Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.
Spending time with family and friends is one of the best things about the holiday season. While many people stay connected with their extended family on social media throughout the year, time, distance, and other factors may cause you to lose touch with those you were once close with.
The holidays can be a natural and much-needed excuse to get back in touch with loved ones. If you and the family member in question had a falling out, you may want to proceed with caution and consider whether now is an appropriate time to reach out (though most with the benefit of years will exhort not to wait until it is too late, lamenting that they didn’t ditch the drama and reconcile years earlier). However, if you simply lost touch over the years and you think that person would be receptive to a conversation, look them up and take the first step toward reconnecting.
Ready to find your long-lost relative or family friend? Here are a few different ways you can track them down and invite them to your holiday reunion.
Look Them Up on Facebook
These days, most people have a social media presence. You might easily find your cousin, your childhood friend, or your long-lost aunt just by searching for this person’s name on Facebook. You may locate many with the same name and if a recognizable picture isn’t open to viewing, this strategy could prove a dead-end.
Conduct a Google Search
If your friend or family member doesn’t seem to have a Facebook account (or you couldn’t navigate which persona was theirs amongst similarly-named Facebook users), try running a basic Google search on them. In addition to their first and last name, add any other information you know about them, such as the city or state you think they live in. These results may lead you to another online profile or method of contacting that person, though you may continue to have difficulty gaining comfort that you have located the right person at the most current address or other contact details.
Ask the Relatives You Are in Contact With
No luck on Google? Make a list of friends and family members that you have in common with the person you are looking for. You may be able to connect with that person through another contact who has kept in touch with them over the years. Then again, you may wish to avoid reaching out simply to mine a former contact’s superior address book, or risk tipping off a long-lost confidant with whom you wish to convey a calculated message seeking reconciliation.
Reach Out to Past Employers and Schools
If you have current or former employment information, you may be able to call the company to get in touch with the family member you’re searching for. Likewise, if you know the college that the person attended, the University’s alumni association may have contact information. Many employers and even universities, however, may be restricted from what information they are at liberty to share, especially if you are not formerly personnel or an alumnus.
Run a Public Records Search
If you’re struggling to find distant relatives through the above methods, you can use our Relative Finder tool. You can get started with just a first and last name, and BeenVerified will pull a variety of public records associated with that name. From there, you can refine your results to help you find the right person.
An advantage of a public data search is that it provides information in one unified report. Because these reports pull from a wide range of public records databases, you’ll receive multiple options for how best to reach your relative.
We hope you are able to reconnect with family and friends you’ve been missing this holiday season. If you need help finding relatives for the holidays, our customer service team is ready to assist.