People finder Case Studies

Below is a selection of cases John has undertaken.

Case studies

#1.USA UK back to USA (1966)

Lost friend tracing. Find a lost friend. A UK ex-pat on an extended two months holiday from the USA. Our client met her at a local dance hall. After they spent her entire holiday in each other’s company. On her day of departure, he offered to drive her to Heathrow Airport. But due to traffic congestion not even time for a brief kiss, she just rushed into the terminal building. They agreed to at least keep in touch. But sadly this didn’t happen.

Today, our client had retained an old address in Detroit dating back to 1967-not encouraging. Moreover, with only a common Christian name and a lesser-known surname. But unless she remained single it would have changed anyway, so not much use! After months of combing through the Internet, an unexpected breakthrough came.

A lady with the same name but a hyphenated surname. Sure enough, it turned out to be exactly who we were looking for! Today they are both living alone, widows and widowers on opposite sides of the Atlantic. In regular contact and hopefully will spend more time together. The only obstacle (apart from money) is one, having to lose close contact with children relatives and grandkids.

“John and Libby thanks very much for the sterling work done on the trace-miraculous, John Best wishes, John and Lorna.”

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#2 UK-Finland. The almost-impossible task of finding “P” from Finland

Peggy from Finland arrived in the UK in 1967 to take up a summer job. Working as a live-in assistant for a national charity managed orphanage (Methodist Church). The information we had to work with was as follows:

  • A Christian name was an adopted Anglicized version give by her UK work colleagues.
  • Originated from Helsinki.
  • Her father was British. He served in WW2 in the British Army. That’s it? We had no surname and just a UK “nicknamed” Christian name.

We began with the institution where “Peggy” worked. Unfortunately, it closed down in the 1980s. Some records are kept, but DATA protection proved a stubborn barrier. Tried various UK Forums related to her ex-employer/ Finland ex-pats, zilch! The Finland Embassy! Wouldn’t so much as acknowledge four emails we sent them!

Next up, Facebook forums in Finland-Zilch The next initiative. We advertised for paid freelancers in Finland to work on Press media, radio, etc. Eureka! A national newspaper took up the story happily, resulting in us finding “Peggy”. Now a 75-year-old mum and gran still living in Helsinki! Thanks very much, John and Libby, for all you did to bring us together again, a miracle, Derek and Paivi.

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#3 UK-Spain-Dominican Republic

Our client fondly remembers him“In the early 1970s. Rather like the type you meet at Petticoat Lane. Usually Jewish (he was), and a bark worse than his bite. An entrepreneur full of confidence, whereas I was somewhat withdrawn. We got on very well! I can imagine him today with his mobile phone permanently attached to his ear! Surprisingly and without warning he seemed to vanish off the face of the earth.

The first port of call was his local historic library. A historic Electoral register revealed his surname had only one “L” instead of two. This apparent minor omission proved a crucial detail. Our search took in the family origins of Stepney and Poplar in the 1930s. There was an absolute myriad of obstacles in this case.

We discovered a cousin in Israel, but no response. An Internet listing in Madrid similar name double-barrelled. Actually, It was him, but he had moved. After more work and disappointments, eventually, we traced him to the Dominican Republic. Sadly, he passed away in 2011. Buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave! A terrible disappointment to everyone.

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#4 Muswell Hill-Hornsey-Barnet-Haringey, South of France

An elderly gentleman age 75 asked us to find his- “Eileen” whom he had not seen since 1967. He had a Christian name, town, road, and a vague recollection of the house she once lived with her parents in 1967. Worked at a local Coop corner store. Name of an old friend, “Veronica” living close-by in Wood Green. Here is what he gave us in the way of events. Dated during the summer of 1967. A lovely girl but for me a bit too clingy. Eventually, due to my intransigent attitude, we parted. I think I imagined I was a bit of a “James Dean” macho and unkind was the way to go. Ironically 5 years later by pure chance, I happened to bump into her again in a local corner shop where she was working.

That turned out to be the last time I ever saw her. It could have been a defining moment to reunite us. But being a very awkward encounter I just kind of clammed up.

Our client wanted to feel and savour the journey to where he thought was her house. A re-run of a journey he made by car so often 53 years ago. So we arranged to take him, no extra charge incidentally. Having found the house, we moved on quite well. We don’t want to bore you with the finer details here, but it wasn’t easy.

We were beset by a host of false starts. Mainly due to incorrect assumptions, poor guesswork. Our search took in the UK, South of France, and ironically back to Muswell Hill. Today, a widow aged 74 and sadly living in a residential care home. 

