How To Track Down A Long Lost Relative


If you remember having had good times with a cousin or even a closer relative, but you’ve drifted apart since, you might treasure an opportunity to get back in touch. Family networks, not to mention Google and Facebook, could certainly help.

With some people, though, none of these methods work. They simply disappear. Since the person you’re looking for may have moved elsewhere, changed their name or simply not take an interest in building an online presence, Google and Facebook may be hard to put to effective use. What do you do then?

If you’re willing to invest in the search, you could certainly hire an investigator. According to Martinelli investigations, a leading Atlanta missing persons private investigator, it doesn’t cost us much as most would believe. Nevertheless, there are lots ways to expand your online search before you get there.

Google and Facebook aren’t the only search engines out there

Facebook can only help you with people who are on Facebook, and relevant results on Google can get lost under heaps of irrelevant stuff. There are dozens of websites out there that are specifically built to help look for people.

After you go through all the usual suspects — Ancestry, Friendster, LinkedIn and Classmates, it’s time to dig deeper.

Look overseas

The Canadian website 411 helps you look for people in that country; 192 works for Britain; Peoplesearch lets you look in Australia. 123 People helps you look all over the world.

Look at the public records

If the person that you’re looking for keeps a low profile, they may still show up on all kinds of public records. Criminal Searches, Public Records Pro, People Finders, Public Records Now, Government Registry, Search Detective and Intelius help you look for business ownership records, criminal records, employment screening searches, background searches, court records, divorce records, and much more.

Look at people search engines

Reunion, Wink, Spock, Pipl, CVGadget, iTools, People Finders and Spy Identity are people-specific search engines that often work very well.

Look at the white pages

The white pages are a great resource to find names and phone numbers. In support and remember, though, that it can take a great deal of manual searching to locate what you want. Some of the top destinations for searches of the white pages include InfoSpace, 411 Locate, White Pages, WhoWhere, The Ultimate White Pages.

The death Indexes

While it’s an unpleasant thought, you may need to consider the possibility that the person you’re looking for isn’t around anymore. Search engines such as Legacy, Rootsweb and Tributes tap the obituary indexes and the Social Security Death Index.

Finally, it’s important to remember that some people simply don’t want to be found, or to reestablish ties. If this seems to be the case, it’s usually the respectful thing to do (and the legal one), to withdraw.