Tracing Lost Loved Ones

Tracing lost loved ones can be a heartbreaking experience, but there are ways to find them. The first step is to gather information on the person, such as nicknames and aliases.


You can also check online newspaper archives or contact the person’s employer. This may help you locate any life insurance policies or retirement benefits they may have left behind.

Social media

Social media is increasingly being used to mourn the passing of a loved one. Many family members use Facebook and Instagram to share photos of the deceased, especially on the anniversary of their death or birthdays. Some families may even turn the accounts into memorials. However, it’s important to consider the deceased person’s values and how they use social media before making a decision.

Whether or not to use social media to grieve is a personal choice, but it can be a useful tool in tracing lost loved ones. If you have a family member who is missing, you can do a simple search on Google to see if they’re using social media. If they are, you can also try to connect with them. If they are not, you can ask friends and family for help in finding them. Social media can also be a great way to create public awareness about the disappearance of a loved one.

Obituary records

Obituary records can be valuable sources of information when searching for a lost loved one. They contain important information like the deceased’s full name, cause of death, spouse and parents names, burial information, and other relevant details. They can also help researchers connect with their ancestors, especially those who may not have birth or marriage records.

You can find obituary records by looking for an index of a particular person in a printed book, a database, or a website. Many libraries, including the Patchogue-Medford Library, keep printed indexes of obituaries and death notices. You can also use online databases such as PERSI (available through the library’s Heritage Quest database) and FultonSearch.

In addition to obituaries, try searching local news publications in areas where the deceased lived or was active. Public libraries local to that area are particularly helpful since they have thorough knowledge of local newspapers. You can also check for information on reports of Americans who died abroad at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website.


Newspapers are great sources of information for people looking to trace lost loved ones. They can provide important details such as the person’s date of birth, death, and other important dates. Oftentimes, they can also reveal information about the person’s family and friends.

Many newspapers maintain online archives, so you can search for a lost loved one’s name. To find these archives, look for the website of a newspaper that covers the region where the deceased lived or died. You can then browse through their obituary pages to find relevant records.

Often, family members would place advertisements in the newspaper asking for help in finding their lost relatives or friends. These advertisements were often read aloud in black churches and provided an opportunity for enslaved families to reconnect with each other. These advertisements continued into the 1900s, well after emancipation. They also offer a window into the heartbreak of family fragmentation that slavery caused.

Family members

For many families, tracing lost loved ones can be devastating. However, there are a number of free resources that can help you find your loved one quickly and safely. These include social media, obituary records and local news. In addition, a private investigator who specializes in missing persons can also be a valuable resource.

If you’re not sure where to start, try contacting family members who know your missing relative. They may have information that can help you locate them, and they might even join in your search. You can also use a service like TruthFinder to scour the internet for your missing loved ones.

The ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency (CTA) has been working to reunite families separated by conflict for 150 years. Entrusted with the role of neutral intermediary under the Geneva Conventions, CTA facilitates the exchange of data and information about people affected by armed conflicts and other situations of international concern, searches for and identifies missing persons, and addresses their needs.


If you can’t find a missing loved one on your own, it’s important to let police take the lead. They are trained professionals with experience resolving missing persons cases and have access to resources that you may not have. Additionally, they can submit your loved ones’ information to the National Crime Information Center, which is an FBI computer network that provides nationwide information.

You can also ask police to place an AMBER or Silver Alert for your missing loved one. This will help law enforcement officers and the public find out more about your loved one and might encourage them to come forward with clues.

In addition, you should register your loved one with NamUs. This service will examine your missing person’s case, fill in any gaps and work to bring them home to their family. You can also set up a Facebook page or website to allow the public to volunteer information about your loved one.