HELP!!!! What do you say when calling up a distant cousin?

Okay... I am hot on the trail of tracking down another one of my mother's cousin. This one is living and connected with my Mystery Monday Samuel Brown. The only question is... what do I say?

Sure, I should dial the phone and say "Hello!" or "Howdy!" or something like that. But I don't know her last name, just her maiden name. If I said, "Is Janice Brown there?" and she's something entirely different, will she think I'm a telemarketer? Or, do I say, "I'm a genealogist looking for the daughter of Samuel Brown. If you're Janice Brown, then your husband's cousin's wife gave me your phone number. Could we chat?"

I know there must be someone out there to help me out with my nerves. And Samuel Brown's daughter's husband's cousin's wife did give me her phone number. Maybe I should ask for the daughter's married name. That might smooth out the telemarketer fear.

But then again, I might just be able to say, "Hi. I'm Devon Lee and (insert husband's cousin's wife's name) gave me your phone number. Is now a good time to talk about your father Samuel Brown?"

Gesh. Does anyone else have trouble thinking of what to say?

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