How to find long lost relatives

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How to find long lost relatives is something you can do.

Genealogy websites, people tracing services and people search websites can all help you with finding your long-lost family. Depending on who you want to find, how much you want to spend and if you are prepared to do the searching yourself, will dictate which of these will be the best solution for you.

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What is covered in this guide to finding your long-lost family. We promise to be respectful of your time and get straight to the point.  We will cover.

  • The best genealogy and address websites to find your long-lost relatives yourself.
  • The best people tracing services to do it for you.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of each.

About the Author of this How to find long lost relatives article.

My name is David Oates, I am the Head Researcher at Relative Connections, you can view my LinkedIn by clicking here. I am also the director of the adoption support agency which is regulated by Ofsted. I am a highly regarded and experienced family tracer and intermediary. I have spoken about finding long lost family on BBC Radio 5 and was part of the featured team on BBC1’s Family Finders TV series.

The problem you face when looking for long lost family members.

Sometimes people wake up and something has changed. They have made the decision to find their missing family member.

Now they are looking for a solution to that ‘problem’.  Other people have had a nagging feeling for a long time.

A feeling of not being complete. A piece of the jigsaw is missing.  Some people reading this will be looking for close family member that they have never met, such as a sibling or parent. Others will be looking for a more distant relative.

So, a number of factors can influence the best way to find lost relatives.

Let’s quickly look at these,

  • How much time you have to search for them.
  • How important it is to you and your mental health.
  • How much money you are prepared to spend.
  • How to find long lost relatives at all.
  • How you and/or your relative is.
  • If you have met them before, if you haven’t.
  • Or if there was ever an unresolved issue between you both

These are just a few examples, but I am sure at least one or two will have resonated with you.

So, what next?

As I said at the start of the article. There are two ways to do this.

One you do it yourself. The other is to use a service like ours to do it for you.

There is no right or wrong answer when you are thinking how can I find my long lost family. I don’t want to be seen to be pushing you towards our service if that is not required.

As a school of thought I would say that if this really means a lot to you then it might be worth at least having a conversation with us.  We can provide a no obligation quote and at least then you will have a point of reference.

We’re not the cheapest but I think we’re the most supportive and we have a great research team so can find relatives with only small amounts of information.  If you are maybe not as close to the situation, then you can perform your own searches.  There are some great tracing tools that are available to you. I would try the following and see what you uncover.

  • Ancestry. You can open a free account with them but expect to pay to access any matches. Be careful to double check that you have found information that is relevant to your exact relative and not a namesake.
  • & TraceGenie – both these websites let you search for your relative’s address. Again, look out for namesakes but both excellent ways to find family members.
  • Facebook and other social media. You’ve probably had a look on Facebook already, but it is a great way to find people you have lost touch with.

Contacting long lost family members

When it comes to answering how to find long lost relatives, I think many people don’t give enough thought to the contacting part.

If you do the finding yourself, please carefully consider how you make contact. This can be the point where you can make a mess of it. Especially of you have never met the relative or if you have an unresolved issue with them.

Mental Health issues surrounding finding family members. 

If you are impacted by this search, then it may be best to seek mental health support. There are solutions around the country for help with mental health and you can contact your doctor. In a mental health emergency, you should call 999.


How to find lost family members is something we all think about.

Here at Relative Connections, we have our own stories of losing touch with family members.

This means we do know what you are going through. We know it can hurt and it can be difficult. You will know when the time is right to do your own searching.  But next time you’re wondering how to find my long-lost relatives we hope you’ll consider our services. Thank you for reading this guide – How to find long lost Relatives.