1. Observe and gather facts.
2. Cast a wide net with search engines.
Urman suggests first searching for variations of the person’s name. For common names, try combining the name with another known fact such as John Taylor +car sales or Sally Moore +Chicago. If the person has a unique name, you may want to put it in quotes to get results for the exact name: “Austin DeTorre.”
3. Work your social networks.
4. Look for relatives in plain sight.
5. Take your search public.
6. Circle the circle of friends.
7. Home in on the last-known home.
8. Focus on religious and other affiliations.
To start, consider your relative’s religious affiliation. People don’t tend to change religions, so if you know that your relative or her family lived in a certain town and were, say, Catholic, look to the Catholic churches in that town. Some churches will let you place an inquiry in their newsletter or Sunday bulletin. See if you can get a member directory from the church office or a local library. Spend a few moments explaining your case to the church secretary, who is often the key communication center of a church.
9. Look for licenses.
10. Play politics.