Find a Lost Family Member

4 Ways to Find a Lost Family Member

Last updated on October 7, 2020

Putting together a family tree you may come to realize that there are family members you have never met before that are actually quite closely related. Back in the day, it was normal for families to stick together, wanting nothing more than to keep the family a tight unit.

In today’s world, there are many aspects that influence people falling off the radar and doing their own thing, from cousins moving across the country for work opportunities to aunties and uncles divorcing and going their own way.

It’s very normal to want to know what they’re up to, so if you’re wondering how to find family members you can do so with a background check. This way you can find out all there is to know about your long lost family members and get peace of mind.

Sign up with BeenVerified today!

1. Use a Background Check

Online background checks will use the latest technology to find out information about your long lost family member. It will search all the publicly available information out there to uncover as much information as possible on your person of interest and then compile those results into a report which you will understand with ease.

Of course, nobody is stopping you from doing all of this research yourself, but the fact of the matter is that you will lose countless hours doing all of this research. It is best to leave this part to the experts. Their technology enables them to get this information within just a few hours saving you painstakingly long days at the courts or the library.

The great thing about background checks is that they can carry out searches based on minimal information. Where you might hit a huge brick wall, the background checking company could unearth a huge amount of information.

You can also ask for them to search specific parts of the country if you feel they may have left to live in another state. If you believe that person to be in the US, you can be very confident that the background checking service will come up with some useful information.

2. Use the Information You Have

Think about any information you may have on your long lost family member and write it down. It can be anything. The smallest details may make the biggest difference in the end.

Think about whether that person may have a brother or a sister and if you know who their parents are. Some great information would be their name, age and previous addresses. These aspects will all make a huge difference in your search.


3. Think of Any Family Drama

Have you heard rumors down the grapevine as to why they disappeared? Did their immediate family reject their dreams of making it big in the entertainment industry? Maybe they had a shady boyfriend who was mixed up in the wrong crowd at the time?

It may seem petty to bring up the old drama, but these details could help you get onto the trail of your family member. For example, by checking out criminal records of that shady boyfriend, you can further understand their possible movements in the past and work out where they may be located today.

When enquiring about this information especially from the individuals immediate family you should be sure not to pry too heavily. After all, this topic may still leave a bitter taste in their mouth so make sure to broach the subject with a lot of sensitivity. The last thing you want to do is create further problems by attempting to dig up old information.

4. Try Your Hand at Social Media

There are loads of people who have checked out what their exes have gotten up to on social media so why shouldn’t you try and find out more information about your loved ones on these platforms?

Start off by typing in their name in the search bar either on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat. If you cannot find recent information on these platforms make sure to dig a little deeper. Find photos which their friends have tagged them in and get in touch with those people as well. Make sure to read comments on old posts which may give you some indication of possible future travel plans.

What we don’t realize is that we often overshare on our social media profiles by tagging people in photos, sharing location settings as well as previous and present employers. This is something you can take advantage of. Times have changed and there is a lot of information online, you just have to know how to dig it up.

Think About The Implications

Surely by now, you have realized that your search will likely come up with some results, but instead of thinking “can I find my long lost relative” you should really be contemplating “should I be looking for my long lost relative”. Some people have purposely cut ties with family members due to disputes based on prejudices or even violence.

When you get closer to finding out about your family members location and status make sure to really contemplate whether or not that person would want to be found and if they do, who would they want you to share the information with? In reality, we all think differently, so make sure not to share any of their location information with other people before you ask their permission.

Timing is Key

If you are trying to reunite family members that have had a falling out there are a few things to really take into consideration. Firstly do these individuals want to reconnect? Of course, you are coming from a place of love and goodwill, but chances are that people will not take well to being surprised with estranged family members with whom they have had a falling out.

Short of making things a lot worse, things could get very complicated in this situation. Instead, when you do locate your family member and start communicating with them it may be a good idea to ease into the topic. Reveal information and the latest news relating to your life and broach the topic gently. From there you will likely find out whether or not they would like to reunite with other family members.

If the individuals in question do decide they want to meet, you should carefully plan the meeting which will take place. Choose a location that is neutral to both or all parties and make sure to speak to them individually to cover which topics should and shouldn’t be brought up in order to make it as comfortable as possible.

