Tracing people in the USA and UK

The Embassy can assist in locating a U.S. citizen in the United Kingdom in cases of parental child abduction or missing persons cases, or when a friend or loved one has not arrived at a location on the scheduled date and time.  The Embassy cannot help you trace your ancestry in the United Kingdom. The following organizations may also be of assistance in tracing people in the United Kingdom.

Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.


People go missing for various reasons, be it through personal choice, illness, stress, abduction, or foul play, as well as for drug- or alcohol-related reasons.  If someone is missing and you believe they are at risk, the following organizations may be able to assist.

UK Government Agencies

UK Police Service:

The police service can undertake inquiries to trace persons whose whereabouts are unknown and there are concerns about their safety and welfare. Initial contact should be made with your local police station.

Missing People 
Phone in UK: 116 000 (free, 24/7)

Missing People provides support and practical help for relatives of missing people.

UK Army Personnel Centre:

The Army Records Office can trace British military personnel.  The type of trace undertaken depends upon when the individual left military service and the military unit in which he/she served.  Please visit the website for more information.

UK Prisoner Location Service
PO Box 2152, Birmingham B15 1SD
Fax in the UK:  012-1626-3474; from overseas:  011-44-12-1626-3474

The UK Prison Service can help you trace someone you believe is in prison custody.  All inquiries must be in writing and include the full name of person you want to contact, any other names by which the person may have been known, date of birth, and reason for inquiry.  If the person is found, they will be asked if they wish to be contacted.

Electoral Registers
Published annually by the Electoral Registration Officer of each local UK council, these records contain the name and address of each registered voter.  Access to these registers differs, but is most often gained through libraries, post offices, council offices, and Citizen Advice Bureaux.

Private Organizations

P.O. Box 7124, Leicester LE1 7XX
Advice line within the UK: 011-6255-6234; from overseas, 011-44-11-6255-5345; fax: 011-6255-6370; fax from overseas: 011-44-11-6255-6370

Reunite provides advice to parents involved in international custody disputes and parental abduction.  Reunite advises both the left-behind parent and the parent with the child(ren).

Red Cross UK
London branch: 10th Floor, Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SP
Tel within the UK: 020-7793-3360; from overseas: 011-44-20-7793-3360; fax within the UK: 020-7793-3361; fax from overseas: 011-44-20-7793-3361

The Red Cross offers a tracing and communication service to families who have been separated due to war or natural disaster.

Association of British Investigators
27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX
Tel within the UK: 087-1474-0006; from overseas: 011-44-20-7262-9586

The Association of British Investigators maintains a list of professional, private investigators to conduct searches on behalf of individuals.

Adoption/Separated Family

International Social Services (ISS)
Cranmer House, 39 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DD
Tel within the UK: 020-7735-8941; from overseas: 011-44-20-7735-8941

ISS is a professional social work agency, which has a department specializing in tracing relatives in other countries.  ISS can help in the following situations:
– Where there has been adoption and a search is needed to find the birth parents.
– Where the child was brought up by one parent only and is now (as an adult) seeking to re-establish contact with the other parent, or when a parent has lost contact with a child.
– Where there has been disruption in the family leading to separation or divorce.

National Organisation for Counselling Adoptees and Parents (NORCAP)
112 Church Road, Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1LU
Tel within the UK: 018-6587-5000; from overseas, 011-44-18-6587-5000

The Salvation Army
101 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BN
Tel within the UK: 020-7367-4747; from overseas: 011-44-20-7367-4747

The Salvation Army’s Family Tracing Service assists families in locating missing adults.  They do not provide location services for fathers of children born out of wedlock, non-relatives, adoption cases, or genealogy research.

PO Box 106, Southport PR8 82WA
Tel within the UK: 015-1471-4811; from overseas: 011-44-15-1471-4811; fax within the UK: 017-0456-3354; fax from overseas: 011-44-17-0456-3354

War Babes
15 Plough Ave, South Woodgate, Birmingham B32 3TQ
Tel within the UK: 012-1608-5108; from overseas: 011-44-12-1608-5108

War Babes assists children or parents locate natural families who were conceived during the war years.

Kith & Kin Research
Green Gables, Willow Grove, Fair Oak, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 7BJ
Tel within the UK: 023-8069-2421; from overseas: 011-44-23-8069-2421


The following organizations specialize in researching family trees.

Family History Centres:
London center:  Hyde Park Chapel, 64-68 Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PA
Tel within the UK: 020-7589-8561; from overseas: 011-44-20-7589-8561

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
At Family History Centers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, usually located within Latter-Day Saint churches, you can find, or obtain, census returns, wills, church records, etc., from most parts of the world.

