How to Find a Long Lost Relative

People Finder: How to Find a Long Lost Relative

If you want to know how to find a long lost relative, people finder websites can be a useful tool. If you don’t want to know how to find a long lost relative, it might be because you are afraid of what—or who—you’ll find. But there are plenty of stories of people who have reconnected after years and miles of separation. Others have found out that they’ve lived near long lost relatives for years and share many of the same friends.

Keep reading to find out how you can use people finder to locate contact information for family members you’d like to connect with. And if you’re afraid to take the next step, maybe hearing the success stories of others will help give you the confidence you need.

What Is People Finder?

People finder, also known as people search, is a service that allows users to search for contact data based on an individual’s name, address, phone number, or date of birth. Just search whatever information you have, and receive current and all known contact info, age or date of birth, and relatives if the information is available.

Common People Finder Uses

Why would someone want to use a people finder or people search website? Well, there are many business industry applications for this service such as conducting background checks, identity verification, and tenant screening; locating debtors and other criminals evading the law; and updating contact lists for accurate order fulfillment and marketing.

But there are also many personal reasons to use people finder. For example, people finder can be used to verify the identity and background of someone you meet online, ensuring that the person is who they claim to be. It can be used to look up information about new neighbors to ensure a safe and trustworthy community environment. Class reunion organizers use people finder websites to track down former classmates to invite them to reunions. And people finder websites can assist in building family trees by locating living relatives and finding historical records.

Is People Search Legal?

Many people wonder about the legality and ethics behind people finder websites. First of all, those people are right to be hesitant. There are people finder scams that ask users to enter personal information to use their service or that charge for memberships or subscriptions when a user might just need to conduct a search every once in a while. 

Remember that reputable people finder websites are completely legal. They also won’t be free. 

The best people finder services allow you to pay per search and don’t charge you if no results are returned. The cost per search reimburses the website for the fees they pay for access to public record databases. What that means is that through these websites, you get access to thousands of public records in minutes rather than manually conducting the research yourself. People finder services simply streamline the process! 

Therefore, you should question the accuracy of “free” people finder offers. Good data is worth a couple of dollars.

How to Find a Long Lost Relative with People Finder and DNA Testing

When researching how to find a long lost relative, particularly success stories, most search engine results will lead back to DNA testing services. So what’s the difference?

People Finder Methods and Uses

People finder websites and DNA testing services are both tools used to locate individuals and uncover familial connections. But, they operate differently and serve somewhat different purposes.

People finder websites compile data from various public records, including phone directories, social media profiles, property records, court records, and more. Users can search for individuals using specific details such as name, age, address, phone number, or email. The information provided can include current and past addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, relatives, and sometimes even employment history and social media profiles.

These services are useful for finding people you’ve lost touch with, such as old friends, classmates, or distant relatives. They can also be used to perform basic background checks, often used by employers or individuals before entering into a relationship or business deal. But they can also be helpful in genealogical research, assisting with building family trees by finding living relatives.

DNA Testing Services

DNA services operate through the processes of genetic analysis, DNA matching, and ethnicity estimates. They allow users to conduct ancestry research, discovering ethnic heritage and connecting with distant relatives who share DNA. Some services offer health insights through reports that indicate potential genetic predispositions to certain conditions. And, they can be used to discover biological connections by finding biological relatives either of adoptees or people with unknown parentage.

While both people finder websites and DNA testing services are useful for finding people and understanding familial connections, they serve different functions and use different types of data. People finder websites are more about locating current contact information using public records while DNA testing services focus on uncovering genetic relationships and ethnic backgrounds through genetic analysis.

Reasons to Find Long Lost Relatives: Stories of People Whose Families Have Grown

Adoptee Reconnects with Birth Father

Father, Criss Rosenlof, and daughter, Rachael Robertson, found each other through a genealogy service in 2019. Rachael’s mother had given her up for adoption at birth. But Criss, one marriage and three kids later, still wondered about his long lost daughter: “I took the DNA test, knowing it was a long shot,” he said. “There are several companies that offer DNA testing, and honestly, what was the likelihood that my daughter had even performed a DNA test, let alone done so through the same company I was using?”

Three weeks later, they were matched. “When I started looking for my biological parents, I knew that there was a possibility that I would find someone who didn’t want me in their lives,” Rachael said. “I was ready to accept that, as that would be their choice. I just wanted to know the why and know a bit of my history. But to find someone who is so kind, and wanted me in his life and was actually searching for me as well, and welcomed my family and me in with such love is more than I could have ever asked for.”

“I’m just glad that I was able to find Rachael,” Criss said, “that she and her family are back in my life.”

75-Year-Old Discovers Long Lost Family

In 2022, Bill Wiley began fundraising to be able to afford the trip to Texas from Leicester. After being featured on an ancestry program focused on the children of American soldiers, DNA Family Secrets, he discovered long lost family members living in Texas: “Meeting my family in person is something in my heart I really want to do. It would mean a lot to me. Of course, I’ve always had a family, but my life has changed forever after finding my long lost relatives; I finally feel I belong. I can’t wait to go see them.”

Daughter Finds Father—and Best Friend

With the help of a search angel, a volunteer who helps people find long lost relatives, Larecia Buford was able to find her biological father after being misled for years about her paternity: “We live together now. He’s more than just a father, he’s a best friend. In a matter of months he went from total stranger to being one of the most important people in my life; the same for my children.”

“I’m going to write a book,” she said, “not just to tell this story but to try to reach teenagers who also have missing parents. If I’d found him sooner, I could have had so many more years of loving – and being loved by – my father. I want to encourage others to not waste any time.”

Long Lost Sister Only 10 Miles Away

In 2021, Curtis Green received a Facebook message from his half-sister who had been searching for him for 35 years: “We’ve basically been neighbours our whole lives—she’s only 10 miles down the road; I’ve known her husband for 25 years, and we have an unbelievable number of mutual friends…Today she’s a huge part of my life. We talk every day, she’s a missing piece of my life’s puzzle.”

“I’m so happy about it all,” he said. “[A]fter losing a kid, family becomes even more precious. And here I am, with a new sister, niece and nephew. They’re a blessing…and who knows how many more of us there are still to find?”

Daughter Searches for Father, Late Mother’s Secret

The only information Karen Riley ever received from her mother about her father was that he was Italian. Then, late into adulthood, Karen received a letter from her estranged maternal grandmother with a first name and last known street name of lodging.

With the help of his former landlady, a Facebook message, and a DNA kit, Karen’s father, at the age of 80, discovered that he was a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather for the very first time.

“Today we have a great relationship,” Karen said. “[H]e calls me his little miracle…Mum died in 2003. I’m not sure how she’d have felt about me and him connecting. At times I feel guilty, but he’s a wonderful man, a special addition to my life. We may have missed out on memories, but there’s still time for us to make plenty more.”


Now that you know how to find a long lost relative, are you ready? Get started with the original true people search. Access high quality contact information available for your records for just a couple of dollars per search. No memberships, subscriptions, or extra fees; no cost for cannot read service.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, try it today!