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Though our family history research is often focused on researching those who are long dead, as we embrace autosomal DNA testing, seek modern cousins to collaborate with on our family tree, (as adoptees) try to find biological parents or relatives, etc, we find ourselves needing to do more “modern” research.
Sometimes finding “living” people can be as hard if not harder than finding those long dead ancestors. With privacy laws, modern records not being a focus of digitization projects, mobility, the shift to cell phones (vs land-lines) and other obstacles, we can be quite challenged when trying to track a living person.
For a project a couple of years ago, I was able to find the sale of some land from the previous year and yet could not locate these individuals. They had moved to NYC and the address given on the NC paperwork was not “correct,” the forward on their mail had expired, no land-line phone number could be found and they did not “own” property in their new home town! Incredibly frustrating to be “this” close to a living cousin for my client and get stuck!
To help you find living people, here are a few posts that will hopefully help you make contact:
- People Search Online (Kimberly Powell, About.com)
- Reversing Gears: How To Find Living Relatives (Martin Fischer, Archives.com)
- Finding Living People (Cyndi’s List)
- Finding Living People (SJCPL Subject Guide)
- Finding living family using Facebook (Robin Foster, Examiner.com)
- Using Facebook to Grow Your Family Tree (Ancestry.com Blog)
- Where is the Lost Relative: Finding Living Family Members (Lorinda Mann)
- They're Alive! Finding Living Relatives OnDemand Webinar (Thomas MacEntee, Family Tree, $)
- How To Search For People On The Internet (Softwatricks)
Do you have other suggestions for tracking down living people?
What has worked “best” for you when seeking a living “cousin?”
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