Find possible relatives and their phone numbers, emails and more!
Want to track a family member that you’ve never met but have no idea how to find them? In this post, we’ll explore several approaches and effective tools to help you find a family member, even with limited information about them.
Method 1 – Ask other family members for help
If you know little about the person, a good starting point is to ask other relatives or family members for help. Interview multiple people that are closely related to the relatives you seek. They may offer vital clues such as the estranged family member’s full name, birth, last known locations/addresses, previous contact information, etc, which will contribute significantly to your subsequent search.
Method 2 – Take advantage of online resources
There are a variety of powerful tools and free resources for you to find someone from the comfort of your home. Don’t worry if you start with only basic information. Every search will yield new information that helps you piece together a full picture.
1. Online telephone directory
Remember the phone book or Whitepages back in the old days? These valuable resources are becoming digitized and easier to access. If you know exactly the person’s name and the city they currently live in, you can take advantage of an online directory to look up their contact.
1) Under White Pages Search, enter a name, select city + state, and click Search.
2) If there are relevant business or residential listings, a Keyword Match notification will pop up at the left pane.
3) Click it to check the person’s landline numbers and address (if available).
2. People search tools
Dedicated people search tools work like an upgraded online directory which will expand your search efficiently. It offers you convenient access to a vast amount of public information. Apart from phone directories, it crawls multiple sources including government databases, census records, social networking sites, media & court reports, and more.
Among a range of online people search engines, we recommend reputable services like TruthFinder, BeenVerified, and Spokeo, which are intuitive to use and boast versatile search features and comprehensive data coverage.
“I’m into genealofy (amateur only) and I found some long-lost counsins and other family members — I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before! You had addresses and birthdates which I was mainly interested in… and phone numbers, so I can get in touch with them, too. Great Website!” – TruthFinder customer, Nancy, ConsumerAffairs
Below we’ll show you how to search for a relative with TruthFinder.
Simply enter your name to discover possible lost, distant relatives. Or you can track down a family member with any information you know about them – a name or an old phone number.
The reporting takes 3-5 minutes. The results may contain the person’s phone number, email address, location history, or social media accounts. Take advantage of the information to get back in touch right away.
If you’re searching by your name, you’ll see a list of people you’re possibly related to and explore more about them by clicking View Report.
3. Ancestry websites
Genealogy websites are designed to help people research their ancestry and build a family tree. Based on a wealth of historical records including census data, birth, death, marriage, and immigration records, they reveal your familial connections across decades. Some even offer DNA tests for you to trace potential biological relatives or determine unknown parents.
There are mainly two ways for you to trace family generations and find missing relatives:
Build a family tree and explore historical insights
Building a family tree is an interesting way to capture your family history and it’s quite easy to get started. The screenshots below are from FamilySearch.
1) Add what you know about yourself or other family members (parents/grandparents), such as name, dates, and places.
2) The tool will scan the extensive database to find records, photos, and facts about your family members and ancestors.
3) You can dig up the relevant records to find potential ancestors to grow your tree.
Take a DNA test to find biological relatives
DNA tests utilize the latest autosomal testing technology and consumer DNA database to estimate your genetic ethnicity and help you find potential relatives through DNA matching. The whole process is simple – no blood or needles; you can do it at home!
2) Collect your saliva sample.
3) Return your sample to the lab.
4) Wait for the results. It may tell your geographic origins over the world and a list of DNA matches – your biological relatives who have also taken DNA tests through the same company.
You can also upload your DNA results to different testing companies to get additional cousin matching.
Google®, the world’s biggest search engine, indexes enormous online content for you to search for. Simply Google your unknown relative’s name to see if you spot any digital footprints. You can add location, phone number, social media username, or anything else to narrow down the searches.
If you have a picture of the person, upload it to Google Images to see if it identifies any similar faces.
5. Social media platforms
In this information age, almost everyone is on social media. Conduct a meticulous search on popular social networks like Facebook®, Twitter® or Instagram® by the person’s name, email, or phone number. If it’s a common name, you can apply the network site’s filter to narrow down matches by location, work or education.
Method 3 – Get professional help
If the manual searches yield no desirable results, consider hiring a private investigator or professional genealogist. With decent experience and expertise in navigating various databases and employing advanced search techniques, they’re capable of searching for people thoroughly.
Hopefully this post helped. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
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