As we get older and life moves on, families often lose touch with one another for a variety of reasons.
But as Baz Luhrman said in his 90’s hit Sunscreen, “Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young”.
That’s a notion that’s undeniably true, but sometimes once a person has fallen out of touch it isn’t so easy to reconnect. Many families have a long lost relative that they wish to get back in touch with.
Here’s a list of the steps that can help in the search for a long-lost loved one:
Make a list of all the information you have on your missing relative
This is perhaps the most essential step in finding a missing relative as it provides the basis of the search, giving any researcher the information they will use to find someone.
It is therefore crucially important to only use verified information that you have close to 100% confidence in. If you don’t, you run the risk of eliminating matches of people based on the incorrect information included.
Be sure to include information such as where your relative lived, any old address you may have for the family member, any old phone numbers you had and – if you can remember them – personal information like date of birth.
Use search engines (and not just Google)
Search engines are of course the most obvious way to find the information you’re looking for and it’s how the majority of people gather information about anything these days.
More specifically, Google, the world’s leading search engine, is where people get their info, but there is also Bing and Yahoo among others and you should use more than just one. All search engines are different and will not return the same results, as each will use a different database and search algorithm, affecting the information that’s returned.
If you’re trying to find a missing relative, don’t rely on one search engine. Private investigators apply multiple search engines to find information and they obtain the best results.
Use a background check service
One of the best ways to achieve this is to perform a background check. Most of the background check services include a detailed report on a person whereabout. BeenVerified, is an example of one of the best background check sites, that service, has one of the most comprehensive database searches out there .
This may even uncover other long-lost relatives, who may know the whereabouts of the particular family member you are looking for.
Use social media to expand your search and follow family leads
Social media sites are an excellent way to track down missing family members as simply searching for somebody’s name and assumed location can bring up a profile with a picture of the person.
The most popular social media site is Facebook so that would be the best place to start, as it’s estimated over 80% of the adult population are listed on the site. If you find the relative’s account, you can simply send them a friend request.
LinkedIn is another great social site to search especially if you can remember any work history of the person you’re looking for.
Hire a private investigator
If all else fails, why not try hiring some professional help?
As pointed out above, private investigators obtain the best results as they do this for a living.
If you’re desperate to reconnect with someone and can afford the cost, then they can be a vital tool in finding the person you seek.