I bought three boxes of matching ivory envelopes and had them printed with my return address. Then with a list prepared by a college student, my wife, daughters and I started work. We addressed envelopes, folded the letters, collated everything together, and stuffed the envelopes. Altogether it took two days to do the original 600. Looking at this picture makes me smile. What a great bunch!
The text of the original letter is given below.
Are you or your children descendants of Sergt. Edward Hinman, one of the King's Body-Guard of Charles I who emigrated to Connecticut Colony after the King's defeat in 1646?
Most Hinmans in America are...and you may be interested in some of the research now under way by Hinman family members for the Hinmans.
For several years I've been working in original State and Colonial records and in various English jurisdictions tracing the movements of this great pilgrim.
In my travels [for IBM] and correspondence I've met a number of Hinman families in the U.S. and Canada who have expressed interest in forming or joining a Hinman Family research organization...to help them fill some gaps in their own branches of the family tree...and to learn more about our famous ancestor.
Several of us Hinmans, it seems, have been looking into English record sources independently of each other without any concrete plans for broadcasting our findings to the world's Hinmans!
So we have decided to organize a Hinman Family Association...nonprofit and international...chartered for Hinman family genealogical research and supported by membership subscriptions...and we want you to JOIN!
Not since 1856, when Connecticut Secretary of State Royal R. Hinman published his great Hinman compendium, has there been such an ambitious plan to gather data on the Hinman families of America. But we're going further...where Royal Hinman limited his inquiries to Connecticut and neighboring States, we are covering the entire North American continent.
This letter is going to all the Hinmans we can find in the United States and Canada...plus a few in England. We now have more than 600 Hinman families on our mailing list...but that's probably less than 20% of the total. We need your help to find all the others! Send us the names and addresses of all YOUR Hinman relatives, and we'll mail them this announcement.
Regular newsletter to members...probably quarterly in the beginning...
FREE exchange of genealogical data...a boon to those with broken lines who want to fill them in...also essential to publication of a new Hinman book...
Scientific research on YOUR lines...much of it free...done for love...but making use of modern technology such as computer searches and microfilm...many old English and American records unknown to earlier genealogists are now available on microfilm...
Publication of a comprehensive NEW Hinman book with your family listed showing descents...targeted for 1979, it will supplement Royal Hinman's work...
Periodic technical reports on results of English research, of State and Colonial research...these will be distributed at nominal cost...
Other benefits hinge on what you can bring to the association...chance to learn new skills...self-improvement. Genealogy itself is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world, but will probably appeal to only a few. The results of their work will bring benefits to all of us...
Opportunities to use your talents...remember those ideas you always wanted to try out? Here's a new organization just waiting for your kind of leadership!
Last but not least...reunions. Some of the best people you could ever hope to meet are your own cousins...first, second, third, you name it. I have a sixth cousin in the next town...wonderful fellow. I know of another family group that holds 15 to 25 regional reunions each year and an international conclave every five years! With seminars and workshops, slide shows and travelogues, reunions in different places can be educational as well as fun and fellowship.
Dues are low. We have two classes of membership...regular and sustaining. Regular membership is $5 per year...sustaining membership is $10 or more per year. Am now at work on an attractive membership card to be issued to each member...with a card in your wallet, you can prove we actually exist! Sustaining members will be listed in an honor roll published once per year.
So...fill out the card TODAY...use the postage-free envelope enclosed...and be sure to send also the names and addresses of other Hinman families you want us to contact.
Cordially yours, Munson B. Hinman, Jr. Secretary-Treasurer pro tem
P.S. President pro tem Laurin E. Hinman lives in Oregon City, OR, is a retired civil engineer and business consultant. Vice-President pro tem Donald G. Hinman lives in Endicott, NY, works for G.A.F. Color Laboratories. I'm an advisory programmer for IBM in Palo Alto, CA.