Originally posted by wylekat
I'd personally start with the long form birth certificate, and an (unpleasant) trip to visit your sister on some trumped up reason. Then steal a DNA
If I knew where the little ***ch lived, I would. Can she be court ordered, maybe? I also have NO contact with any other members of the family. AT
ALL. I dont know where anyone is, or even what their names are...
[edit on 11-12-2009 by wylekat]
Your sister cannot be compelled by law that I know of.
Are either of your parents dead? If they are dead, you can request their death and birth certificates (long form), which should give you some
information about the previous generation.
Those will allow you to request further documentations. Military records. Criminal justice records. Or my favourite, you may be able to request the
CIA and FBI search their records.
Depending on how old you and your parents are, that might put you into the realm of some public records that are easier to comb.
You mentioned that your grandfather was dead. If you cannot locate your parents, it is possible that your can request his death certificate and birth
certificate on the basis of being next of kin.
That could put you into the realm of some public records of his parents and marriage certificates.
Were your parents married? Did they divorce? Depending on the state, you may be able to request a copy of that information too.
From where they last were, are there any people living in the area that you can contact?
If they tend to be involved with the bad end of the justice system, you might be able to find court documents referring to them.
The real key to finding people is interviewing people that knew your parents probably. Take notes. Record any and all names they mention, even if
they seem unnecessary.
Start with yourself.
I would get out of piece of paper and start with doing a stream of consciousness writing style.
What you remember. How old you were. How old they looked. What your residence looked like. Who your friends were. Where you played. Your
schools. Your teachers. Your sister's teachers.
The reason for this is that it triggers your memories, and places you in a spot. Locality and details about the seemingly unimportant things often
ties important memory bits together and can trigger you to remember things you wouldn't otherwise.
Nothing you remember is unimportant. It is important when doing stream of consciousness writing to not filter yourself. You can ignore it later if
you need to.
People your parents had over. Your sister's friends. Any names or descriptions of people you ever remember them talking to or mentioning. Phone
calls they made. What they talked about on the phone. Descriptions of those people.
Your friends and your sisters friends are important because their parents would have had some interaction with your parents. Even minimal, you can
phone or write them and ask them if they remember anything.
Neighbours. Where they lived. Who they were. Any babysitters you ever had. Daycare you may have attended.
Phone the schools you went to and see if they have archives of paper work. Again depending on your age they may have them. In those you could find
things like emergency contacts listed. That's a person worth
Doctors and Dentists locations that you went to. You can look up in old phone books at the library to identify them if they are no longer there.
These may have files pertaining to you that list emergency contact infomation too.
Just call people up. Ask them if they remember you, your parents. What do they remember. Then ask them if they remember who your parents hung out
with. If they ever mentioned a parent, sibling, cousin.
Even take notes about what they say about the qualilty of your parents. It may seem redunant, but similar patterns of descriptions can give you
insight into groupings of people who interacted with them.
Do you know where your parents lived before you were born? How specifically? A city? A town? A neighbourhood? A bourough?
If you can pin down a contained area say around the time they were in high school, you can again look into finding a high school year book that has
them in it. The older ones often have addresses on them.
Your parents hang out with a bad crowd that has a meeting place? A bar they went to? Drop by there and see if anyone remembers them.
Any place that you can think of that your parents would have had to fill out paperwork. Summer camps at the Y. Swimming lessons. Equipment rental
locations. A childhood bank account for you. You would be surprised how many of these things will still have old information hanging around. Just
recently I found that I had a record somewhere when registering my child for something. That record is 21 years old. It listed my address, phone
number, parents, emergency contact, and what I was doing there.
You can cross check addresses in old phone books and directories.
Anyways. That's probably enough to get you started.