Just a few years ago if you fell out of touch with old friends you’d have no way to track them down again. Today, with the advent of social networks and public record lookup tools, you can find childhood best friends, old work colleagues, your college roommate, and even your first high school crush. Reconnecting is much easier with these modern tools.
Even if it’s been decades since you last spoke, all you need is a little information to find your old friend.
The easiest way to track down an old friend involves using a people finder tool, however, you can use traditional search engines and social media as well.
In no time, you’ll be able to reconnect with old friends, no matter where they happen to be.
There’s a variety of reasons to connect with old friends, we each have our own reasons, but here are a few of the most common:
It can be fascinating to see how our paths have diverged over time. Maybe you’ve been thinking about an old friend and wonder how their life has turned out after all these years.
Reaching out and connecting with someone from your past can be a great experience, whether that’s sharing old stories, memories, or just catching up with someone who once meant a lot to you.
Maybe you’re holding a reunion with old friends and you can’t seem to track down one person who’s out of touch. Whether you’re holding an event, a get together, or have other important information to tell them, sometimes you need to get in touch with someone you were close with years ago.
Before you start your search you’ll want to write down all the details that you remember about your friend. Some people are very easy to find, where others can take months to track down.
The longer it’s been since you’ve seen your friend the more work it’s going to take to find information about them. This is especially true if they’ve moved around a lot, left the United States, gotten married, or changed their last name.
It can be helpful to get as organized as possible from the start. You’ll be piecing together a lot of information, so you’ll want to keep this in one easily accessible place.
Whether you’re gathering physical documents or searching for digital records, keep this all in a single file.
Here are some useful questions to help you get started:
The questions above can be a great place to start, they can also spark your memory and may help you remember more details you’ve previously forgotten. The more information you can gather about your old buddy the easier your search will be.
Facebook has over 2.7 billion active members, so there’s a good chance that your old friend has an account and you can use Facebook to find them.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find them, but it’s a great place to start. The search bar at the top of Facebook allows you to search by name.
You can even filter your results by location, school, job, and more, which can help you narrow down their search.
You might even be able to find a mutual Facebook friend through a high school friend or an old work colleague, who might be able to provide you with their contact information.
With a bit of luck and some clever searching, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to track down your long lost friend.
If you weren’t able to find them by searching on social media, you can rely upon a search engine like Google or Bing. Google is the world’s largest search engine, so it makes sense to start here, but if this doesn’t work you can try Bing and even DuckDuckGo.
You can start by searching their name, which might bring up a lot of people, but it could be effective if they have a very unique name. But, you’ll probably have to narrow down your search by their town, or even their profession or the company they work for.
You can use quotation marks to narrow down your searches, for example:
If you know their position and role at a company, then you might get lucky and their LinkedIn profile might come up, which gives you a way to reach out.
Finally, don’t be afraid to check out the Google Image search results, you might get lucky and an image of your old pal might pop up.
You can also do the same search process of relatives and old mutual friends. Some people might be easier to find than others, and you can find these people and see if they have a connection to your old friend.
If you know where your friend went to college then there might be an alumni group or association with a database that has past and current members. The same goes for your high school, or any other old schools you might have attended together.
You can also use the directories to find friends of friends and other former classmates who might have better contact details.
Similar to joining alumni associations there are a variety of tools that allow you to search classmate databases for schools and colleges, like Classmates.com, and others. If you know any other old or new friends you went to school with, tools like this might be able to help with your search.
If you’re more dedicated you can look up court, voter, marriage, and public records online. You can locate county and state websites and obtain the records yourself.
Depending on where you’re attempting to obtain public records, you might not be able to obtain records over the internet. For example, obtaining marriage records might require a visit to a local vital records or county clerk’s department where your friend was married.
Of course, to obtain this information you’ll need to know where your old friend was married, lived, and their full name. If you don’t have access to all of this information, then you’ll need to use other tools.
It can be tempting to use technology as a solution for everything, but you might be surprised about what other people know about your old friend.
You might have unknowingly kept in touch with someone who has more information about your old friend.
While you’re doing research, you’ll probably gather information about relatives, coworkers, friends, and more. If it’s easier to find their contact information, then it won’t hurt to reach out to them too.
Just explain that you intend to get back in touch with your old friend and you’re trying to get in touch with them.
A people search tool compiles all of the publicly accessible information into one easy to use platform.
Instead of relying on Google or a social networking site like Facebook, you can get more accurate and detailed information about your long lost friend.
If using tools like search engines and social media didn’t turn up any meaningful results, then this might be your best bet to find your old friend.
Here are a few of the searches you’ll be able to perform:
If you remember the name of your old friend, then this will be the easiest option. The tool will comb through the entire public record database and find everyone who has the same name.
If your friend has a very common name, then you’ll be prompted to enter more detailed information, since the search will result in too many results.
You can also search by the names of relatives (if you remember those), which can help to narrow your search as well.
If you remember the home address then you can use this to search through the history of the property. This should pull up both rental and ownership records. If you can remember the exact years when they lived in the home, then even better.
If you’re looking up a childhood friend, then this could pull up the records of the parents, which you can use to find your friend.
If you have the phone number of your friend, then you can use the tool to look up the history of the phone number. If you’re in the era of cell phones, then this search might be easier, as people tend to keep their cell phone numbers for quite a long time.
The results might reveal the past owners of the number, including their names and address. If the friend’s name shows up, then you can dig deeper into their background to try and find more useful contact info.
If you know your friend’s email address you might be able to obtain data on their social media profiles. You can even send a test email to see if they’re still using the same email address or have an email address forwarder, but if it’s an old email address, then they might have upgraded emails at some point.
Still, there’s a chance your report might even turn up the email address they use today, as well as other relevant contact information.
If you don’t want to go through the extensive process of relying on search, social media, and other tools to attempt to track down your lost friends, you can use a public search tool.
A person search tool pulls information from all kinds of public and government records, including social media, and more.
The reports generated from a person search report can provide you with all kinds of useful information you can use to get in touch with your old friend like:
All of the above information, and more, could be included in your report. Overall, it depends on the person and is more of a case to case basis. The more information you have on your friend when starting the better, as you’ll be able to get a more detailed report.