Finding Lost Family

By David Oates. Head Researcher at FinderMonkey and on BBC1’s Family Finders TV Series.

Here at FinderMonkey we specialise in finding lost family for you. I thought I’d take some time to talk through how we do that so you can either use our service or try and find them yourself.

I’ll outline how we work and hopefully you’ll see the parallels of what you can do yourself.

When someone comes to us our finding lost family service some very special things start to happen. Firstly they have an initial consultation with one of my team. This part of the process is free, it lets us tell the potential customer what we can do and how we can do it. At that point we’ll also give a fixed price for the search too.

If you’re wanting to know more about our finding lost family service then please click here

If you choose to go ahead the next step is for us to look at the information you’ve provided and start to gather the facts about your family member. If you’re interested in finding lost family yourself then this should be your first steps too.

  • Gather all the fact you have about your lost family.
  • Write everything down in order

Once we’ve done the above we work out what information we don’t have that we will need. Let’s take a closer look at what information a usual customer initially has.

This is a made up example but should help you see what we can do…

Name of Person – “My father is called John Smith, I don’t know if he has a middle name”

Age – “About 73, he was 2 years older than my Mum”

Last Known Whereabouts – “He lived with my mum for 6 months in Chester, then we don’t know where he went, he left before I was born”

Any other information? – “We think he was born in Leeds”

That’s some pretty standard information for us to work with. Don’t worry if you know less and don’t celebrate too much if you know more.

So what can we do to find this lost family member?

Well there are two ways to approach this search. The first one is to start looking for a person called John Smith who is about 73. A quick search on our system returned over 200 matches across the UK. Another search says there are over 444 births for that name in 1944! Not overly helpful! But it is a really common name.

We could narrow this down by looking at potential matches in Chester and Leeds. Now the system that produced this data is not available to you online. The next best thing would be but as you get charged per search, you’d need deep pockets to do the searches.

But actually this isn’t where we would start this search anyway. It’s too broad. We need to narrow the search down. So we’d start with his birth. Let’s take a look at the births in Leeds for John Smith in 1944 – There are 4 matches.

Now if we order those 4 documents we almost certainly (although it would still need checking) have this customer’s father’s date of birth. And that’s very useful when it comes to finding lost family.

What next then?

Well we could now check the whereabouts of the 4 matches via their name and date of birth. We could then work forwards and see if any of the matches ever lived in Chester. We could look at marriage records and see if any got married in Chester. We can now work on these 4 matches and see if one looks like a good fit. From that point we can move towards a conclusion.

Some searches are not that easy. Sometimes our customers have even less information. We have located people when we only have a first name. We just have to take the information we are given and look for some piece of identifiable information that can make the search possible. Once we have that, we can push most searches forward.

Every search is the most important search we’ll ever do. We do all we can to help you get the answers you’re looking for.

Each search starts with a first step and that’s a quick chat with us. To find out more about what we do and how we do it, call now on 0113 436 36 04.

If you’d like to know more about our finding lost family service click here.

