How do you find a family member that you never met and no almost nothing about?

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  1. Moms-Secret profile image76
    Moms-Secretposted 12 years ago

    How do you find a family member that you never met and no almost nothing about?

    My mother often wonders if her father is still alive.  She never met him and has very little information about him.  He would be at least 80 years old or maybe older...
    It would be nice to find out about him but the world is so big sometimes.

  2. DzyMsLizzy profile image84
    DzyMsLizzyposted 12 years ago

    Looking for a long-lost relative?  How to begin a search--you'll find it's a lot like the hobby of genealogy--tracking down family history. read more

  3. Seeker7 profile image81
    Seeker7posted 12 years ago

    There are organisations who specialise in helping people to track down relatives. Some of them do ask for payment. But there are other websites that are free, that will give you great tips on how to start looking.

    I'm from the UK, but a colleague I worked with a few years ago, found a cousin she hadn't seen for twenty five years, just by following the advice from a free website - I think she put into the search box on Google, something like: 'how to trace lost relatives', and loads of sites came up, as I said, most of them were free. It took about three months to trace him and she worked at it on her days off, but it was worth it. She is still writing and talking with her cousin today.

  4. Judi Bee profile image91
    Judi Beeposted 12 years ago

    I have managed to find cousins I previously knew nothing about, but whose names I dug up during my family history research.  They have been all over the world - UK, USA, Canada and Australia.  The world is big, but the Internet is making it smaller.    In some cases it can be as simple as Googling a name.  Others take more time and effort. 

    Try newspaper notices (it's worked for me!), Social Security database (may show up if he is deceased), and telephone directories.  There are online databases (paid) that you can use to find people or organisations like The Salvation Army who (in the UK at least) will help you search for living relatives.

    Very best of luck to you.

  5. Becky Katz profile image82
    Becky Katzposted 12 years ago

    I have searched a name and found a friend that I had lost touch with. You never know.
    Their names would be listed in phone books online.

  6. justateacher profile image84
    justateacherposted 12 years ago

    Search, search, search and don't ever give up! A cousin that lived with us disappeared for thirty years. For twenty five of those years I searched for him through the internet. Bit by bit I got more information. I finally came across an obituary for his mother (who had divorced my uncle which led to us losing contact with my cousin) This obituary led me to the names of her brothers and sisters. By searching each and every person listed on the obituary, I came across a genealogy website that was being run by one of her brothers. It had a "contact me" button and I began talking with me. He was able to give me enough information to finally be able to find my cousin. We were able to have him come and visit two months before his father (who had lived with my mom for health reasons) passed away....
    Just don't give up - it is rewarding when you finally find the person you are searching for!

  7. PrettyWater profile image60
    PrettyWaterposted 12 years ago

    Take the information you have and look into census records.  Look into death and obituary records next.  If nothing is found there check into military records if he was ever in the military.  If all that fails put a family tree on Ancestry and wait to see if anyone sends you messages,  I had several contact me.  I have information I would never have found otherwise.  Good luck. and above all, be patient.

  8. Antonia Monacelli profile image85
    Antonia Monacelliposted 12 years ago

    If you live in the US, the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is completely free to search online on a few different websites.  It's worth a shot looking up, to at least be able to check if he has died or not.

    You can find one here: … h_ssdi.asp

  9. KDeus profile image94
    KDeusposted 11 years ago

    You'd be surprised how much information you do have that can get you started in the right direction. If you know where he grew up, even if it's the state (which can be a little more challenging), you can conduct searches on first names if you have any sibling information on him. There are a lot of out-of-the-box methods to track people down. Sometimes, depending where he lived, old newspapers may have articles that mention him - old school promotions, sporting results, community activities, etc.

    Don't give up!

  10. Linds Blair profile image54
    Linds Blairposted 7 years ago

    I am looking for my cousin James Hoillage from Basingstoke Abby Road his age is over 50 got kicked out of house in his early 20 and never been seen since that day

  11. Victorialyn James profile image60
    Victorialyn Jamesposted 7 years ago

    I just recently found my birth mother, because I needed to find out my birth information, so I could get my birth certificate for the first time in my life. My journey was a painful one, but in the end, with a lot of hard work, I was able to get my birth certificate. Once I found a few of my family members names, I searched a number of different free genealogy sites and was able to trace my entire history on my birth fathers side of the family clear back to the early 1500's, and found the potential to go back even further.
    So if your mom can remember any names of her aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, that's a good place to start your search. Once you find history on them, you might be able to connect the dots from there. If I can be of any help please comment and I can message you an email address. Best wishes.


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