Finding old Friends That Have Disappeared
Nostalgia has hit you, and you’re contemplating an old friendship? If you want to rekindle it, make new memories, catch up, or take advantage of the connection a reunion can give, you have to know how to find lost friends.
You need to start with their full name. A less common name will make finding them easier. Consider they might have changed their name since you were in touch, like if your friend was a female who got married. For married women, try maiden names as well.
Anything you can remember about them will help. Details are important: their last job, where they went to school, names of other friends or acquaintances, or when they were in the army, if applicable.
Try to recall what they did for a living and any family members of theirs. It’s sometimes possible to find a lost friend that way.
Reverse Phone Search
You could try looking up an old phone number of theirs. While there’s no guarantee that a reverse phone search will work, there is a chance of that happening, reducing the search time considerably.
Their Last Location
Hopefully, you can remember where they last lived. The more details you remember, the better. It would help to link the person with a school, a church, or another organization.
Getting lucky with an online search is possible as long as you know how to search for people online. Engines like Pipl locate people by combing databases of public records. It’s best if you have their full name, college, hometown, occupation, and anything else you think could help you find them. Pipl can retrieve employment records. People finder websites like information.com are also a rich source of data.
These services have access to all kinds of records, but they might not have the information you need. When searching for them, enter the name, hometown, or city where they last lived, and state in the search bar between quote marks. Use any information you have.
If you strongly suspect where they are currently living, try Metacrawler White. It uses a combination of the white pages, the yellow pages, and Google to look for information and might turn up an address or phone number.
Consider social media as a source of info. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be really helpful. Try to track them down by hometown or current location, college, high school, friends of friends, etc. When you think you’ve found them, send a message instead of a friend request.
There are many niche sites or networking sites for businesspersons, friends, and interest-based groups. You can try several of these when searching for your friend, especially if you know where they might be located now.
Platforms like Classmates.com can help you find former classmates regardless of when you graduated from school. The basic membership plan is free and will let you look for old friends from the army, college, or high school.
If you live in the UK, you can try Friends Reunited. The site has some reach abroad, so if they live in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, or Malaysia, you might be able to find them through it. It also provides access to ways to find people with whom you have things in common, such as an address, club, workplace, or school.
The niche site BatchMates has members from all over the world, although it’s based in India. You can search by name, company, or institute and send emails to other members.
Find Your Old Friend Through Family
If one or more of your friend’s family members had an unusual name, it could help you track them down. It’s most likely to work if you’ve known your friend since you were kids because you’ll remember more details about their relatives, such as social affiliations or their parents’ jobs.
Find Your Friend Through a Workplace
Your friend may have been a coworker or someone from your church if you’re religious. You can look for them through your old workplace. Get in touch with someone from your old job to see if they can help. It should be someone you know because companies won’t give out personal data to random people.
Get in touch with your college or high school or use your alumni directory. You could buy the directory of past students published by your school. Contact your college or university and ask them about upcoming reunion events.
If you and your friend were members of the same fraternity or sorority, contact them and provide your details, including your name and when you were part of the organization. They can give you login details to search their database for other past members.
Access Public Records
You can look for name changes, marriages, prison records, and deaths. To perform this search, you’ll need their name and place of birth.
If you have tried all of these tips and still can’t find anything about your friend, try a site like Tributes or Familysearch. You’ll locate an obituary if they have passed away.