The Art of Finding Aunt Franny: Using a People Search to Locate Family Members

There are a lot of reasons to consider conducting a people search. Whether you’ve had a falling out with a family member but now need to contact them about a matter of business, or if you need to share important news with a relative, there are times when locating them can be critical. Consider the following scenarios:

  • You had a fight with your brother three decades ago, but the declining health or death of a parent means you need to cooperate in order to make critical decisions about their care and their belongings. From paying for residential care to selling the family home, there’s a lot to discuss. 
  • You gave up a child for adoption in your teens, but you’ve always wished you could share with them the news of a serious genetic condition that may impact their health. You’d also simply like to know if they are happy. 
  • You were adopted as an infant, and you’ve always wondered whether your parents had dimples like yours or where you got your athletic ability. Maybe you’d like to know if there are any health conditions or family history that it would be helpful for you to know.
  • Your family hasn’t been together in many years, but as family members age, you are thinking about putting together an extended family reunion. While you’re in touch with most of your cousins, there are two or three that nobody has heard from in years. 
  • Your ex-husband moved states with his new family and in recent months, you haven’t received a child support payment. A people search could help you locate them so legal papers can be served. You’re getting behind on your bills and it’s time for the kids’ father to fulfill his obligations. 
  • You’re simply curious. Maybe your deceased father had a sibling he hadn’t spoken to since before you were born, but you’d like to know more about them, or you remember playing with a particular second cousin as a child but haven’t seen them in many years. 

There are a variety of reasons to locate a family member with a people search, but beginning the search can seem overwhelming. If a quick Google search and checking over Facebook don’t yield any results, are you forced to accept a dead end?

If you’re in a situation where making contact is critical, such as pursuing child support or trying to finalize a deceased parent’s estate, it may not be acceptable to abandon efforts to contact your family member. 

The good news is that there are many more resources available to help you locate a family member. There are a number of approaches that can provide important information:

State and Local Records: You can obtain details related to court cases, including divorce, criminal convictions and bankruptcies. It’s also possible to retrieve a history of addresses. Keep in mind that ongoing investigations won’t be posted, so even if you suspect your relative may be involved in some unsavory activities, you may not be able to get much information until the courts have ruled. 

Common Names: There’s a search that allows you to enter a name, which will tell you how many times that combination of first and last names appear in the database. While this doesn’t tell you where your family member is, it does help you get a sense of how difficult locating them might be. If there are seven John Smiths in the country, finding one in Baltimore shouldn’t be impossible. 

National Records: These records include information related to court cases processed at the federal level, as well as census records. They can be helpful, but they tend to work better as a supplement to state and local resources. 

Other Relatives: Even if your searches don’t produce the information you need to locate your family member with an initial people search, you may locate closer relatives or those that have been in contact with your family member more recently. Once you’ve located an address or a phone number for other relatives, it may be a short path to the person you’re trying to reach.

A comprehensive people search for your family member doesn’t have to leave you frustrated. Through the tools available at DirtSearch, you can do all of the above investigating, plus much more. Whether you’re hoping for a tearful reunion, or you’ve been waiting 25 years to tell a relative what you really think of them, DirtSearch can help you achieve your goals.

If there’s a family member you’ve been wondering about, don’t leave the outcome to feeble attempts through search engines and social media. Take your people search to DirtSearch, where you can quickly and conveniently locate a long lost family member.