Locating relatives can be an emotionally and financially draining task. Online databases are starting to capture most of the historical information (birth and death certificates, will briefings) about people, making the task much easier. Many websites also offer free services to help put you in touch with those you are seeking. It is imperative to be patient when trying to find relatives, as it can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but equally exciting and rewarding.
If you do not have a computer with Internet access, borrow one or use one at your local library. Pull up the browser and type in relevant key words. Begin with the New Zealand White Pages and electoral roles. Colleges and universities will have records available, so find out if your relative pursued a post-high-school education. If a physician, The British Medical Association keeps a register of those presently practicing. Websites will provide contact information enabling access to more specific information. Tailor your search with either broad terms or more specific verbiage. If you are specifically seeking the service without any payment, be sure to include the word "free" in your search.
Refine your search. Upon entering your key words in the browser and selecting "enter," a page will appear with a series of links, which you can select to obtain more information. Be sure to pay attention to the source in each link, as some are more reliable than others. Link names that end in .org, .edu, .gov may be more credible, and are more likely to be low-cost or free, so start with them. It's worth the extra time to read any text accompanying the link on this main page to determine if it is indeed specifically what you're looking for. Once you've determined which link you would like to start with, simply click it and you will be redirected to that page.
Enter proper information. Most websites will provide, at a minimum, a field within which you can enter the name of the individual you are seeking. Be sure that you have entered the person's name correctly and enter any additional information, even old addresses or phone numbers. The more information you have, the easier it will be to locate your relative in New Zealand.
- Remember to keep track of any valid information. This collection can prove very valuable at a later stage, when the going gets tough.
- If the relative you are seeking has a name considered common in New Zealand, don't assume the names retrieved on your online searches are conclusive. You may be required to do additional digging to locate the party in question.
- family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from Fotolia.com