Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I pay for your service, when I can use voters' rolls and telephone directories to find the missing person I am looking for?
We feel that we offer a good specialist service and value for money. We are very successful at tracing long lost family members and friends. You can, of course, do your own searching and we never discourage anybody from doing so.
However, remember that we offer specialist knowledge and experience, which lets us find missing relatives and missing friends at (probably) less cost than if you were to embark on a search yourself. Telephone directories are a very uncertain method of searching, as nearly half of the UK population is ex-directory. It is also possible to search voters' rolls, although this is a very time consuming business, even if the area of the subject is known. There are online directories, some of which we use ourselves on occasions. In contrast to these static directories, we search pro-actively. Our uniquely successful record is achieved by experience in combining information found in national records with best use of our current and historical population databases, giving results unthinkable even ten years ago. The addition of demographic and geographic knowledge enables us to pinpoint the subject of the search in the most effective way.
Suppose you do not find the person I am looking for?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee success, and there are sometimes circumstances where we are unable to locate the subject of your search. However, to minimise this, upon receipt of your initial enquiry, we will undertake some preliminary research and come back to you with a free no obligation quotation only if we feel that we have a chance of success. If our initial research does not provide us with any leads, we will not take on the search and you will be advised of this. If, at the end of our research process and after a thorough analysis of the case, we establish that we are unable to locate the subject of your search, we will inform you of this, and the final £100 payment will not be required.
Is it possible to conduct a search if I do not know the Surname?
Generally speaking, it is not possible to conduct a search with any chance of success if the surname of the subject is not known. In such cases we recommend the use of our free Message Match service which can be found on our website.
Suppose the person I am looking for has changed his or her name?
If the subject of a search has changed their name by Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration, it may or may not appear in records available for searching at the Public Records Office. This is because it is not a legal requirement to register a change of name by deed poll. We will be pleased to give more information on the legal position against a specific enquiry. Although a search at the PRO can be made, a better course will probably be to seek information from other family members. However, a change of name implies a wish to break links with a previous identity, an intention which we are unlikely to be able to overcome.
Suppose the person might have died or emigrated?
If the subject of a search is of such an age that they might have passed away, we will search national death records. If we find that the subject has indeed died, we will inform you of this at no charge. However, we can offer a service to obtain a copy of the death certificate, the informant named on the certificate is usually a close relative who can potentially be traced and put in touch – various charges apply. In case of emigration, much depends upon the name and the country. If the country is known, it may be possible to conduct some searching online. If the country is not known, information can be sought from other family members in UK, since it is unlikely that all generations and branches of a family will emigrate all at once.
What happens when you believe you have found the subject of my search?
At this stage, there are several possible ways of proceeding, based on what you have agreed with us. We first make contact with the subject of the search to ensure they are the correct person and ask which contact details they would be happy to pass on. Assuming the search subject is happy to be in touch with you, we will request the final payment, once this is received we will disclose the results to you.
Suppose the person does not wish to be in touch?
This can happen. Sometimes the subject of the search asks that we do not reveal their address as they do not wish to have contact. If this does occur we will advise you of their decision but will not be able to pass on any of their contact details to you. We must ask that you respect their wishes. In this instance, the final payment of £100 will not be due.