Our Connected World | To Find Old Friends
Here’s the story of how a website to find people and a very nice man helped me reconnect with my childhood friends!
Finding people is for sure not a picnic.
Bearing in mind the UK population is estimated at approximately 66.65 million!
How many people do you know? How many people have you met during your lifetime?
What happened to them? Where are they now?
How did you lose contact with them when they had been an important part of your life?
As you grow older are there people you miss?
A Journey to the Past
This was a journey I embarked on during lockdown. I had the time to remember people who had been friends in my teenage years – some 38 years ago -, as well as an important part of my life. My, how time flies!
I wanted to know if they were OK and how they had been affected by lockdown. This also made me realise how many years had gone by in my own life. No doubt that the next 50 years would zoom by just as fast!
“Where to Start?” was the Question!
I thought of Facebook first, but searching their names did not get me anywhere. It turned out one of my lost friends was not on Facebook and had remarried. Therefore, they had a different surname. The other one was on Facebook but her name was not unusual and a search brought up 6 people with her name.
I was not connected with them on LinkedIn or Facebook
I felt I could not contact them directly. Moreover, the recipients might be disturbed by the contact as I had also changed my surname. My Dad, who has been doing genealogy for many years since he retired had a look for me as well but without success for the same reasons.
I Discovered Finding People is Not that Easy
It was quite a surprise in this digital age to find that I had to work hard to even begin to get started on finding my friends. I was so used to typing something into Google and getting a result. As such, finding that digital info was actually hard to find, whilst not surprising, was frustrating.
The Births, Deaths and Marriages Register (BDMS) is a huge source of data collected and maintained by volunteers since the mid-19th century. However, you still need to know information about date and place of birth and current surname and any marriages. As such, I was not going to get anywhere with that route.
Even if you have more info than I had you may still need to know information about the parents’ date of birth, marriage date and location in order to find them. However, even that could lead you to a cul-de-sac. There is no current address provided for any offspring you might find.
There is a free database (FreeBMD) that can be used when it comes to websites for finding people, but it is even more limited.
The Power of Memories
Of course, what I thought would be good to pursue during the time in lockdown (as in making use of the luxury of time due COVID-19 and using that time positively) became a journey of memories. I ended up recalling some of the things we did at school together.
It was a girls Boarding School in the Lake District and we had great fun: going out in the pouring rain and lightning with the house mistress chasing after us all to get us safely inside. Or sneaking out late at night after A’Levels to meet the boys from the boys school and even swim in the River Lune, exams, socials with the boys school and Speech Day before we escaped home.
It was great to have the time to remember my youth.
I also had time to appreciate that so many years have passed – not necessarily swiftly but so long ago from where I had ended up. I felt sad that I had lost touch so easily with some good friends.
My 3 children, although all adults, don’t realise how quickly the years go and how much change you have in your life. They don’t realise that there comes a time when we regret losing touch with those who were part of our journey in life.
The Last Resort – a People Finding Website
So, what had I to lose in searching for old friends? The only cost to me was money since my own attempts to find my friends had been fruitless.
Therefore, I decided to seize the moment!
Carpe Diem! Though I think only people of my age and older might know the meaning? Not that I did Latin at school! I was just young enough then that it was losing its status as a useful subject in school curriculum.
A Website to Find People was the Answer!
My inner self told me to just go for it – I had nothing to lose! Therefore, I went on Google and started looking for a website to find people.
Eventually, I found Friends Reconnected
I met a very nice man called John. Well, we only spoke on the phone but he is a real good guy and I always trust my intuition. John, for a very reasonable fee, found both my friends in just under a month. There was 50% paid upfront and 50% on a successful conclusion. The latter would be the provision of a full postal current address and phone number if not ex-directory or an email.
I am in touch with both friends and it is good to know they are happy and well. Although we are spread across the country from Lancashire to Brighton, we are in contact! I hope we get to meet up sometime before too long.
If you have some time and memories of friends you would like to find, please do contact the people finding website.
PS. I have stayed in regular contact with John, we have become good friends.