, who had passed away (a few years ago I found), could have seen it. Her mother in law was the granddaughter of the original diary owner. She is quoted as saying, "My mother in law was a wonderful woman. Strong and fierce mother. And the best friend any could have. I love and miss her very much. Thank you for the connections. And I just spoke with ... Thank you again." The original post owner will be mailing them out the diary...again, such a cool find, and so glad I was able to reunite this 151 year old diary with her great grandchildren and her great great grandchildren!
So glad that I was able to track down the few living descendants to this awesome find posted in one of my Genealogy groups this morning, Family Treasures Found! This is an awesome Facebook Group that helps people reunite with lost items, and also posts a lot of photos they've found, in which you may find your family members! Check them out on Facebook! A diary! How cool is that! If my great great grandmother had a diary, I'd definitely love to have someone track me down and give it to me! It took me all but 15 minutes to track down all of her only living descendants, which weren't many...she had 3 children, and only 1 of them had children, and only 1 of those children, had children, thus the ONLY living descendants! All that in 15 minutes, but took me about another 45 minutes to find working numbers, as they were all disconnected, and A LOT of moving around, but finally got one of an ex, whose kids were all there when I called(in their 30's, not little kids )...they were so excited, and can't wait for the diary!!!!
Hi, I'm Diane Henriks, a Professional Genealogist and investigator who uses advanced deductive reasoning and logical constructs to thoroughly investigate a case, with a specialty in finding living descendants in family trees, and have worked closely with private investigators to find living people, while also assisting in background