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Has Coronavirus made you think of tracing lost relatives and friends?

by Josef Kafka

The global community is going through the ultimate collective stress and distress.

Fears about our nearest and dearest are raw, and the prospect of someone you know dying is a daily nightmare. Also, you could well be wondering how those you ‘loved and lost’ are coping with this massive health issue.

It doesn’t help that Covid-19 restrictions are now leaving hundreds of thousands of British people sitting at home with large amounts of time on their hands! This too can lead to trips down memory lane, and give you time to consider ways to trace loved ones you’ve lost touch with.

This is going to be a milestone moment in countless ways. Could it be the linchpin of renewing connections across the globe?

Online resources

There are online resources to help you to track down a relative, former friend or even a much-missed work colleague from your past. In tricky and sensitive situations, it is also possible to arrange for a cyber specialist to help with tracking and tracing services.

One of the most common searches for family members is to locate birth parents or an absent parent. Another common search is siblings reconnecting is also a common reason to seek missing people.

If you can’t ask people to help you - who may have up to date information – what can you try yourself, before bringing in professional help?

DIY methods to trace someone

It’s a much-used story device in relevant film plots, to browse telephone directories to trace someone. These days, that is rarely fruitful, but worth a try!

It is far more likely to yield results if you use an online version of course, such as http://www.ukphonebook.com here. You can key in the person’s surname and last-known location to see if their number appears. There are other directories of phone numbers with web addresses too.

Another place to start in tracing someone would be a resource called the General Register Office, which provides publicly accessible information on marriages and deaths. If you visit the Gov.UK website or Web archive you can go from https://www.gov.uk/researchfamily-history there.

There are online resources to search for birth, death and marriage information that charge you a fee, too.

Another free and publicly available option for tracing someone is to use the Electoral Register, which is also sometimes referred to as the Electoral Roll. There are both free and fee-charging methods of accessing basic information such as addresses this way.

Keep in mind that modern data laws have restricted the options for both storing and accessing information about individuals. Personal data can only be stored and passed on legally when the individual has ‘opted in’.

This can make some of the traditional ways to trace people much less successful - but not impossible.

Appeals and research on social media

Making attempts to track someone down via social media may be more useful. Perhaps you are still in touch with the friends or associates of your missing loved one, and you can approach them online for any information they are willing to provide.

It is amazing how few privacy settings people apply to Facebook. You may be able to freely hop around friends lists on profiles, possibly even following a trail that leads you to reach your family member or friend directly!

There is also the potential to issue an appeal on social media to trace a past flame, relative, friend or former colleague. You can simply put the information you have in a post, and share it on area-specific pages, or within specialists groups of people looking for missing people.

This is a rather scattergun approach though and can upset the subject of your search or their close circle.

It also relies on two very significant points. Whether the person you are seeking has a presence on social media, and whether they are using strict privacy settings due to keeping a ‘low profile’.

When finding family members and friends gets tough

When tracing someone you need to be conscious of two emotive facts. The person you seek may have passed away. Or, they may be doing everything possible to avoid being found, including changing their name.

How do you trace loved ones in those circumstances, so you have answers to some of your questions? Or, what should you do if your own efforts to find someone online, have drawn a blank?

The solution is to bring experts in finding missing people, who know exactly how to go about tracing those you have lost touch with: 1st Call Detectives.

Our tracing services have a strong track record for informative outcomes, even when all you seek is peace of mind or the ability to ‘let go’ of hopes of reconnecting.

If it’s one thing that the Coronaviris pandemic has taught us, it’s that you never know what’s around the corner, and life’s too short to waste a single day on ‘what ifs’.

So, please contact us today if you would like to use a private investigation service to find someone.


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