The Initial "Inquiry" Letter

This is the first letter which I send as part of my "blind inquiry" package. You may choose to use it as-is (substituting your own information), or you can simply use it as a model.


Your Name
Your address
City, State, Zip
Email: paul (at)havemann.com
November 30, 2000

Name
Address
City, State/Province, Zip

Dear Name,

My name is Paul Havemann, and I'm writing to see how our families are related.

I do not wish to impose, or to take a lot of your time. At this point, I'm simply trying to get a handle on some of the Havemann families throughout the country. (Your name was forwarded to me by a fellow researcher from your local phone book.)

I'm researching the history of the Havemann name as a hobby, and it's turned out to be a fascinating pastime. I've discovered that Havemanns have done some interesting things; one, for example, was a violinist in the Havemann String Quartet, in Germany, in the 1920s or 1930s.

So far, I have learned that the Havemanns came from Germany into New York, and spread out across the country from there. The earliest ancestor I have so far traced is Barthold Havemann, father of Otto (Adolph) Havemann, who married Mary Wingendorff; their sons, Walter and Alfred William Havemann, were born in the early 1900s, on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, New York. (I am descended from Alfred W. Havemann.)

If you have any information about your ancestry you'd be willing to share -- even just the names of your parents, grandparents, relatives, or someone with a similar interest, etc. -- I would very much appreciate it. Perhaps we will discover that we have a common ancestor, or just how we are related.

I have also written to other Havemanns around the country; with your help, who knows what I could find? Perhaps I could trace our family tree back to Germany!

I would certainly be pleased to return the favor by telling you what I find. If you have access to the World Wide Web, I hope you will visit my site at this address: http://www.havemann.com/. If not, I'll be glad to write back to you.

[Optionally:
At some point, I hope write a history of the Havemann family tree; if I am lucky enough to find photos of our ancestors, they will be included. I will gladly send you a copy when it's completed, since I think you would find it very interesting.]

For your convenience, I have enclosed a stamped, self-addressed envelope, plus a brief form for entering any information which you might be willing to share. (If you prefer, I would welcome your collect call at (973)555-1212 in the evening.)

Again, thank you for your time, and I hope that you can help me with my project -- and our family history.

Sincerely,

"Cousin " Paul Havemann