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Finding my lost step-brother

From: Rita
DearMYRTLE,
Recently I was able to locate [my husband] Chuck's father. He had died in 2001. We know that he had several children by other women. One child we have located. A good reunion! One child, we know his name and a birth date for him [Frank Zimmerman, Jr.] How can I locate him? I tried sending letters to the men with the same name in states that we thought were possible. No response. Do you have any suggestions how to locate him? I would be so thankful...

From: Ron
DearMYRTLE & Rita
Find [the father's] obit if you can. If you do not know where he died, try the SSN death records. Better yet, do a public record search. It will cost you a little money but he will probably still be in those records. That will be $25 well spent dollars.

DearRITA & RON,
Rita has posed an interesting question. Sometimes people just don't want to be found. Sometimes the stress of learning about a parent's "other family" can be too much, and people shy away.

Ron suggests searching the Social Security Death Index, but you already know the death information on Chuck's father. DO check the index online for free at:

http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693

We're hoping the missing step-brother hasn't passed.

Ron's answer also rightly suggests searching for the obituary of your husband's father. The problem with obits is that they only include the family members by name (and their place of residence) if the following criteria are met:

  • the contributing family member had the info about all descendants
  • the contributing family member wanted the info posted
  • the contributing family member had the funds to pay for the consequently more lengthy obit

Rita, when you say you've sent letters to "men with the same name in states that we thought were possible" I assume you got the info from something like "Yahoo People Search." Those online directories are for individuals who have LISTED telephone numbers. What if he has an unlisted number or has cancelled his phone service in favor of a cell-phone? Many folks are beginning to do this as it frees up money to pay for high speed internet access.

Ron's suggestion to do a public record search would provide more hits, but it will cost some money. I recommend a reputable company such as: MyFamily.com's People Finder http://www.myfamily.com I searched for Frank Zimmerman and found 557 matches.

You'll find more links to search services at http://www.USASearch.com I cannot vouch for the reliability of those services.

Also, you cannot be sure that the states you believe likely are indeed the correct group of states to be searching. In this day and age, we all seem to get around. (That sounds horrible out of context, but I think you know what I mean.)

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com 

 

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