How To Find Long Lost Relatives?

Even with the prominence social media has in our lives, it can be hard to track down someone you have little information on. Luckily, the dedicated team of Private Investigators at PIUK can help you find a long-lost family member, whether it be a cousin, sister, uncle, or parent.

4 Ways to Find Your Long Lost Relative

Losing touch with once-close relatives is surprisingly common, whether due to drifting apart or decisions made by others in your family. If you’re thinking about a relative you’ve lost contact with, even after a negative last interaction, it suggests a need for resolution. Learning how to find long lost family can provide insight into their life, helping you decide whether to reconnect; here is how to find a long lost relative.

1: Get hunting in the records:

Finding a Family Member by Checking Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are modern-day lifelines for reconnecting lost connections. Start with a simple search using their full name, and if that doesn’t yield results, try variations or look through mutual connections. Many people share significant life events on these platforms, offering clues to their current whereabouts or status.

Finding Lost Family by Exploring Historical Newspapers

Explore the past with historical newspapers, which can be treasure troves of information. Websites like or the Library of Congress Chronicling America offer digital archives. Birth announcements, obituaries, marriage notices, and other social mentions can provide leads or fill in gaps in your relative’s life story.

Looking For Lost Relatives in Different Communities

Sometimes, the collective memory of a community is the key to unlocking the past. Local forums, historical societies, or even a post in a community Facebook group can bring unexpected insights. People enjoy sharing stories; some might remember your relatives, offer personal anecdotes or suggest other local resources to explore.

2: Check electoral registers:

Electoral registers, a less commonly used resource, are gold mines for those tracing the breadcrumbs back to find lost family. These public records list individuals registered to vote, providing addresses and sometimes additional details that can pinpoint a person’s location at various points in time. Accessing these registers can be a straightforward process, depending on your country’s regulations and privacy laws.

Begin by visiting your local government’s website or contacting the electoral office to inquire about public access to electoral rolls. When searching through an electoral register, persistence is key. You may need to sift through years of data, especially if your relative has moved frequently. Consider variations of their name and be aware of changes that might occur over time, such as marriage. While this method requires patience, uncovering a present or even a former address can be a significant breakthrough in your quest, leading you closer to reestablishing that lost connection and weaving back together the fabric of your family history.

3. Trade and Industry Contacts:

In today’s world, we tightly guard our personal details on social and online shopping platforms. Yet, in the professional realm, the situation becomes different. Career progression often depends on open communication within one’s industry. This is why tapping into trade and industry information becomes a powerful tool in the search for a long-lost relative. Leveraging knowledge about your relative’s professional life might just be the breakthrough you need.

Consider the various professional footprints one might leave behind. Union memberships, for example, could list members publicly, providing a solid lead if your relative is part of such an organisation. Professional directories and referral services are also gold mines, listing addresses and contact details for individuals in numerous fields. These resources might offer up a workplace address or a direct phone number, guiding you directly to your relative.


To start, zoom in on the industry or trade your relative was involved with. Look for associated professional associations, licensing bodies, or membership directories. Reaching out to these entities can sometimes offer unexpected leads or assistance in making a connection.

It is crucial, however, to tread lightly and respect privacy. If you manage to make contact, approach the conversation with care, acknowledging the surprise or caution your relative may feel. This respectful approach, blending professional avenues with personal intentions, can pave a smooth path towards reconnection, making the journey as thoughtful as it is effective.

4. Get Professional Help - Hire a private investigator:

When the trail to finding a relative goes cold, hiring a private investigator (PI) could be your best strategy. Surprisingly, many don’t realise that locating missing people is a common service provided by private investigators, including those at PIUK. It’s central to their expertise, whether they’re hired for surveillance, fraud investigations, or directly to find lost relatives. Tracking down individuals is often their starting point, paving the way to uncover deeper information.

Private investigators come equipped with a unique set of skills, extensive experience, and access to specialised resources that the average person simply doesn’t have. Their professional networks can be particularly invaluable, enabling them to reach out effectively once they have located your relative.

Moreover, a PI can gather critical details discreetly, not just about the whereabouts of your relative but also their current circumstances. This comprehensive insight allows you to gauge the best moment for reconnection and provides various contact options, whether through phone, physical address, or digital means like social media or email. Hiring a PI, such as those affiliated with PIUK, might be the most efficient and effective method to find a family member, offering peace of mind and potentially speeding up the reunion process.

If you want to find a lost relative, contact us today at 0800 002 9858 OR 0773 043 9156.

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