Start Your Search Here

The UK's Most Trusted People Tracers

Tracy Goldsborough
Tracy Goldsborough
18:50 11 Oct 17
Contacted finder monkey as I came to a dead end with my own search to locate my dad's first born daughter, my half sister, who he fathered in the 1950's and whose existence I only found out about recently. He was only 16 and the birth mother was 15. Subsequently the baby was taken away and the last document I found was that she was on a passenger ship destined overseas. Dave took up my case and within a couple of weeks, with only her birth name, date of birth, and details of the ship on which she departed the country at just 11 months old (with no indication of who she was travelling with) he was able to establish her name change, adoptive parents, movements since her original departure from the UK and, sadly, her premature death at the age of just 22. I rate finder monkey excellent, very professional, kept me informed with the investigation and provided a full written report at the end of the process that I could digest at my leisure, including copies of the death certificate and even the Will of her adoptive parents - very impressive and informative. It was such a shame that my search didn't provide the outcome I had hoped for, but there is no doubt I would never have managed to find out the full story on my own and would, no doub,t have spent many years wondering, so at least I now have some form of closure, thanks to Dave and Finder monkey. As a result of my experience I have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone searching for someone, especially when you have hit a brick wall as I had. Tracy Goldsboroughread more
kirsty charlton
kirsty charlton
17:54 21 Aug 17
FinderMonkey helped my mum get in touch with her long lost brother after 63 years !!!! It only took a couple of months for them to locate him. Correspondence has been sent to him by my mum, it's all so exciting. We would highly recommend FinderMonkey to anyone , they have been really professional and supportive to my mum .read more
Gerry Lamb
Gerry Lamb
14:44 10 Aug 17
Totally professional service. From the start I found the staff courteous and helpful and the Head Researcher in particular was patient, professional, methodical, understanding, for what was - in my case - a near impossible task. I would unhesitatingly highly recommend FinderMonkey to anyone searching for more
Susan Mary Davidson
Susan Mary Davidson
12:19 01 Aug 17
Dear David Many thanks for your report relating to finding the DOB of my biological mother Muriel Hayes. I must admit I was very impressed by the sustained and in depth detail you and your team worked on my behalf. I also found you all to be very caring and supportive throughout the process. In particular your availability to speak directly on the phone without my having to go through a series of 'hoops' and 'music' was much appreciated. Regarding your research I believe you have exhausted any links between my 'unknown' mother and Ulceby - despite various serious attempts having been made in the past at finding her date of birth without success. Finally thankyou for the advice with regard to expanding my DNA coverage across more websites. Should any new information come to light I'll let you know. Sincerely Dr Susan Mary Davidson Susanread more
alison peett
alison peett
17:39 16 Jul 17
Initially I was very wary of using a company such as Finder Monkey as you can't be sure that after paying the initial fee, that the service provided will represent value for money. However having read previous reviews, I felt that this company would be my preferred option. Having finally made the personal decision to try and trace my birth mother, I felt quite anxious about making the initial phone call to Finder Monkey, but as soon as I had made this first contact, my call was handled very professionally and the process to start to search was really quick and efficient. I was allocated a researcher called Dave, who became my personal point of contact, and on every occasion that I called or emailed him, his response was always quick and his telephone manner was really good and I found him very supportive and easy to talk to. I was really impressed with how I was kept up to date with the progress and as things unraveled themselves, Dave was always very happy to receive a call from me to go over the findings and help me understand the information in more detail. Although sadly we found that my birth mother had passed away, Dave discovered that I have two half brothers. So with this information, I also opted to use Finder Monkeys intermediary service. Dave set up the initial contact with one of the brothers and then lined up my first telephone contact. Although this first phone call felt very daunting, again Dave talked me through the process, reassured me of the response I was likely to receive and generally used his experience to guide me forward. I have now made this initial contact and will now be able to make future contact independently. For anyone who is not really sure whether to go ahead and invest their trust and money with this company, I would wholeheartedly recommend more
essene cassidy
essene cassidy
09:05 07 Jul 17
I want to thank Dave and his team for the professional, caring and efficient way that they dealt with my enquiry and search for my birth father. From the first contact with the team I found them to be so empathetic, supporting and helpful to me while I made this difficult journey, Dave actively listened to me and gave me the reassurance and support to see the search through. I was kept constantly updated and was somewhat overwhelmed with the speed at which they were able to successfully complete the search. I now have the answers and some degree of closure to the questions that I had. I highly recommend Dave and findermonkey service to anyone who is searching like I more
andrea horton gaskin
andrea horton gaskin
08:38 16 Jun 17
FinderMonkey have been excellent so far in my search, sensitive to the situation and helpful at every point. Very accommodating to the 13 hr time difference and my availability to contact them by phone. Would definitely recommend them. I got the impression that the staff are genuine in their desire to reunite families and go the extra mile when requiredread more
Maggie Cole
Maggie Cole
12:43 10 May 17
I contacted Finder Monkey mid-April asking their assistance in locating an old friend of mine whom I had not seen or talked with for 50 years. Within weeks they located and contacted my friend and we reconnected. I am very pleased with the service and professionalism shown by the personnel at Finder Monkey. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is searching for a lost friend or family more
anthony swanston
anthony swanston
22:19 28 Apr 17
hi my name is Anthony Swanston and I was in a children's home In the early 80s. I lost contact with a childhood friend when she left in 81 and eveor since have wondered what had happened to her, so I came across finder monkey, I was a bit sceptical at first because of the cost involved but thought I would give it a go as everything else I tried failed, I read reviews about it and that convinced me to go ahead a give it a try, I thought the staff were extremely helpful and polite, I didn't have much information about my long lost friend, but three bits of info seemed to do the trick, her age, what area she was born, and her unusual first name, I was amazed how quickly finder monkey managed to locate her, I cannot thank finder monkey enough for what they have done in no time at all! me and my long lost friend are now planning to make up for lost time! without finder monkey I don't know what I would have done, I would recommend it highly. Thank you so more
Peter Gornall
Peter Gornall
16:19 18 Apr 17
Quite frankly, I'm astonished. They found a cousin who I lost touch with about 60 years ago. I was able to provide very little information to help the search.I provided his mother's maiden name and he was born during the 39/45 war just before his father was killed in action. I now have his accurate date of birth, his present address and everything I need to contact him. Amazing more
Kevin Kemp
Kevin Kemp
19:49 10 Apr 17
I had been attempting to trace my birth mother for many years without success. I contacted FinderMonkey who with their resources and contacts were able to trace my mother in a matter of weeks, a task all the more difficult as I suspected she had relocated to the USA, which turned out to be the case. FinderMonkey offered to act as intermediaries and I decided to take up this option as I was anxious not to cause any distress. My FinderMonkey contact Sue was sensitive, informative and offered good advice as to how best to proceed. I am now connected with my mother, her sisters, and a variety of cousins. I am very happy to recommend more
Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts
00:36 21 Feb 17
Such an amazing company. Thorough, supportive, with you every step of the way. My investigator Sue was absolutely amazing. Such tiny information but managed to find my family. Truly a remarkable company. If I could give more than 5 stars I would ***********read more
Peter Samuel
Peter Samuel
13:27 19 Jan 17
I have been extremely impressed with the service I received recently from Finder Monkey when trying to contact long lost relatives for a friend of mine who was terminally ill. The whole process was professionally carried out and I was kept up to date all along. Results were obtained very quickly. Sue acted with understanding and compassion throughout a difficult and emotional process for the family. All the staff I spoke to were very polite and attentive and acted promptly. In summary, a fantastic service, would that all organisations acted more
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