Losing a family member can make you feel empty inside – and the journey to find that relative can be a very emotional one.
You’ll have to sift through a lot of stories, contact relevant authorities and even talk to Private Investigators in hopes of finding your lost relative.
At times it might feel like you’ve hit a dead-end if you can’t find any leads – but you need to be strong and persevere.
Here are a few tips to help you locate your loved ones more efficiently.
Know Who You’re Searching For
Before the internet, it was challenging to track down a long-lost family member. You had to locate old documents and interview friends and family to get the info you need to launch a search.
You may still have to do the latter, but the internet has made it much simpler to search for birth records and any information you require.
But you have to know where to start – try to get the following information about the lost person:
- Full name
- Any nicknames used
- Date of birth
- Place of Birth
- Known Addresses
- Husband/wife and children names
- Education and employment history
This can help ease your search but even if you don’t find this data, don’t panic. You can now locate a lost relative easily thanks to online databases using what little info you have.
Use A Background Checking Site
These sites search the internet and all publicly available data sources that you can’t reach yourself.
You can approach these sites with minimal information about your missing relative and still make considerable progress in finding them.
Background-checking sites help by scouring the depths of the internet to aid your search for birth records and other relevant information to help your investigation.
Do An Internet Search
A Google search will not yield results – you’ll have to be smarter. Try searching for combinations like their name and college or company where they work.
There are usually profiles on LinkedIn and other social media platforms that may fill in the information gaps, so you have the right facts when you contact the authorities.
Make A Social Media Post
When you post about your missing relative on social media, authorities tend to notice, so do your friends and family members. The more the post is shared, the more people will get to know about your quest.
If it’s a distant relative you’re searching for, family members in your circle could help spread the word to others in the extended family you couldn’t otherwise get in touch with – this increases your chances of finding the person.
Contacting the authorities after making this post will show them you’re serious about finding your relative, and they will take your case more seriously.
Interview Friends And Family
Interviewing close family members first can help you get the most reliable and recent information because they may have been in contact with the lost person. If you know who you’re trying to locate, those nearest to you might have parts of their story and information on them.
Consider interviewing parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends of the family first. Ask them regarding the relative you’re searching for and in addition to the questions mentioned earlier also ask:
- Whether they’re alive
- Maiden names (for female relatives)
- The name of their spouse (if married)
- Their parents’, kids’ or siblings’ names and dates of birth
Also, make sure you can get some photos of the lost relatives – these can be valuable tools in your search for that person. You can also message relatives on social media if you want to keep your investigation private.
Write Everything Down
Carry a small diary and use it to record all the info garnered from the interviews. Also, ask family members closest to the lost relative about any of their journals, scrapbooks, as well as any letters they may have written and any other information that can help ascertain their location.
Search for birth records on online databases and also scour through newspaper archives, census data, and obituaries to help you with the investigation. Spend your time writing down whatever information you can find on the relative and organize this data to make sense out of it.
Whether it’s a distant relative or a missing friend, you can seek out help from authorities and get results quicker.
Many online services and address search sites can help you with your pursuit, but the key factors that will help you succeed are your determination and perseverance.