#ICAPGenAnswers: Finding Missing Relatives

Today’s #ICAPGenAnswers question helps our reader, William, with a long-lost relative:

“I have a sister that has been missing since 1965 I was told that somebody saw her name published in a news paper in northern Indiana several years ago that she passed away I have not been able to find any info on her…Can you advise where I should look. Thanks.”

ICAPGen does not have a credential that tests our genealogists with regard to forensic genealogy, but several of our professionals have worked as forensic genealogists. Jenny Tonks, AG® worked as a forensic genealogist for several years and solved many cases similar to yours;  she wrote in the answer to your question:

First, I recommend starting with the basics–getting to know the rudiments of contemporary relative research. You can learn those ropes at the following links:

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Finding_Living_People_in_the_United_States

https://blog.genealogybank.com/10-tips-to-find-your-living-family-members.html

If you know the county where she died, you could also find out about requesting a death certificate, depending on their vital records release laws–you will learn about those from the links above.

Second, I recommend utilizing Google and other search engines to the fullest. They will help you find her obituary and much more. If there is another newspaper article that mentions your sister or her husband’s name, then Google or the other search engines will find it for you. If they shows up on a paid newspaper site in your search results, it will be worth the few dollars it costs to pay for a subscription to access that article!

Third, as I said above, I would also get a subscription to newspaper sites like GenealogyBank.com, Newspapers.com, and NewspaperArchive.com. Those are the three sites that helped me find living or recently lived persons most often.

Fourth, I would utilize a paid site like peoplefinder.com to help me find anything that vital records offices, genealogy records/sites, search engines, or newspapers didn’t uncover.

Fifth, use phone directories and social media to contact potential relatives or associates. I say social media because many people do not use landlines, so I find them more often on ocial media than I do via the white pages these days.

Also, you might want to consider taking a DNA test. If your sister has any descandants, you would be able to identify and contact them via DNA databases. If you and your sister are biological siblings, you share DNA with her children and they would show up as matches to you, so you would be able to connect with them and learn more about her life through them. You can learn more about DNA testing here: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Hiring_a_DNA_Testing_Company

William, we wish you well in your search for information about your sister, and we hope that this information helps you “find” her.

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