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When writing to an overseas genealogy contact or organization, a key ingredient to getting a response is to enclose return postage. In years past one technique was to purchase an International Reply Coupon (IRC) from your local U.S. Post Office.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Post Office has discontinued sales of such as of January 27 of this year. The reason was declining demand. One contributing factor has been a decline in overseas institutions that accept IRCs. For example, the Hessen-Kassel church archives in German will not accept them. Generally speaking, they want real money in their currency.
The following website contains great guidelines for sending money to Germany. But the options they present really apply almost everywhere.
The website states what you must not do, send U.S. dollars. The unfortunate recipient will have to to go through considerable trouble to convert the currency and pay a heavy fee. The website does recommend the use of money transfer services (XOOM, Money Gram, PayPal). Ideally you should check with the recipient ahead of time to get a recommendation. Not only that, the name used on the payee line must be accurate. If you are after church records, the church and the church's archives are frequently different organizations.
If you have any tips to getting money overseas, please post a comment.
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