Locating Persons in the United States

Obama's German roots

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 relations the following information may be of assistance. When writing to an agency or organization listed below, you should provide as much information as possible about the person you seek. At least the full name, date and place of birth should be given. For military personnel, the rank, serial number and branch of service should be specified.  NB: IMPORTANT NOTICE – It is NOT possible to trace the whereabouts of persons through U.S. Immigration channels. Records of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.


We hope that success results from your efforts. Unfortunately, The Embassy is unable to initiate a search for an ancestor, missing person or person whose location may be unknown.  However, the following may be of use in your research:




Present day immigration records are stored at the Embassy for a limited period of time.  However, the following address may also be of use to you in your research:


American Family Immigration History Centre

Ellis Island Foundation Inc.

Attn: History Centre

17 Battery Place #210

NY 10004-3507

Phone: (001) 212 561 4588



Immigration and Naturalization Service

423 1st St NW,

Washington D.C. 20536

Tel: (001) 202 633-4316 / 4330 / 4354


The Director of Freedom of Information Staff

Bureau of Public Affairs

Department Of State

Washington D.C. 20520


United States National Archives & Records Administration

8601 Adelphi Road,

College Park,

MD 20740-6001





Records of Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce can be ordered over the internet on http://www.vitalchek.com.  If you do not have internet access you must write to the relevant office in the state of Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce.  Unfortunately there is no central

Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to whom you can direct inquiries, however the American Citizen Services Unit, the Consular Section, the American Embassy, 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Phone: (01) 237-5809/5810, would be happy to supply you with addresses of the relevant offices when you are in a position to identify the state or states.  For your information, it is often extremely difficult to locate a specific record of a birth, death or marriage without exact information as to the names of the parties involved, the date of the event and the place in which it took place, etc.




In the United States there are Family History Centers, which are usually located within Latter-day Saint churches. There are over 2,400 of these Family History Centers worldwide. Here 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 (I.G.I) and the Ancestral File. The I.G.I. is a worldwide index of approximately 187 million names of deceased persons. This index does not contain records of living persons. The Ancestral File contains genealogical data on millions of individuals from many countries, including information on names, places and places of birth, marriage and death. Please note that most of the information on the File concerns deceased persons. The File also contains names and addresses of persons who have submitted information, and this information is updated periodically.  The family history Library may be contacted at the following address, at which a full list of all Family History Centers and their telephone numbers worldwide can be obtained, is located at the following address:


The Family History Library

35 North West Temple Street

Salt Lake City

Utah 84150

Tel: 801-240-2331


Passport Services Research and Liaison Branch

Room 500,

111 9th Street NW

Washington DC 2054-1705

Phone: (001) 202 955 0447




In the 1950’s and 1960’s a number of Irish children were placed for adoption in the United States.  Those wishing to trace records of such children may wish to contact both the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, and the U.S. based Adoptees’ Search organization for assistance in locating passport and other records of these children:


Irish Department of Foreign Affairs

80 St. Stephen’s Green

Dublin 2

Tel: +353-1-4780822



Irish Children Adopted Overseas continued…


The Irish-Born Adoptees’ Search                                    Adoptees’ Liberty Movement

C/o Catherine O’Dea                                                        PO Box 85

18460 Bishop Lane                                                          Denville,

Strongsville, OH 44136                                                   NJ 07834

U.S.A                                                                              Email: manderson@almasociety.org

Tel: (001) 216 238-1004                                                  www.almasociety.org




The following organizations may be able to assist in cases of sufficiently compelling humanitarian need and where the missing person is a close relative:


Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association

P.O. Box 727

Radio City Station

New York, NY 10101


Tel: 001-212-581-1568

Web: www.adoption.com


International Social Services

New York, NY 10016

Tel: 001-212-532-6350


The Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs will attempt to forward correspondence to missing persons, but only when a considerable monetary or strong humanitarian consideration is involved. You should send a letter intended for the missing person, along with a brief letter of explanation to the appropriate agency. The letter to be forwarded should contain nothing of value and be in a plain, unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the person’s name and social security/military serial number. If this number is not known, you should include any other identifying information, such as full name, date and place of birth and parents’ names. The addresses are:


Social Security Administration Department of Veterans Affairs

300 North Green Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

810 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20420


In the case of the Social Security Administration, a $3.00 fee applies in cases involving a monetary purpose. An International Money Order in dollars should be enclosed and made payable to the Social Security Administration. The SSA will be unable to report whether or not the letter is actually delivered.


Services of a U.S. Attorney

You may wish to retain a lawyer in the U.S. to help you.  The American Bar Association can assist you in locating attorneys within any given state.  Their website address is www.abanet.org



How to find family / friends affected by natural disaster

The American Red Cross maintains a database to help you find family.

Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.   Their website is www.redcross.org


International Family Tracing Services, American Red Cross
2025 E Street NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20006


The following addresses may also be of use in obtaining assistance in locating a missing adult or child




Search Reports Inc/Central Registry of the Missing        Missing Person’s International

345 Boulevard                                                                 P.O. Box 46896

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604                                        Los Angeles, CA 90046

Tel: 201 288-4445


National Cener for Missing Adults

PO Box 6389

Glendale, AZ 85312

Tel: 001-602-749-2000

Web: www.theyaremissed.org




Missing Children – Help Center                                       Missing Children of America

410 Ware Blvd                                                                 P.O. Box 670-949

Ste. 400                                                                            Chugiak, AK 99567

Tampa, FL 33619                                                            Tel: 907 248-7300

Tel: 001-800-872-5437


Adam Walsh Child Resource Center                               Child Find of America

3111 S. Dixie Highway                                                   P.O. Box 277

Ste. 244                                                                            New Paltz, NY 12561

West Palm Beach, FL 33405                                           Tel: 914 255-1848

Tel: 407 833-9080


Find the Children                                                             National Center for

11811 W. Olympic Blvd                                                  Exploited and Missing

Los Angeles, CA 90064                                                  Children







The Irish Consulates in the United States may also be in a position to assist you.





Embassy of Ireland

2234 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.

Washington D.C. 20008

Tel: 202 462-3939/462-3940/462-3941

Web: www.embassyofireland.org


Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

Ireland House                                                    following states:

345 Park Avenue                                               Connecticut, Delaware

17th Floor                                                          Florida, Georgia,

New York, NY 10154-0037                             Jersey, New York, North

Tel: 212 319-2525/319-2550                             Carolina, Maryland,

Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia,


Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

Chase Building                                                  following states: Maine,

535 Boylston Street                                           Massachusetts, New

Boston, MA 02116                                           Hampshire,

Tel: 617 267-9330/267-4470                             Rhode Island, Vermont



Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

400 North Michigan Avenue                             following state: Alabama,

Chicago, IL 60611                                             Arkansas, Illinois,

Tel: 312 337-1868                                             Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,                          Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin


Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

44 Montgomery St., Suite 3830                        following states:

San Francisco, CA 94104                                 Alaska,

Tel: 415 392-4214                                             Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming


Honorary Consul of Ireland                              Jurisdiction over the

65 Broadview                                                    following states: Kansas,

St. Louis MI 63105                                           Missouri

Tel: 618 274-0886




Major Irish-American Newspaper in the United States


Irish Echo

309 5th Avenue Room 402

NY 10016-1266

Phone: (001) 212 686 1266





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                                          Army Worldwide Locator

AFPC/MSIMDL                                                             US Army ELREC

550 C Street W,                                                               Suite 508899 E. 56th Street

Randolph Air Force Base                                                Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301

TX 78150-4752





Locating Active Military Personnel continued…


Navy Worldwide Locator                                                Marine Corps Worldwide Locator

Bureau of Naval Personnel                                              Commandant of the Marine Corps

For family members: BUPRS                                          HQ, USMC, Code MMSB

Pers 324D, 2 Navy Annex                                              Washington, DC 20380-1775

Washington, DC 20370-3240

For non-family: BUPRS

02116, 2 Navy Annex

Washington, DC 20370-0216


Coast Guard Locator

G-MPC-S-3, U.S. Coast Guard

2100 2nd Street SW

Washington, DC 20593


The above locator 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. Correspondence for the missing service member can be enclosed – together with a brief letter of explanation – to the appropriate service locator. The letter to be forwarded should contain nothing of value and be in a plain, unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the individual’s grade, full name, and, if possible, military serial number. Please ensure that your name and return address – including country – is clearly indicated on the top left hand corner of the envelopes, as required by the U.S. Postal Service. Please note that a nominal fee may be charged for this service.




All Official Military Personnel Files of discharged and deceased veterans are kept in the United States at the National Personnel Records Center (N.R.P.C.). Requests for information on former service members must be directed, in writing, to that agency. You should mark your letter for the attention of Mr. Charles Pellegrini and mark it “Do not open in the Mail Room”. A form requesting a record search will be mailed to you. When completing the form, you should provide the full name, including middle initials, details of military service, and the former service member’s serial (or social security) number, if known. Please note that certain restrictions imposed on the N.P.R.C. by the 1974 Privacy Act may make your search more difficult. These restrictions limit disclosure of data from U.S. government files to the individual themselves or to


Those who can provide clear evidence of direct kinship to the individual being sought. In the case of children trying to trace their fathers, the N.P.R.C. is required to provide only the last known town and state – i.e., not a full street address – if they believe the father to be still alive. Addresses on record are often those furnished by the service member at the time of discharge and may well be some years out-of-date. In all instances only written requests – signed and dated – on the appropriate forms will be accepted. The address of the N.P.R.C. is:


National Personnel Records Center

Attn: Mr. Charles Pellegrini, Military Personnel Records

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63132-5100






Locating Former Military Personnel continued…


U.S. citizens wishing to re-establish contact with, or information about, former service friends mainly use military publications and the magazines of veterans’ organizations. A brief notice placed therein reaches a wide audience and may well come to the attention of the individual themselves 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                                           American Legion Magazine

Locator Service’                                                               700 N Pennsylvania Street

6883 Commercial Drive                                                   P.O. Box 1055

Springfield                                                                       Indianapolis, IN 46206

VA 22159-0160


Air Force Magazine                                                         The Retired Officer Magazine

‘Bulletin Board’                                                               201 N Washington Ave

1501 Lee Highway                                                          Alexandria, VA 22314-2539

Arlington, VA 22209-1198


Letters written to the above publications should be brief and preferably typed. Do not send documents or photographs, and please ensure that your name and return address – including country – is clearly indicated.


