Genealogy Letter Examples – Family Tree and Genealogy Letter Examples

| April 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

Our genealogy letter examples can be used to request documents, contact distant relatives, or to share information with other genealogical researchers. Though each situation calls for a different approach, one thing they should all have in common is that they be clear, factual, and polite. In each instance you’ll be requesting personal information about various individuals, as such there is certain etiquette to be followed. To ensure that you make the right impression and make it easy for those you are contacting to provide the information you require, it is recommended that you use one of our genealogy letter examples.

The Format of our Genealogy Letter Examples

Our genealogy letter examples are designed so that you can download them to your home computer and edit them in a word processing program such as Microsoft Word. Before doing so however, please read the following important information. It is critical to understand the etiquette and construction of such letters, as you may not get a chance to make a second impression. Privacy is very important to people these days, especially with the possibility of identity theft so prevalent, so you’ll want to approach people in a way that puts them at ease. Prior to editing one of our genealogy letter examples, first make sure:

  • You are well rested and alert.
  • You are not in a rush and have plenty of time to compose your letter professionally.
  • You make a list of the questions you want to ask, and the records you seek.

By taking some time to prepare, you will be sure that your letter will be clear, accurate concise, and well presented, which in turn will convince the recipient of your professionalism, and show them you have taken care to be polite and respectful. Let’s break down one of out genealogy letter examples to illustrate the importance of these points.

It is best to follow a business letter format when writing a genealogy request letter, as most of the people you will correspond with will be strangers – even though some may be distant relatives. If you bond with any distant relatives you come into contact with, the formality can be eventually dropped, but for first time letters it demonstrates proper respect.

Begin with your name, address and contact information in the top left corner of the page. It is especially important to include your contact information if you require a response to your genealogy letter, or are having documentation forwarded. Your data should be followed by a space, the date of writing, another space, and then the name and address of the recipient. If you are contacting a record depository or library and don’t have the name of an individual, simply include the name and address of the institution or a specific department as follows:


John Williams
229 Oak Avenue,
Little Fork, VA 22011
Tel: 303-404-5050
Email: jwilliams@email.org

September 19, 2008

Local History/Genealogy Desk
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230

You may use a Sir/Madam salutation in your letter, and you will want to get straight to the point of your letter. Genealogical researchers and librarians are overwhelmed with records and other information requests. The more concise and clear your letter is, the greater your results will be. Notice how we get straight to the point in this one of our genealogy letter examples.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have come across many Williams’ while searching the vital records and census reports of Albany County, and my family records show that my ancestors originated from the New Scotland area. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions for me:

  1. Does your library hold any compiled family histories that might assist me in locating my ancestors?
  2. Might there be an Albany County history that might contain information on members of the Williams family?
  3. Are you able to suggest the names of any of your members or residents of Albany County who might be interested in an exchange of genealogical information?

The purpose and intent of the letter is clearly stated, making the job of the reader much easier. For even more clarification, you can then list the names of any specific ancestors whose data you are looking for. Include as many dates and other information as you can.

I am specifically looking for genealogical data on:

Charles Fitzgerald Williams – b. March 17, 1832, d. 4 August 1904
Anita May Robinson b. 7 June 1834, d 23 May 1917

A Family Bible lists these two people as being married on 14 November 1853.

In closing, simply thank the person for their time and assistance, and always offer to pay for any expenses they may incur while helping you. Finally state how and where you may be contacted, and through what medium.

I greatly appreciate your assistance, and I will be happy to pay for any costs incurred. I can be contacted at the telephone number or Email address at the top of this letter at any time.

Sincerely,

John Williams

Once you’re letter is completed it should look like this:

John Williams
229 Oak Avenue,
Little Fork, VA 22011
Tel: 303-404-5050
Email: jwilliams@email.org

September 19, 2008

Local History/Genealogy Desk
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have come across many Williams’ while searching the vital records and census reports of Albany County, and my family records show that my ancestors originated from the New Scotland area. I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions for me:

  1. Does your library hold any compiled family histories that might assist me in locating my ancestors?
  2. Might there be an Albany County history that might contain information on members of the Williams family?
  3. Are you able to suggest the names of any of your members or residents of Albany County who might be interested in an exchange of genealogical information?

I am specifically looking for genealogical data on:

Charles Fitzgerald Williams – b. March 17, 1832, d. 4 August 1904
Anita May Robinson b. 7 June 1834, d 23 May 1917

A Family Bible lists these two people as being married on the 14 November 1853.

I greatly appreciate your assistance, and I will be happy to pay for any costs incurred. I can be contacted at the telephone number or Email address at the top of this letter at any time.

Sincerely,

John Williams

Always make sure you proof read your letter after you have edited it using one of our genealogy letter examples. Check spellings, the accuracy of names and dates, and make sure your questions are clear and intelligent. Once you’re ready to begin, Download One of Our Genealogy Letter Examples that meets your specific needs and tailor it to suit your personal requirements.

Tips and Useful Sentences you Can Use with our Genealogy Letter Examples:

  • When asking another genealogist to share their information, always offer to share relative data that you may have in return.
  • Try to find a specific contact name fro a person within the institution you are writing to. This can sometimes be done by visiting their website.
  • Make your letter easy to read, and answer.

 

Category: Genealogy Letter Examples

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example Help.org

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