9 Way to Find Missing Family Members

Would you like to host a family reunion, but don’t know where the descendants for a given ancestor are living?  When I was hosting the McKee Family Reunion, I ran into this issue on over half of the still living descendants.

So, where did I go to track down the missing family members.

old City directories are a great resource for finding businesses and people
  1. Research obituaries—this sounds like an odd place to start, but the obituaries will provide the names of living descendants and often the city and state where the survivors are living. Compile a list of the living descendants.
  2. Reach out to your contact list—ask family members you already know and those that had an address in the obituary for contact information on those individuals you are seeking.
  3. Search online directories—many online directories will provide addresses or phone number for individuals.
  4. com—Ancestry.com has online directories that may provide a lead to the person you are searching for.
  5. Local Public Records—if you know where the individual lived, you can check local records for land records. Did the individual buy or sell a house?  This will provide you with an address to reach out.
  6. Also, while checking local records search the probate court or check sites such as Ancestry.com and FindAGrave.com to make sure the person you are searching for is not deceased.
  7. Search online—in this day of social media you can search online for a social media account or website that will allow you to reach out.
  8. Local alumni associations—if you know of the high school or college where the individual graduated from the alumni association may be willing to pass on a message for you, if they have an up-to-date address.
  9. Think out of the box—if you know the individual had a certain occupation or belonged to a given organization, club, volunteered at a certain place or had a certain hobby use that information to track down the person you are looking for.

How have you found missing living family members?