There are a lot of reasons you could want to find someone from your past. Maybe, for example, you want to find a family member you lost contact with, a past friend, or even a romantic interest. It could be that your situation is even more significant in that you want to find a child that you put up for adoption earlier in your life.
Whatever your reason for looking for someone from your past, the following are tips that can help:
5 Steps To Finding A Person From Your Past Online
1. Start with a Free Search
A free search online people search is a good place to start if you’re searching for someone, especially if you’re aware of their name.
Depending on the free people search you use, you might get access to contact information and public records in a report. Marriage records, criminal records, liens, lawsuits, and bankruptcies might all be things you could come across.
2. Use Their Email Address
If you have an email address for a person, even if it’s an old one, you might be able to use that to find their contact information.
There are tools available where you just enter an email address, and then you might get some of the possible results.
3. Look at Other Friends on Facebook
It’s not always easy to find someone on Facebook for a variety of reasons. They might not be on the site at all, or they may have gotten married or have a different name on the site for any number of reasons. They could also have their settings so that people can’t search for them unless they’re already friends.
One way that you could find out if someone is on Facebook, even if they haven’t made it easy to find them, is to go to the site and look for friends that you may have had in common.
For example, maybe you have a friend from high school on Facebook who also knows the person you’re looking for. In that case, you could be able to look at that shared friend’s list of friends on Facebook and see if you spot the person you’re looking for.
Another way you can find someone who might be on Facebook but who’s made it tricky to find them is to search for their last name only. They might use an alias or nickname as their first name.
You can also use Facebook to talk to people you might know in common. Send messages to old friends to see if any of them is in contact with the person you’re looking for.
If that fails, think about looking for the person on LinkedIn. A lot of people who don’t otherwise use social media do have LinkedIn profiles for work and business purposes.
4. Do a Google Search
If you haven’t found any information yet, or maybe you have, you can still do a Google search. A Google search could turn up news stories that might mention the person, any personal websites they have, and profiles they have in various places.
A Google search can also sadly turn up something like an obituary, which is never what you want to find, but it could give you an answer as to what you’re looking for.
You might find an obituary for a family member of the person you’re looking for, and then you can see things like their siblings’ or spouse’s name listed in that, which can help in your search.
It’s not easy to find people on Google because it’s just such a massive search engine, so if you have even a tiny additional detail you can add besides their name, that might help you narrow it down. For example, maybe you know their hometown or middle initial, so you can add those to your search.
5. What About a Private Investigator?
Finally, in some situations, if everything else fails, you might consider a private investigator. Of course, you’re probably not going to do this if you’re just looking for a long-lost friend, but if it’s someone like a family member, you might.
You should only try this option after you’ve tried everything else. Private investigators have resources that, as the general public, we don’t. The big catch here is that they’re pricey and can charge upwards of $100 an hour to track someone down.
A private investigator can be especially helpful in a complex case, like situations where the person might have changed their name, so you really have very little information to start with.
There are many reasons for wanting to find and/or reconnect with someone from your past. Thankfully, it is so much easier now with the internet at your fingertips. With a little work on your part, you may find who you are looking for quite easily. Why wait?