There are hundreds of reasons we lose touch with family. However, with evolving technology, it is becoming much easier to keep in touch with those who move away or live in different time zones, etc.
When it comes to looking for a lost family member, the reasons could dictate your search. There are certain tools at your disposal if you are seeking a family member who you’ve never met or with whom you’ve never had contact. Whereas, if you are tracking down a family member you once knew or simply researching family history, you could use other resources.
With today’s advanced technology, we’re able to find people in a much faster and easier manner than ever before. Take a look at the following article to help you with your search.
The best place to start is with what you know. Collect all the information you have in one place so that you can use it for your searches. Make sure to take detailed notes as you go and record your findings. Anything might be useful once it makes sense!
The most basic and useful information you should try to compile before beginning an online people search is the following:
- Full name (including first, middle, last, and maiden names)
- Date and place of birth
- Last known address
- Immediate family member’s information (names, dates of birth)
With these details, you can already start your search online or with a PR (private investigator). The latter will be much more costly than free online people search.
Get your family to help by providing information that could cast some light on something you didn’t already know. Ask any relatives who might have more details or contact with the person.
If this attempt comes up empty, do not fret. There are many ways to use your family tries to find someone who has been lost. Remember to keep detailed notes of the information provided by your family and their basic personal information. For example, if the person you’re seeking is a sibling of someone currently available, use their previous addresses and schools from childhood to widen your search.
The next step is to go online and get the relevant information out there to search through online databases and people finders. Use all your resources, including social networks, email address books, search engines, etc.
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One of the biggest resources for finding lost family members online is the net of ancestry and genealogy websites. There are dozens of reputable sites with huge databases available, but you usually need to sign up for an account. These sites may also charge a fee for the service. However, it can be well worth spending a few dollars to get access to names, addresses, contact details, marriage records, and employment histories. This way, you can make sure you’re contacting the right person before you make a move.
There are also sites that offer a reverse phone number search if you have an old number. This means you can use a phone number to look up other information related to the person who owns the phone, including names and addresses.
Check Public Records
There are several online databases that allow individuals to check out public records, including births, marriages, divorces, criminal activity, etc. Information gathered through these resources can help put you on the path to finding the person you’re looking for. Depending on where the person grew up and when you may need to take a field trip. Many towns have records that are only on file on paper copies in libraries or courthouses. More recent documents, such as news articles, should be digitized and available online.
Follow the Leads
No lead is useless. You may spend most of your time calling around or sending letters and emails. But this is the way that you can gather more details or even reach your goal by finding the lost family member. Remember to be polite and forthcoming and do not push people for information they do not want to give. This is essentially a puzzle you need to piece together, but pieces cannot be forced, and hopefully, each step will bring you closer to your objective.