Believe it or not, losing contact with relatives you used to be close with is a common occurrence. Sometimes, it’s because you drift apart. Other times, it’s a childhood connection lost as the adults made decisions about your family’s future.
Even if your last interaction wasn’t the most positive, the fact that they’re on your mind is a sign you need resolution, and learning how to find a long lost relative can give you insight into your relative’s life that helps you decide whether to reconnect. Often, simply knowing how things turned out for someone you’ve been out of touch with can be enough to help you feel better.
1. Check Social Media
This is one of the most common ways people reconnect, and it really works for most of them. Facebook and Instagram are almost universally adopted internationally. Many other platforms ask users to sign up with their legal names. You might not find people if they have deactivated or advanced privacy settings. However, a wide net on social media will usually turn up a profile on one platform or another.
2. Genealogy Is Your Friend
Social media isn’t the only online resource open to you. Projects that help people build and track family trees can help you get in touch with other users on the system. If you and your relative both use the same one, you might even be able to message on the platform. Often, this is a good way to find out if a relative with no social media presence is alive, whether that person is married, and if the marriage has produced children.
Sometimes, it also includes a last known location of residence, although there is often just a city or country and no address. This can provide you with information like legal name changes that might cause you to re-evaluate your approach to the social media search to get better results.
3. Trade and Industry Contacts
It’s easy to control your information on platforms for socializing or shopping. However, in a connected world professionals need to communicate with one another to move forward in their careers. That’s why using trade and industry information can be a great way to locate someone. Whether it’s union registration, a professional address listing in a referral service, or just a phone number for setting appointments, using the information you have about your relative’s career can be the secret to how to find a long lost relative.
4. Hire Professional Help
You might not realize that private investigators locate missing people as part of their regular range of services, but they do. In fact, locating people is pretty much at the core of what they do. Even when the case is for surveillance or fraud, the first step is tracking down the people involved. From there, the information that is the main goal can be pursued.
Investigators have the experience to do this job, as well as access to resources to do it thoroughly. They also have the professional contacts necessary to reach out when your relative is found.
Investigators can unobtrusively learn important information beyond the location of the person in question, too. That makes it easier to decide when the right time to reach out will be, and it gives you options because you will most likely be given a few ways to make contact. A thorough investigation will turn up phone, physical location, and social media or email. While an investigation might not be the cheapest way to locate long lost relatives, it is usually the fastest and most effective.
Beau Dietl & Associates can help you find out what happened to your long-lost relative. Get in touch with us today.