How to Find If Someone Has Passed Away

Written by jaimie zinski
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There have been times when almost everyone has wondered if a long-lost relative or friend is no longer alive. It can be difficult to find this information if you have limited information on the person--if all you might have is a name. There are ways to discover whether that person with whom you have lost touch is able to be reached or if you should mourn their passing.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Find out as much information as you can about the person in question. This information could include their name, a maiden name if applicable, Social Security number, previous address or a previous phone number.

  2. 2

    Ask another family member if they have any information on the person. This method works well if you are searching for another member of your extended family. This may require getting in touch with people who you haven't spoken to in a long time. Keep asking various members until you find the answer you are looking for.

  3. 3

    Look through obituaries and marriage and death records. Many of these are available at your local library, historical society or online, through sites such as

  4. 4

    Go to a public records office of the person's last town of residence if you suspect this person has died. Many of these offices are located in the town's city hall or courthouse. This is an option only if you discover the last town the person lived.

  5. 5

    Hire a private detective. This is the most expensive option but is sometimes the only way to find out any information if you do not have a person's other vital information such as a previous address, phone number, or Social Security number.

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