For a full list of Family History Centers, contact:  The Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84150; Tel: 801-240-2584.
Alternatively, your local center can be located online.

The Society of Genealogists
14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
Tel within the UK: 020-7251-8799; from overseas: 011-44-20-7251-8799

Achievements of Canterbury
79-82 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1BA
Tel within the UK: 012-2746-2618; from overseas: 011-44-12-2746-2618

The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU
Tel within the UK: 020-8876-3444; from overseas: 011-44-20-8876-3444

The National Archives of England, Wales, and the United Kingdom has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1,000 years of British history.  Family histories can be traced by searching the archives.

Family Records Centre

An official archived UK Government website assisting those looking for family records.

The Association of Genealogists and Record Agents (AGRA):
AGRA maintains a list of genealogists who will undertake family tree research for a fee.

It is difficult to trace someone in the United States when their whereabouts are completely unknown, as there are no central records of names and addresses available to the public.  For those trying to locate former colleagues, friends, or relatives, the following information may be of assistance.  It is NOT possible to trace the whereabouts of persons through U.S. immigration channels.  Records of the U.S. Government are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.

This list is provided by the U.S. Embassy as a convenience to U.S. citizens.  It is not meant to be a complete list of possible resources.  The Embassy assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or facilities listed.  Fees and services to be provided are a matter for agreement solely between the individual and the organization.

Tracing Military Personnel

Active Duty Military Personnel:  The Embassy maintains no records on active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Written requests for assistance in locating information on military personnel currently serving may be sent to the appropriate office listed below:

Air Force Worldwide Locator:  HQ AFPC/DPDXIDL, 550 C Street W, Suite 50,
Randolph Air Force Base, TX 78150-4752, Tel: (210) 565-2660

Army Worldwide Locator:  Commander, U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center, Attn: Locator, Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301

Navy Worldwide Locator:  Naval Personnel Command, PERS 312F, 5720 Integrity Drive, Millington, TN 38055-3120

Marine Corps Worldwide Locator:  Commandant of the Marine Corps, HQ, USMC, Code MMSB-10, Quantico, VA 22134-5030

Coast Guard Locator:  Coast Guard Personnel Command (CGPC-adm-3), 2100 2nd Street SW, Washington, DC 20593-0001

These offices may be able to provide a current address, and in some instances will attempt to forward correspondence to the individual’s military base/unit. A nominal fee may be charged for this service.

Former Military Personnel:  The Embassy maintains no records on former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  All official military personnel files of discharged and deceased veterans are kept in the United States at the National Personnel Records Center (NRPC).  Requests for information on former service members must be directed, in writing, to that agency.

Send your request to: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132-5100; Tel: 314-801-0800.

A brief notice placed in military and related magazines reaches a wide audience and may well come to the attention of the individual you are looking for, or a former member of the same unit.  As well as individual veterans’ associations’ publications, letters are published in the following large-circulation newspapers and magazines:

Army/Navy/Air Force Times:  Locator Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159-0500

Air Force Magazine:  Bulletin Board, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198

American Legion Magazine:  700 N Pennsylvania Street, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206

The Retired Officer Magazine
:  201 N Washington Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314-2539

Private Organizations

TRACE (Transatlantic Children’s Enterprise)
Heron’s Flight, 1H Bycullah Road, Enfield EN2 8EE (Send SAE),

Kith & Kin Tracing,
Green Gables, Willow Grove, Fair Oak, Eastleigh, Hants SO5 7BJ, Tel: 023-8069-2421

Ariel Bruce Associates, Independent Social Workers,
24 Stanley Street, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 2DS, Tel: 023-9261-4583

War Babes,
15 Plough Avenue, South Woodgate, Birmingham B32 3TQ, Tel: 012-1608-5108 (Send SAE)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: At Family History Centers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, usually located within Latter-Day Saint churches, you can find, or obtain, census returns, wills, church records, etc., from most parts of the world.  In addition, you can consult the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and the Ancestral File.  For a full list of Family History Centers, contact:  The Family History Library, 35 North West Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84150; Tel: 801-240-2584.

British Red Cross,
Tracing & Messages Section, International Welfare Department, 9 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X 7EJ, Tel: 084-4871-1111

Salvation Army HQ,
Family Tracing Service, 101 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BN, Tel: 020-7367-4500,

Adoptees Liberty Movement,
P.O. Box 85, Denville, NJ 07834, email: