Staying Organized and Keeping Good Notes Will Help You Search For Someone Lost
Search For Someone Lost
When OmniTrace begins a new search for someone lost, we ask our client, who is requesting the search, for as much information as possible about the lost subject of the search and take extensive notes.
During the course of a search for someone lost, we attempt to fill in all the blanks. We also take notes on any research that we conduct such as:
- Our telephone calls – who we speak with, the phone numbers dialed, when we call and what we learn.
- The research we conduct – we record what databases, genealogy records, census records, phone directories, city directories, etc. that we access. We record when we access these records.
- The letters and emails that we send, when we send them, the dates we send them and if and when we receive a response.
What we are emphasizing here is to keep extensive notes on everything you do during the course of your search for someone lost. It’s vital! Each source that you access will provide you with different details about your lost subject. A marriage record may get you a maiden name. An old city directory may get you employment information. A criminal record may get you a date of birth. The information you obtain from one source will allow you to search other sources for more information (e.g. obtaining a date of birth from a criminal record may allow you to request driver’s license information).
Trust us here, if you don’t take good notes when you search for someone lost, you will lose track of what information you have collected. Not having good notes will prevent you from staying organized and putting the pieces of the search puzzle together.
When taking notes, try to clarify which information is exact and confirmed and which information is speculative and unconfirmed. For instance, if you are an adoptee searching for your birth mother, you may have been told that your birth mother was 16 at the time of your birth and from the Bronx. This is unconfirmed data and you need to make a note of this. We have clients who have spent years searching on their own, unsuccessfully, because they put their trust in unconfirmed data. You must be very careful working with unconfirmed data, particularly dates and places.
So, stay organized, take good notes, be accurate, verify your information (from as many sources as possible), don’t make assumptions and jump to faulty conclusions. This will help you search for someone lost.