There are many free ways to search for a sibling online or through public records. Before beginning your search, collect as much information as you can about your siblings. Obtain this information from your parents, other siblings or anyone who may have known your lost siblings. The more information you have available, the easier it may be to locate one or more of your siblings. Add to this information as you search through records during the discovery process.
Search public records to find information on your siblings including birth certificates, death certificates or marriage licenses. Enter “free public records” into a search engine to receive a list of websites containing the records. Input the information you have about your siblings or parents. Do individual searches for each of your siblings and parents using first and last names, birthplaces and birth dates.
Visit the county court office and request the public records for your sibling’s name if you cannot find public information online. You should visit the courthouse in the county where you believe your siblings were born, were married or died.
Ask for the public records of your parents if you do not know your siblings' names. You may do this in the county in which each parent was born or potential counties in which your siblings were born. This may result in finding birth records for your siblings. Expect to pay a small fee for obtaining printed copies of records.
Use the city of birth, death or marriage to locate your siblings in local phone book listings for the area in which each sibling lives. Search for a sibling's first and last name along with the city and state of birth, death or marriage. Contact the local phone company for each city to request a phone book if you do not have one available.
Look through an online phone book database if you do not have a phone book for the specified locations. Input the same information for which you would search in the printed phone book, such as names, cities and states.
Create a list of the results that appear during your search. Contact each person with caution and sincerity as it is likely you will call many results before you find the correct siblings.
Search through social networking websites to locate your siblings if you are unsuccessful finding any public records or phone numbers.
Narrow the search by looking for options to limit the results to city and state. Some social networking websites even allow you to search based on age, race or other distinguishing features.
View the profiles for your potential siblings to see if you can get any additional information. Look for distinguishing information such as birthdays, hometowns or previous schools.
Basic Internet Searches
Choose your favorite search engine, such as Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo.
Type the name of your sibling into the search bar, enclosing it in quotation marks. In most search engines, that tells the search algorithm to return only links to that exact name, rather than links containing either or both. If you know the state or municipality where your sibling lives, add that after the name.
Review the search results, and start weeding out any links for people who aren't your sibling. For example, if you know your sibling lives in Chicago but many of the results are from Texas, you can repeat the search with a minus sign in front of the word Texas, like this but without the parentheses: ("sibling name" -Texas). That removes any Texas-based results. You could do the same if your sibling has a namesake with a different middle name, by putting a minus sign in front of the name.
Add keywords such as your sibling's middle name, occupation or nicknames to your search. These can sometimes help bring pertinent links higher up in your search results.
Repeat these steps, adding pertinent keywords and weeding out unwanted results with the minus sign, until you've winnowed the list down to links that provide solid, plausible leads.
Sherry Morgan has been professionally demonstrating her writing ability since 2005. Within her writing career, she has written for Ask.com, Associated Content, Textbroker, and an extensive list of personal clients. She is currently working on her Associate of Applied Science degree in business management at MGCCC, focusing on business and creative writing.
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