The holiday season is a time to celebrate family and togetherness. For some, though, this time of year is spent wondering about certain relatives they’ve lost touch with – or whom they’ve never met at all.
Maybe you’ve decided this is the year that you’ll finally try to find that long-lost family member. With the various online resources out there, how do you know where to begin?
BeenVerified is an excellent place to launch your search. Our Relative Finder tool has helped countless people track down and reconnect with distant relatives, birth family members, and other loved ones with whom they’ve lost touch over the years. If you want to find family this holiday season, here’s a quick guide to getting started.
Type your relative’s name and last known state of residence
This will populate a list of all matching names in the public record associated with that state. To narrow down your search, you will be prompted to add a city (if you know it).
Review age, aliases, cities, and relatives to find the right person
The initial search results will likely show other known names, cities that a person has been tied to, and the names of known or suspected relatives. If you know the approximate age of the person you’re looking for, you can filter the results by age range to reduce the number of entries you need to review.
Click “Build Report” to see their full public records results
Once you’ve found the profile that most closely matches your relative, you can click “Build Report” to generate a full collection of public records linked to that individual. This includes current and past addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, employment records, court records, social media profiles, and more.
What If I Can’t Find My Relative on BeenVerified?
If you weren’t able to find the person you were looking for right away using Relative Finder, you may want to do a little research to gather more background information that could inform your interpretation of the results. For instance, if your estranged cousin’s name shows Atlanta as an associated city but you’re not sure he actually lived there, you could ask a relative you are in touch with to confirm it.
Running a self-background check or a check on known relatives can also be helpful in finding missing people. It’s possible that there’s a public record connecting you and/or another family member to the person you’re tracking. This may help you find another starting point to explore.
If you know the hometown of the relative you’re looking for, you may be able to request public records directly from that town’s public library or local court. A birth or marriage certificate issued by that town could help you track down other individuals associated with the person you’re seeking, such as their parents or their spouse, who may then better connect you to your relative.
Tracking down a lost family member or friend can be tricky. Even with the wealth of information you can gather from people search tools like ours, you may have to do a bit of “detective work” and manually piece together the bits of data you find.
It’s important to keep all your notes and references organized during your search. The first address or phone number you find may not be their current one, so you may go down a couple of dead ends before you reach them. Don’t be discouraged – the more potential avenues you exhaust, the closer you’ll be to finding the person you’re looking for.
If and when you find current contact information for your relative, you may be tempted to reach out and make an immediate connection. It’s wise to proceed with caution, though, especially if you and this person have never spoken before. For advice on starting up a conversation, check out our guide to reconnecting with your long-lost family member.