How to find someone is a common question to ask and I’m going to try and answer it here with some hints and tips about the best ways to find lost relatives that you have lost touch with because there is so much that you can do.

My name is David Oates, I’m the head researcher at People Tracing Experts and the author of “Long Lost Family Tracing” which is available now on Amazon Kindle. I’ve also had my articles about people I have helped featured in Best Magazine, The Daily Mirror and on BBC Radio so I’d like to think I’m qualified to help you learn how to find someone you’ve lost touch with.

How To Find Someone

If you’re wondering how to find someone whether this is someone from your past like a old friend or someone you have never met such as your birth mother here is some tips to get you going.

It’s a good idea to make sure you gather as many facts as you can about the person you are looking for. So start a folder and write everything you can down. This has to be as detailed as you can make it.

find someoneFor some people it will be no more than a few words for others, it may stretch to a few sheets of paper but whatever you do know, write it down. Once you have done this speak to as many people as you can about the person you are looking for. Again, for some people this will be no one whilst others will be able to approach ten or more. Any extra details you have, add to your folder.

Hopefully the information you know about the person is starting to grow. Don’t worry if its not as people can be traced with only snippets of information. At this stage the key thing is simply to write everything down.

The reason for doing this is to make sure you have every tiny detail of the person down in front of you. One or two of these facts are going to mean that you will be able to find out what happened to this person.


What next?

Next you have to look at the information, there is so much you can do that you can write a book about this and indeed I have but for this blog post I’ll concentrate on the most popular ways to find the person.

You need to look at information that can change about a person and things that will stay the same. So if you are looking for a woman, her name could have changed but her date of birth will be the same. For a man, his name will most likely have stayed the same but the area of the country he lives in could well have changed. What you want to do is work out what could have changed and where you can look online to see those changes. The following diagram should help you to understand fully what I mean.

Information that could have changed Where to source that information
Her name Marriage ecords
Where they live Electoral roll search, Facebook
Their job LinkedIn, Director search, Google Search
Who they are married to Marriage records
If they have passed away Death Records
Their address Electoral Roll Search
Consumer Information (NRATP)
Credit Information (NRATP)

(NRATP = Not Readily Available To The Public)

And information that is unlikely to have changed…

Information that will not have changed Where to Source that Information
Their date of birth Birth Records
Their name if a man Consumer Information (NRATP)
Their parents Birth records, Historical electoral roll
Their siblings Birth and Marriage records, historical electoral roll
Their birth place Birth records

As you can see birth, death and marriage data is important for collecting information that cannot change but also for recording information that can. These documents will be important in your search for finding someone you have lost touch with.

How to Find Someone
As you will also see some information is not available to the public, this consumer and credit information is only available to companies that are members of the Credit Services Association and hold the relevant data protection.

With this information you should be able to make good progress. As you find more information write it down and make sure you keep building up the picture of the person you are looking for. Add thoughts, documents, and photographs to your folder. You will make the breakthrough, you will find out what happened to them. It make take you a day, it make take you a year but you can do it. The information you seek is out there, you just have to know where to look for it. Hopefully this has helped you learn how to find someone.