It is important that you explicitly know the following:. If they are within one or two generations of you, finding them may be much more straightforward thanks to modern recordkeeping and data.
If they are further removed than that, chances are you will have more searching ahead of you. Although you have an end goal in mind, you need to remind yourself that you are on a voyage of discovery. Unlocking the secrets to your genealogy is not always a simple A to B linear progression. Keep in mind that there will likely be many detours, obstacles, hindrances, and backtracks you have to make for every new piece of information you manage to unearth; but that is half the fun of it. As such, there may be times when you hit a snag and realize you need to retrace your steps to the previous fork in your genealogical road.
That is okay.
Adoption and separated families
Embrace it, enjoy it. As mentioned, you will want to start with those closest to your bloodline in order to get the most recent and reliable information.
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If there is a specific relative you want to locate, take the time to interview those near you who could help reveal large swaths of information or even tidbits of their story. Consider interviewing:. If you feel like you need more information, move on to extended family members who might have had closer family relationships with your quarry. Write down all of the information you discover and then collect it all into one place.
If your family members have other potential sources of information like scrapbooks, diaries, photo albums, Bibles, letters, birth certificates, immigration records, etc. Once you have collected all the possible firsthand and secondhand sources, you will want to apply this research in conjunction with external resources. Newspaper archives are a great place to start, especially the local city and town papers.
Newspapers preserve the daily lives of our ancestors — from hitting the winning home run to town politics, and everything in between.
If these tools fail to unlock new pertinent information, you can also try Google and Facebook, especially if your target is someone who is still living. Your data study should reveal new information that you can use, not only for this current project, but for further genealogical research you may want to pursue in the future. Be sure to highlight and explicitly state each new clue you discover.
How can I find a lost family member or relative?
Also, your exploration may open up new genealogical roads for you to go down another time, so make a note of those as well. By compiling, categorizing, and analyzing your new information, you not only help your future self, but other family members who may want to collaborate or take up the mantle of family historian at some later point. Perseverance is incredibly important when it comes to finding long-lost family members you have never met. If your ancestry research did not bring to light any immediate answers, then keep looking for new avenues to follow.
Like a Sudoku puzzle or a Crossword, even one new datapoint can unlock others that seemed forever a mystery.
An undesirable distance
Tracking down long-lost relatives can be a challenge, but each clue you find can lead to uncovering new details about your family history. Genealogy research takes time, effort, and patience. So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your story and discover your family history today!
Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. When a family member, partner or close friend goes missing it can be the beginning of an emotional rollercoaster for those left behind.
If this is something you are going though now you could be feeling all sorts of emotions including sadness, loss, guilt and anger. You might move quickly from one emotion to another or have lots of feelings at once leaving you feeling confused and emotionally vulnerable.
Family Members and Caregivers | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
We are here to try and help you and your family make sense of your feelings. Our free helpline is available 24 hours a day. You can talk to us, whenever you need advice and support. Whatever you are feeling right now you are not alone. We are here to support you today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes, until your loved one has returned. You can also join our Online Support Community for family and friends of missing people which is there for you to share information to get to know and support each other. We hold an annual Family and Friends Day which provides a valuable opportunity for those left behind to come together and share their experiences.
How to Find a Relative for Free
Also during the day we provide workshops and activities related to remembering the importance of self-care, your emotional wellbeing and ways to remember your missing loved one. We have produced a number of studies looking at what people experience when a loved one goes missing. Whilst the reports below were initially designed to be used by professionals working with families, it may also be useful to read if you find yourself in the situation of having someone close to you go missing.
You can also read more about ' Ambiguous Loss ', a term often used when talking about the kind of loss families with missing loved ones experience. Download 'An Uncertain Hope'. Download 'Living in Limbo'.
Whilst the information on this web page has been provided in good faith, it should not be taken as legal advice. For information tailored to your individual circumstances, please contact your police force, solicitor or an advisory organisation as appropriate to your query. Call us on and we can help put you in touch with organisations who can help. How Missing People can help A lifeline when someone disappears.