When communicating with a new relative whose interest level in genealogy is not quite known, take it slowly. They:
- might not be able to reply immediately–give them some time
- might not be quite as interested in the family history as you–believe it or not, it is possible
- might be put off if you share too many “black sheep” stories immediately–they might think you are only out to share the “family dirt”
- might not want to read five rambling paragraphs in your first email–get to the point
- might not respond if you immediately point out errors in their online tree–don’t make them feel like you are proofreading their tree
- might not be interested in sharing details of their personal life–they may be your fifth cousin, not your “bestie.”
Your goal is to establish a line of communication and see if there’s a willingness to share/exchange information. Keep that goal in mind.