How to find your old friends

Well it really depends on so many things, so many variables. Some of these things can save you time but cost you money, they can save you money and cost you time so it all depends on your approach, your desire, your budget and ultimately your memory! If you can only remember that your old friend is called John Smith then you might have a problem. The good news is as soon as you start layering new information on top of that name you can really start to make progress. If you can remember their parents’ names you can find their birth record, once you have that you obtain their date of birth (very useful as we’ll show you later!) and then you can move onto marriage records. So I guess it’s important to start at the start in your search for your old friend…

The beginning…

Like any journey you go on you don’t know exactly what to expect but you can prepare. So write down everything you remember about your old friend. Whether you intend to use a professional tracing agency to find your old friend or do the work yourself you need to make sure you’ve wrote down as much as you can about your old friend. That will ensure you don’t go looking for information that you already have and that can save you time and money.
Once you’ve made your list about your friend you need to decide who’s doing the finding and how it’s going to be done.

How to find your old friends on the cheap…

Let’s start here as you have a few options. For a matter of a few pound (less than ten) you can place an advertisement on Missing You. This well-established website is ideal for you want to place an advert looking for your friend. They have a free version too. The site allowing you to put small snippets of information about your friend and a photo too should you wish. You can then sit back, not spend any more money and wait for your friend to come to you. This sounds farfetched but the Missing You site generates a lot of traffic and a lot of interest so can be more effective than you can imagine.

Once you’ve done this you can continue the search yourself. Many be people start with a website like 192.com or peopletracer.co.uk both these website are highly effective at finding peoples addresses. You can ensure their effectiveness by making sure you enter the correct information in the first place though! Our tips would be to if your old friend is a woman you can first look for marriages to make sure you search her current name and not her maiden name. A little tip is if you do find her marriage you look for a subsequent marriage in both her married name and her maiden name.

If there are not more names search for her and her husband and look for a ‘double name match’ as we say in the industry. The beauty about these site is they often provide a telephone number for the people you’ve searched for too.

You do have to search an area of the country too if they have a common name. It’s also worth mentioning that even a double name match can be wrong sometimes, especially if you’re friend has a popular name. Those three sites are certainly great ways to find your old friends on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Whilst these site can provide very fast results there is often some toing and froing as you research and try different names and different areas of the country.

How to find your old friends quickly…

If you have a bigger budget and you just want to pass the work on to someone else then there are companies like People Tracing Experts that will find your old friend for you. They charge a fee of around £300 to quickly trace your friend to their current address, they’ll also make sure they contact them for you and confirm all the information. That means you can sit back and be presented with your friends address and telephone number and a time to call them. That’s certainly the easiest way but at £300 it depends on how important your old friend is compared to your weekly budget. People Tracing Experts are very good, it’s an ethical service with some talented researchers. Cheaper options are available but once you get below £200 for a search, you’re basically paying someone to search the systems we’ve previously mentioned.

The end…

We’ll be uncovering lots more tips in the next blog posts so keep checking back and seeing what else we’ve revealed. All the tactics revealed already do work, it’s just a case of finding one that you like. Let’s talk about what to do once you’ve found your friends address so you’ve got a complete overview. Please feel free to leave any comments so we can provide the information you want to read…

It really depends on what type of friend you are contacting and why.

If it’s a dear old friend who will be thrilled to hear from you then its quite appropriate to send a card or even make a phone call. Some trace agencies even provide an email address!
If it’s an old girlfriend from 40 years ago, it might be better to send a letter. We would recommend even using an intermediary service. There are a few on the market, FinderMonkey (strange name great company) provide one that’s very good, the Salvation Army also provide some services although this is usually confined to family members. Now your old girlfriend or boyfriend might be happy to hear from you but if they are married then it might cause them problems, that’s why we’d suggest a soft approach like a card, letter or third party making contact.

Well that’s it for this blog post. We hope you enjoyed reading about how to find your old friends.