Thursday, December 21, 2006

Where's my snail mail ??

Hello everyone ! Welcome to year 2007 !!
I sincerely hope that your new year will be peaceful & happy, and that you will find that"missing link" that is eluding you.
My first "geneapost" concerns my experiences in research using the snail mail.
As you all probably know from my profile, I live in France.
Genealogy research is difficult when you live in a place that is hundreds or thousands of miles away from the ancestral homelands .
But, I still try ... with mixed results.
In 2005, I started writing to a parish in Schuylkill, County, to try and find my great-grandfather's baptismal church.
Well folks, even with a well documented letter, typed on a computer, AND with a IRC ( Int'l Reply Coupon) to pay for return postage... that letter took 4 months. Add the extra month, because the person who addressed the letter put the wrong zip... and it went to the wrong postal area !
This letter was from St Vincent de Paul church in Minersville .
After, the French postal office "sat on it" for about a month. Before it was finally delivered. That last one was because of the postal administration here !
5 months total !!
You would think that France is on another planet, considering the long respose time...
You know how we genealogists are; when we don't have our answer ( even a negative one), we don't let go !!
So friends, I tried again in 2006. I wrote to 3 other parishes. And once again, the replies are very long in coming ! I'am at 4 months... and counting .
The only one of the three that I received ( in less than 2 weeks !!! ) was from St Ambrose church in Schuylkill Haven
Thumbs up for St. Ambroses' courteous and rapid answer !!! :) .
I'll keep you posted on the 2 other replies from these Schuylkill Co churches.
If anyone has experiences ( good or bad ) with area churches, I would be interested in hearing them !
Maybe, I'am not the only one who is getting cramps waiting by the mailbox !!
Take care,


Anonymous said...

Barbara, Hi, this is the first that I saw your site. I am a Carroll. I come down from Nicholas b. in Ireland. His oldest son is my Gr. grandfather, William Joseph Carroll and for the next 4 generations all the men were the same name, my grandfather, my dad, my brother & my brother's oldest son.

I travel through Schuylkill Co. about 4 times a year. I've been to St. Vincent de Paul's. I found my dad's great grandfather buried there all by himself. He died in 1866 and the church records do not go back that far. In the office, the receptionist is very helpful and I bet they are bogged down with requests. I left her with the task of finding any records for the surname Devitt and she did get them to me about 2 or 3 months later. What I'd like to propose is that the next time I am there, I will walk the old cemetery in the back of the church and perhaps find your Andrew. I have taken some photos of any Carroll tombstones that I came across, you never know when one may be a relative. I will look to see if I ever photographed an Andrew. My experience with the churches in the coal region of PA is to go in person. One church wrote my cousin twice that there were no records in their church. Years later I stopped by in person and while looking over the secretary's shoulder I spotted my record. Whoever copied the records from the old registers to the computer put in the year 1959 instead of 1859. But, I realize you cannot always get there. So hopefully, one day, someone in Ireland will do the same for me. Here is my email address: Bennett is my married name.

barbara said...

Hi Patricia,
We have already corresponded on the subject of the Carrolls.
I wrote you an e-mail, on some of the same subject. I will add again that you are very welcome to comment and follow my future progress.
Come back again soon !