In the frenetic pace of modern life, people lose touch with family members all too often. With the Internet, reconnecting with loved ones is possible. Though you could choose to pay for a service to locate someone or even hire a private detective, there are many free ways to find that family member yourself. Though details such as a city or county of residence, profession or hobbies will greatly narrow your search, you can find loved ones at no cost with simply a name.
If you only know the name of the family member, navigate to FamilySearch (see Resources) to search online for free. You can search by type of event such as marriage or birth, by years, and by last known city of residence. FamilySearch also has locations in many U.S. cities and even other countries. At a local centre, a FamilySearch volunteer will assist in searching records for your family member at no charge. If you're a member of a social network such as Facebook, you can also search just based on a name.
Search in a phone directory or property appraiser's website. If you know the family member's name and the city or county that he resides in, search the online edition of the Yellow Pages (see Resources). The Yellow Pages allows people to search by name or do a reverse lookup by phone or address. Knowing the county of residence allows you to search the county's property appraiser website. In Broward County, Florida, for example, entering a name will bring up the address and other owners of the property at no charge. If the family members rent, they won't show up on the property appraiser list. And if they have an unlisted number, they won't appear in the Yellow Pages directory.
Check organisations for their profession provided that you know what they do for a living. For example, if the family member is an attorney, go to her state's bar website and look up the member search. In New York, for example, an attorney search yields a work phone number as well as an address. The American Medical Association has a member finder and a non-member physician finder.
If you know their name and city and happen to know their interests, find family members by making some phone calls. Call the local synagogues or churches, sports teams and volunteer organisations. Your family member may be one of their members too.