Think About it From Their Point of View

Sure, you want to help and you also cannot wait to once again speak to your long lost relative, but before you do, think about how you would feel if you were in that person’s shoes. Would you want to be found? And in which way?

Think about it. You could be going through your daily life and all of a sudden get bombarded with text messages, social media messages and phone calls from a complete stranger claiming to be your relative with stories that are of no interest to you. Doesn’t seem so inviting now, does it?

If you do come into contact with this person you should be careful to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Tell them you do not want to intrude on their daily life and will not bother them further if that is something that they do not want. Giving the individual options will make them more at ease and help you reconnect.

What Will Come Up in the Background Check?

There’s a lot of information that can surprise you which may come up on the online background check. This includes things like employment history, sex offender registry, SSN authentication, driving records, personal details, education information, military records as well as social media information.

There are also criminal records that can come up in the background check which will include dates and information regarding any arrests, court records, convictions, sex offenses, warrants or incarceration records.

There are many background checks to choose from and to be fair not all of them are created equally.

One of the better options you could opt for is BeenVerified. This is because they use the latest technology to come up with answers you probably have questions too. But that’s not all. Many of the files out there still haven’t been digitalized which is where BeenVerified come in. Sending out court runners to retrieve any analog records on record will make your life a lot easier.

Up until today, BeenVerified has helped over 100,000 people, providing them with information in order for their peace of mind. The great thing about this background checking company is that they have an app that is available for both iOS and Android platforms. Using the app you can find out information such as contact numbers, email addresses as well as property records.

The app’s interface is clean and easy to use and you can even use the app on your Apple Watch to perform reverse phone checks. Another fantastic aspect of this service is that they have customer assistance availability seven days a week meaning you will get answers to your questions whenever they pop up.

Another brilliant background checking service is TruthFinder. These guys will come up with information that you probably would not find anywhere else because they uncover information that you won’t find with regular internet searches. Digging through the deep web, TruthFinder will come up with a comprehensive report. It may take a few weeks to get results back, but it will definitely be worth the wait.

TruthFinder has an A+ rating with the BBB and has quite a strong social media search that will surely come up with more information than other services. There is also strong customer service which is available 24/7.

Free Background Checks vs Paid Background Checks

There are many online background checks claiming to find out all the information you’re looking for free of charge. As you may have figured by now, few things are free in life and such is the case in this situation. Most of these reliable internet background checks will need you to pay a subscription.

The truth is, to run a background check, high tech tools are needed as well as people behind the screens putting in the work. Both of these factors require payment, which is why you have to pay to run a background check.]

Those claiming to do the work for free will often attempt to harvest your user data or even try to infiltrate your devices with malicious software. That is a high price to pay for a simple background check.

Remember that Rejection is a Possibility

Not all people want to be found, and that is OK. It is imperative to remember that not all family members were abandoned and are somewhere yearning to reconnect with their long lost families. A lot of the time the reason for families separating can include personality differences, abuse, family values, and crime.

Keeping this in mind you should also note that there is a chance this family member now has a family of their own and does not wish to dwell on the past. All of the previously mentioned reasons for families drifting apart carry with them a certain heaviness which means that it is very much a possibility that you get a definitive “no” from the person in question.


Finding family members can be an arduous task full of hurdles and barriers. Your path to finding that family member can be made a lot easier with the help of a professional online background check service.

This is something that can take a couple of hours or even a few weeks. These searches cover an enormous amount of data in a quick and efficient manner, providing you with information you never thought possible.

Not all of these background checks are created equally, with some definitely outshining others, so it is imperative to pick the right one in order to get results. Free services are usually anything but, with people paying with their own personal information a lot of the time without even being aware of this.

Lastly, make sure to think about whether or not this person would want to be found and whether they would likely welcome you into their life or not. Maybe it is more than enough just to find out that they are alive and well without meddling in their lives. On the other hand, maybe they would want nothing more than to sit down and catch up with you.

Your options are endless and one thing is for sure. Today there is more of a chance than ever that something will come up on an online background check. Are you ready to find your nearest and dearest?

Article comments