Note.” They have rekindled their friendship and our client happily visits her virtually every day. It’s now payback time for his foolish behaviour His parting shot was. If only I had conducted this search earlier! Thanks, John, for your brilliant service. Eternally grateful. Terry and Eileen.”

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#5 Victory From The Jaws of Defeat. We will never be able to top this one!  The initiative shown by our team was quite staggering.

A jaw-dropping (forgive the pun) Victory-Prized From The Jaws of Defeat. Truly Unbelievable! To read the full story click here!

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#6 From India-UK-India the finally to Australia. See below.

Finding a lost childhood pal | A Worldwide Search!


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#7 Ex-pat living in Australia.

Hi John,

I just want to thank you so much for doing what I thought was impossible.  That is, finding my old and very dear friend from our school days 50 years ago. We were such great mates for all our school years sharing our innermost thoughts and aspirations and then somehow we drifted apart when we got married and moved away from our hometowns. In my case, I also moved away from the country of my birth.  

Just recently I got a strong urge to find my friend but didn’t know how to go about it.  Then Google came to the rescue and suggested a few possibilities. Fortunately, I chose:- and thank goodness I did because that’s where you, John, came in, and you have been simply marvellous – so patient and understanding, and at the end of it all you have found her, and I am having the happiest time of my life. Thank you, thank you. 

 If anyone out there is looking for someone like I was, then you will find that these people will help you. Good luck. Jennifer from Australia.


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#8 Trevor, from the Wirral.

Dear Friends Reconnected,

Despite the search taking more than 3 months to conclude I am so very grateful and forever in your debt. You took this case on, after initially rejecting it. For the right reasons, you thought I might be wasting my money.

However, at my insistence, and taking on board your reservations, you took it on. How you managed to find my old friend was nothing short of a miracle. Having to navigate two divorces-surname changes, different addresses, and a myriad number of other substantial challenges you finally found her. I am glad you kept going on it, and if I listened to me, would never have found her. LOL  Anyway, thank you so much.

Trevor Wilson
PS. We are getting on great, with 40 years of catching up to do.


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Hello John,

Just a quick note to express my sincere gratitude for helping me find what was my first childhood sweetheart from way back in 1955. The cruel irony here is, today, we are both alone due to the loss of our spouses.

Being selfish I would say it helped us to pick up where we left off, but both of us would of course preferred our partners were still alive.

But life goes on, and we are deliriously happy to have been given a second chance here. I know this trace was very tough especially as you have to go via her sister who is in Australia. How you found her was a brilliant piece of tracing work. Champagne is on the way to you.

Best wishes,
Chris, Stowmarket


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Dear John,

I apologise for not being in touch earlier, I am still in shock at how you managed to find my old school sweetheart, Maureen. The last time I had seen her was back in 1952 when I was 5 years old. We were quite inseparable then, sharing everything together. Especially sweets, chocolate, and spending time in each other’s houses.

We also both remembered the street and house number where we respectively lived, and are able to recall the names of each other’s parents. Their kindness when taking us on trips to the seaside, fish and chips and ice creams etc. She, and I, are both now living alone but hopeful of reuniting permanently despite her now living in Sydney, Australia. Today it seems one of our biggest obstacles could be Brexit.

Peter Watson, Surbiton


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Hello Friends,

I would like to thank you so much for reconnecting me with my old school teacher. He was someone who was so instrumental in making me who I am today. I have always harboured a desire to find him but found it impossible for me to do so. Of course, it’s easier for me to remember him as he was my teacher, but for him with loads of kids passing through various schools and classes, I was just one of the so many thousands. Anyway, we reconnected and looking forward to going for a beer, and a game of snooker somewhere. Yes, he remembers me well, he was nice and kind which is exactly as I remember him. As you may recall having undertaken an extensive worldwide search he was living no more than 3 miles away from me-what an irony.

Best wishes,
Charles, Dorking
I will keep you posted.


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Hello John,

I am still quite gobsmacked at how you managed to find my lost girlfriend Sandra. Luckily you were not prepared to give up despite my suggesting you should do so. You were forever saying to me one last try, and then another and again!

Luckily you spotted an error in a marriage listing which opened the whole thing up and led to the eventual successful outcome.

Basically, if you hadn’t spotted it we were done! In addition, you had a great contact in the USA who provided us with great support. We are doing Skype at the moment, with plans to visit once the pandemic is over.

Obviously, it’s not going to be easy with her living in Hawaii. But, where there is a will there is a way, as the old saying goes. I have a number of pics of her (she looks great) and the island of Hawaii. She tells me each morning she is surfing on Waikiki beach! I must say I am quite envious. Only time will tell, but so far, so good. Thanks again to you and your wife.

Nigel Swinton, Leatherhead