It can be quite challenging to find a lost family member, especially an absent father without the help of a professional investigator. If you do not have the money to hire one, there are free searches that you can do yourself that may help your find out your father's location. Keep in mind: it is a very time consuming process. It is easy to become disheartened and overwhelmed when doing all of the legwork yourself. If possible enlist the aid of other relatives to take part in the manhunt.
Make a list of your father's personal information. Find out as much as you can about him from other family members such as is date of birth, any aliases he may use, where he was born, other relatives that you have never met of his and where they are located and guesses on where he might live.
Call up any of his relatives that may know where he is. If nothing else, this could provide you with additional information about him or his whereabouts.
Search for him on free public search engines such as WhitePages.com. You can input only his last name and it will show you listings across the country that match. Make sure to try different variations of his first name, such as just his initial or a shortened nickname, in addition to his full name.
Make a list of possible matches. Start calling the numbers. Be prepared with an opening, such as "I am sorry to bother you but I am searching for my father, so-and-so. My name is so-and-so and I was wondering if you knew him."
Search for him on social networking sites, such as MySpace or Facebook. Many people have pages on these sites. Type "Networking Site" into any search engine to find more, lesser-known or tailored websites that offer this service.
Narrow down any matches that could be your lost father by looking at profiles to find ages and photos. Do not dismiss ones that do not have a birth date or picture as he may be keeping his personal information private.
Message those that could be him, or those that you think may be able to help you find him. Most times, people are willing to help others find missing relatives and you could gain some leads from surprising places.
Do an online public records search. Information including corporate and property records, birth, marriage, death, tax and land records may be available online through public records research websites.
Go to your local courthouse to search through public records that you cannot find on the Internet. The staff can show you how to search public records and they may have ideas on how to find your lost father for free.
Items you will need
- List of father's personal information
- Internet access
- Doing a simple search of his name in an online search engine may also provide you with some leads, especially if he as a unique name.
- Searching each other image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com