Find my family
July 30, 2013 1:32 AM   Subscribe

Mom just passed away and we've lost touch with her brother's family (my cousins). I know their home town and their names but not much else. How do you find lost family?
posted by jabo to Human Relations (13 answers total)
Facebook is probably the cheapest and easiest way.
posted by k8t at 1:58 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

How common are their names? I mean, it'd be harder to find a John Smith than an Elroy Ledbetter! Try looking them up in an online phone listing --- sure, they may not still have a landline, but if they've had one in the past, their phone number and address should show up. Or heck, just Google their name and hometown and see what comes up.
posted by easily confused at 2:31 AM on July 30, 2013

If you MeMail me their names and city (ages help too) I can look them up on for you. They have all sorts of public records, very often including current addresses and phone numbers.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:55 AM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

yeah, will likely have all their info. you probably need an account to access the info though but it sounds like joe in australia can help you out.
posted by wildflower at 3:41 AM on July 30, 2013

I'm sorry for your loss.

If you think they still might live in their hometown, and it's not somewhere huge, you could call the local police department.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:37 AM on July 30, 2013

Call a library in their town. Librarians know this stuff.
posted by megatherium at 4:58 AM on July 30, 2013

And public libraries often offer access to, at least in the US. I've had some good luck with too, just use it carefully, i.e. don't get sucked in to paying for a yearlong service.
posted by mareli at 5:42 AM on July 30, 2013

I was able to track down long lost cousins through FB - ironically with the help of someone with the same name living in the same town who was NOT my cousin. I'm sorry for your loss - hope you can locate the lost relatives!
posted by leslies at 6:50 AM on July 30, 2013

Zabasearch has worked for me.
posted by priorpark17 at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2013

If you know the town, then you know the county.
Go to the Clerk of the Courts web-site for that county. Do a criminal history search on them. One of them is bound to have gotten a speeding ticket.

You can also go to the county property appraiser, and search for them there. If any of them own real property (land), then they will show up in those records too.

Both of these should produce a home address for you.

Sorry for your loss. Good luck with your search.
posted by Flood at 8:56 AM on July 30, 2013

Google their name(s) with the name of the town and/or their professions/hobbies.
John Doe Any City
John Doe runner any city
John Doe accountant any city

You can also use fb.
posted by myselfasme at 10:55 AM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: As if by Mefi magic, one of my lost cousins just sent me an email! Thanks for all the suggestions; they'll help me locate other lost kinfolk!
posted by jabo at 11:38 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am sorry for your loss. Sincere condolences.

(That's all I wanted to say.)
posted by xm at 3:34 PM on July 30, 2013

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