The world is growing by the day, but this widening gap is certainly bridged effectively thanks to technology and social media.

Do you have a lost relative who you have been itching to get back in touch with, but you had no idea where to start looking? If so, this is a very common situation to be in. Most of us have an auntie, uncle, cousin, or perhaps even brother or sister, who is no longer in our local lives, perhaps even a very close long lost friend. This could be due to a falling out, a huge argument, or it could simply be down to the ebb and flow of life. People move, and they fall off the radar to some degree. Whilst this is a common situation, it can leave some relatives wishing they could find the other one, without having the first clue where to turn to.

If this is the case, it is possible to search public records, to try and ascertain their whereabouts. Whether they answer your call or not is up to them, but the information is available for you to make the first move.

So, how should you approach this sensitive subject?

The finer details really come down to the type of relative you’re trying to reach, and how close you were. A search of public records will tell you the information which is available within the public demand; that means you can find out their marital status, whether they are divorced, you can find out certain details about their criminal record, if you choose to enhance your check with a criminal records background check, and you can find out their address too. Obviously, you would already know their date of birth, but that is also listed on the available records.

So, you have an address, what do you do?

Making The First Move

Turning up at their door is a risky move. Firstly, they may not be home and you might have made a wasted trip, having wound yourself up with nerves beforehand. With that in mind, perhaps the best option is to go old school, and write to the person. If you want to speed up the process, and you don’t want to wait for the postal service to do its thing, you could deliver it in person and post it through their letterbox, and then leave, to give them the time to digest the contents of your letter. Remember that this new reaching out could come as a shock to them, and they may not answer you straightaway. Don’t become disheartened or give up at this point, give it a week or so, and see if you receive a reply. In your letter, give a telephone number, as this will enable them to call you if they want to.

Obviously, you need to also come to terms with the fact that perhaps they just don’t want to be contacted. Whilst it’s quite impossible to become ‘lost’ in this day and age, we still maintain our personal choices, and if we don’t want to answer someone, we really don’t have to.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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