From your family tree to long lost friends from your school days, the internet has made it easier than ever to track down the people in our lives we’ve fallen out of touch with over the years.
From search engines to social networks, the web is an incredibly useful tool when you want to find someone, and many people are able to reconnect with their friends and family members simply by searching for their name online and finding a few essential details or a social profile they can contact with.
Finding people in the UK might seem complicated, but in reality it’s incredibly straightforward, and no matter who you’re looking for, with the use of a few simple tools you’ll be reconnecting with your past in no time.
Finding old friends
From former colleagues to old neighbours, sometimes we fall out of touch with people in our lives who were once important to us. If you’re looking to reconnect with an old friend but are missing essential details like an address or phone number, there are a number of free and paid tools online you can make use of to track them down.
If you’re simply looking for an address or postal code, start with the Post Office website; you can search here for free to update your records. BT also offers an online Phone Book where you can look up residential and business phone numbers by surname and location.
The People Finder on 192.com is another free tool you can use when you’re undertaking a fairly basic search, but also has more advanced options to help you with everything from identity checks to finding names on the electoral roll.
If you don’t have enough information about the person you’re trying to reconnect with or can’t track them down with the tools above, it might be worth considering using a specialist website to help you along with your search. Websites like Friends Reunited are specifically for searching for and connecting with old friends, and using the service you can even assemble your own digital memory box.
Tracing your history
The process for finding more about your family history or your ancestors is slightly different than searching for someone who is alive. If you’d like to know more about who is in your family or figure out some new details about older generations there’s a host of websites devoted specifically to the subject.
Start your search using the National Archives online – it contains more than 1,000 years of history and the official records of everyone in the UK. From here you can also find of guides to help you find useful records in other archives and organisations if you weren’t able to find exactly what you were looking for online.
Paid services like ancestry.co.uk are another option if you want to make a more detailed study of your family tree. Through the website you can search records and build up your family tree, and uniquely it also offers a service to help you track down living relatives and further trace your family.