Photograph of a crowd scene (Catalogue reference: WORK 25/213)

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.

  • What do I need to know before I start?

    • Try to find out:

      • the person's full name and date of birth
      • their last known address and when they lived there
  • 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 other resources will help me find information?

    • Websites

      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.

Did you know?

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

The National Archives is not the place to come for information to help you trace a living person.