How to look for records of... Living people

This is a brief guide to help you with your research into tracing a living person. It is not intended for those tracing long-lost ancestors or people who were adopted. The National Archives is not the place to come for information to help you trace a living person.

What do I need to know before I start?

There are many organisations that may be able to help you to trace somebody.

Try to find out:

  • the person’s full name and date of birth
  • their last known address and when they lived there

The main ones are covered in this guide, but there are many others. For example, you could try employers’ records, as many companies have their own archives and may be willing to deal with enquiries.

What records can I see online?

Find out where to search birth, marriage and death indexes online on GOV.UK.

What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

The National Archives at Kew is not the place to find out about a living person you want to trace.

What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Electoral registers

Search the relevant electoral register if you know what area the person lives in. Local copies can usually be found in reference libraries and local archives. The electoral registers from 2002 onwards also available online on (£). The registers can also be searched via other subscription sites.

What other resources will help me find information?


Go to, a joint website of eight of the main UK organisations involved in tracing people who are missing.

Go to, a portal site with links to a large number of other sites around the world concerned with finding missing people.

Go to, a website for people searching for lost relatives, where you can also post messages.