How do I find living relatives for free?

family image by Pavel Losevsky from

The search for living relatives can be expensive and time consuming. If you have ever lost a loved one or if you are trying to locate relatives who could provide information about your family tree, there are ways to locate your living relatives for free.

Do not get fooled by Websites that insist you should pay for this type of service, because you can often perform the actions to look up your relatives yourself.

Search your own home and your parents' home for family Bibles, birth certificates and old address books. Sometimes you can track relatives through their old addresses by talking to neighbours and finding out if they know where your relatives have gone.

Document all findings in a notebook or on the computer in a file. Make notes of where you found information and who gave the information to you. Review the file periodically in case you forgot information or did not realise that some information linked together.

Contact relatives you know and request information about other relatives. Many of your older relatives will know how to locate people you have not spoken to in a while. They may also know where the relative's children are located and how to contact them.

Locate relatives on free networking sites. Networking social sites often help people reconnect to their loved ones. MySpace, LinkedIn and Facebook are examples of social networking sites. Look a name up using the "Search" window in the social site. Press the "Request Friend Button" next to your relative's name once you have found the person via the search button. Do not forget to send a message with your friend request letting them know who you are. This is crucial to ease her worries about a stranger contacting her.

Research your family at the local library and via old newspaper clippings. Request copies of newspaper archives from the town library from which your family originated. The newspaper office also should have back issues of the newspaper in its archives.

Use genealogy websites to locate your family. These websites sometimes allow free searches for family members, and they can connect you with branches of the family that you have not communicated with for a while. The website is one example of a website that will help you search for relatives online and another example is the website, How to find a Relative for Free.(See References)