Wednesday, April 21, 2021

28 Ways to Find Long-Lost Relatives and Friends

looking through old photo albums

Everyone falls out of touch with loved ones at least sometime in their lives. It’s just part of growing and changing. However, if you find yourself thinking about old friends, or you decide it’s time to reconnect with long-lost relatives, you need to have somewhere to start.

You don’t have to just wish that you’d gotten an updated contact number, or feel frustrated that you’ve become alienated. There are plenty of ways to get back in touch. Use these methods to get the process going, so you can get back together and start talking again.

Dig Up Old Contact Information

1. Do you still have your loved one’s old email address? An email address is a great way to track someone down across the internet, even if the address is no longer in use.

2. If you’re still holding onto an old phone number, it may still be technically active, even if it’s not being used. You can use a reverse phone lookup to get information about who owns the phone attached to it, or who used to own it.

3. There are hundreds of thousands of yearbooks out there, and a number of them may have some form of contact information. Try revisiting yours to see whether you can find a number or nickname that you forgot about.

4. If you had the contact information for long-lost relatives saved in your phone at some point, there may be a way to recover it. Even if you’re not able to roll back your contacts, try looking around for an old phone that would have something saved.

5. You may be trying to find an old friend whose home you visited so often that you can still recite the address, even years later. Performing an address search is a great way to track that person down.

6. Send a letter to an old address you have on file. People move very frequently, but you may get lucky. Or your friend may have a mail forwarding system set up.

7. Different situations call for different types of information. If, for example, you’re adopted and try to contact your biological parents, you can find non-identifying information to help drive your search forward.

8. Remember address books? They may not be as widely used now that smartphones are king. But they’re gold if you’re looking for old contacts. Search old boxes and drawers to see if you can find one from the past.

Try Finding Mutual Friends and Family

search by reaching out to family

9. If you’re looking to find a relative outside of your immediate family, start with people you already know. They may be able to provide valuable insight or give you research they’ve already done.

10. Building a family tree or getting in touch with long-lost relatives can be hard. But you may be able to build some rapport with other family members and get some information.

11. Are you looking for someone from high school? Try getting in touch with other high school friends. They may have stayed in contact with the person you want to reconnect with, even if you didn’t.

12. If you’re trying to find a school friend, try looking for a high school sweetheart. While the chance that those two got married is fairly low, the chance that they kept in contact could be fairly high. Try contacting that old flame to dig up what you can about your shared friend.

13. Social media keeps track of mutual friends, and you may be able to look through others’ lists. Especially if you have a large number of social media friends, it’s a great way to find someone who can give you more information.

14. You can always host a party and see if friends you know can help you get in touch with old friends that you haven’t been able to contact yet. The extended circle of your friends’ friends probably stretches much further than you think.

Think of Other Names He or She May Be Using

search long-lost family nicknames

15. When you use PeopleFinders, you have access to billions of different public records, all of which are subject to human error. Try different name spellings, or search using a similar or abbreviated name (e.g. Jon, John, Jonathan).

16. Plenty of social networking sites allow you to include a nickname with your profile name. Searching on social networking sites with a nickname can help you find the person you’re looking for in a snap.

17. Do you know the maiden name of your friend’s mother? Or did your friend change their name when they got married? Try looking around the internet using those last names, so you can cast as wide a net as possible.

18. Have you considered that your long-lost relatives or friends may have decided to take up a pseudonym? Think about names used in the past, and look around to see if you can find someone going by any of those names.

19. Think about your friend’s name and personality; try to think of what nicknames he or she could have been given. After you parted ways, a nickname may have stuck, and you may be able to use it to gain some traction on social media.

Scour Social Media

find long-lost family through social media

20. Always opt for the simplest options, if possible. PeopleFinders only requires a name and city to get started, and provides you with a list of contact and general information once you find the right person.

21. Did you share some memorable days on the early internet together? Try searching some of your friend’s old social media profiles and see what turns up.

22. Social media is incredibly popular. A full two-thirds of American adults use Facebook, and many of them have other social media profiles. You’re likely to find at least something, even if it takes a bit of time.

23. Generally, using Google will turn up millions of search results. Add some specific pieces of information to narrow things down a bit, so you can find the person you’re looking for faster.

24. There are web search engines for all sorts of things, including those specifically for finding long-lost relatives and other people.

25. If you’re trying to find someone from work or school, plenty of social media sites are set up to accommodate it. Try searching school or work groups on social media sites to see if the person you’re looking for is also checked in.

Take Action as Soon as Possible

reconnect with old family and friends

26. People often report that they regret losing contact with their long-lost relatives and other loved ones. Instead of just living with that regret, you can make your life better by fixing things today.

27. Holidays are a good time to reach out. Try reaching out during the New Year or other holidays when people feel more open to reconnecting again.

28. If you’re interested in romance, don’t let time or distance keep you away. Some experts say that reconnecting with a former flame could be even better than your initial relationship, making it a great idea to reach out today.

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PeopleFinders was launched in 1999 to give people easy access to public records data. The PeopleFinders mission is to find, organize and make information accessible - empowering people with meaningful answers.

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