Searching for a Person - Where Do You Start?

by Giles Higgitt - Date: 2007-05-20 - Word Count: 641 Share This!

You have made the decision to find that long lost friend or family member. Maybe you lost touch over the years and would like to see how the person is. Perhaps you come from an adoption or foster care situation and seek to meet your natural parents. Or it could be you need to locate a person who is a witness or beneficiary in a legal matter. No matter what your reason for finding a person, the question is where do you start? You will be amazed at what you already know and the relevancy of keeping accurate records of facts gathered along the way.

The first thing you need to do is carefully review what you already know. Such facts you have about the person may include:

- Full name and any other names may they have been known by in the past;

- Date of birth or approximate age;

- The approximate date and place of your last contact with the person and the circumstances;

- Last known address and any previous addresses known to you, including their hometown;

- Name of schools or universities the person attended;

- Place of business, professional organizations and hobbies; and

- Names of any family members, business associates and friends.

You may not have all these facts, but any combination of information you assemble may turn out to be key in locating the person. Record what you have and put in a secure binder so that you do not lose it. Keeping organized records makes it easier for you to make progress in your search, as well as to enlist the assistance of an investigator or genealogist.

Once you have written down all the facts you can think of, consider what physical items you might have that could be useful in locating the person, such as:

- Birth certificates;

- Marriage licenses;

- Professional licenses;

- Military papers;

- Photographs;

- Letters in the person's handwriting; and

- Death certificates.

Make copies of all the documents, put them into your search binder and return the originals to a secure location in case you need them in the future.

Once you have put together all the basic facts along with documentation and photographs, jot down anything and everything you can think of about the person. Don't worry about making sense or whether your grammar is correct. Brainstorm and just let your thoughts flow for a page or two. What may seem to be ramblings at the time could later develop into an essential clue that helps to locate the missing person. Many people have been found because of what seemed at the time to be an irrelevant titbit, so don't hold anything back.

Now that you have explored your mind for every bit of information, talk to other people you know who also may have facts about the person you are searching for. Mutual friends and family members might know pertinent pieces of information that could help locate the person. As you speak with people, take careful notes of everything they tell you. No matter now small a piece of information seems to be, it could wind up being an important part of the investigation process. Memorialize all your conversations, make copies of the documents and photos given to you and put all the information garnered into your binder.

After reviewing everything you know and have, as well as speaking with everyone you know, you will have a valuable binder of information assembled. You can take this binder to a professional investigator and genealogist who will help you locate the long lost person and make initial contact. An investigator and genealogist has the knowledge and resources to maximize the information you provide to them, as well as deal with the sensitive situation of attempting a reunion once the person is found. Your carefully assembled binder of seemingly common knowledge holds the key to the wonderful journey of finding the person you are looking for.

Related Tags: people search, family reunion, people finder, uk people search, uk people finder, find people, find family

Giles Higgitt is a professional people finder. If you are looking for someone you should read his weekly newsletter, the 'UK People Search News'. Go to http://www.Blood-Ties.Com/news.htm to get free tips from an acknowledged expert in this field. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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