Requests for information on former military personnel should be addressed to the National Personnel Records Center, Attn: Military Personnel Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132, U.S.A.  You should be aware the addressed on record with this office are usually those furnished by the service member at the time of discharge from the armed forces and they are rarely updated.  You may be required to provide adequate information concerning the service member and proof that your inquiry is made with the permission of the service man’s next of kin.


The publications listed have a wide readership and often feature letters and advertisements from individuals trying to locate former servicemen, their dependents or survivors:


The following associations may be of use in researching those who fought in the American Civil War:


The American Civil War Association, c/o Gary Griesmyer, P.O. Box 1865, Alexandria, VA 22313

The American Historical Association, 400 A. St., S.E., Washington D.C 20003


The Civil War Press Corps, 2724 Heriot Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28311

Civil War Round Table Associates, P.O. Box 7388, Little Rock, Ar 72217

The Civil War Society, 24 N. Buckmarsh St., P.O. Box 770, Berryville, VA 22611

Civil War Token Society, P.O. Box 330, Garnerville, NY 10923

Institute of Civil War Studies, c/o Alexander C. Niven, 141 N. Merranec, Ste. 12, Clayton, MO 63105


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War 1, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

The American Historical Association, 400 A. St., S.E., Washington D.C. 20003


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War 1, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


World War 1 Aeroplanes, 15 Crescent Road, Ploughkeepsie, NY 12601

World War 1 Overseas Flyers, 1037 N. Astor St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, N.E., Washington D.C. 20002

National Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of World War 1 of the U.S.A., P.O. Box 2907, Bay st., St. Louis, MS 39521-2907

Veterans of World War 1 of U.S.A. 941 N. Capitol St., N.E., Room 1201-C, Washington D.C.

World War Tank Corps Association, 2245 Cypress Drive, Ft., Worth, TX 76133

Military Order of World Wars, 435 N. Lee St., Alexandria, VA 22314

National Association Rainbow Division Veterans, 16916 George Franklyn Drive, Independence, MO 64055

Order of Lafayette (World Wars), c/o Asa E. Phillips, Jr., 1 Post Office Square, Ste., 310, Boston, MA 02109

Retreads (World Wars), c/o Orville A. Rummel, 1504 Umpqua Place, Woodburn, OR 97071

30th Infantry Division Association (World Wars), 13645 Whippet Way, E., Delray Beach, FL 33484


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War II, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

Allied Airborne Association, c/o Mark C. Lenze, 155 Cross Road, St. Mary’s, PA 15857

American Division Veterans Association, PO Box 1381, Boston, MA 02104

American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, c/o Capt. Elmer E. Long, Jr., PO Box 12052, New Bern, NC 28561-2050

American Merchant Marine Veterans,  1430 NE 54th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Association of Free French in the U.S., c/o Dr. Rudolphe L. Coigney, 1200 5th Avenue, No 12A, NY, NY 10029

B-26 Marauder Historical Society, 14211 Chestfield Rd., Rockville, MD 20853

Bombardiers, 200 Van Buren St., No. 2109, Daphne, Al 36526

China-Burma-India Hump Pilots Association, P.O. Box 458, Poplar Bluss, MO 63901-0458

China-Burma-India Veterans Association, 5860 Amrap Dr., Parma Heights, OH 44130

Combat Merchant Mariners, 14 Castle Dr., Spring Valley, NY 10977

829th Signal Service Association, c/o A. Boehnlein, 29146 Sheridan St., Garden City, MI 48135

8th Air Force Historical Society, P.O. Box 7215, St. Paul, MN 55107

8th Armored Division Association, 66 N. Chicago St., Joliet, IL 60431

Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association, PO Box 285, Selden, NY 11784

4th Marine Division Association, 2854 S., 44th St., Milwaukee, WI 53219

International B-24 Liberator Club, PO Box 15-2424, San Diego, CA 92195

94th Infantry Division, c/o Ross L. Jordan, 1415 Orion Rd., Batavia, IL 60510

99th Infantry Division Association, 1901 Roberta Lane, Champaign, IL 61821

North American Branch, (1940) Dunkirk Veterans Association, 214 Island in the Sun, 12100 Seminole Blvd., Largo, Fl 34648-2825

Pearl Harbour Survivors Association, National Adm. Office, Drawer 2598, Lancaster, CA 93539

PT Boats, INC, PO Box 38070, Germantown, TN 38183-0070

Second Air Division Association, PO Box 627, Ipswich, MA 01938

17th Airborne Division Association, 62 40 Acre Mountain Road, Danbury, CT 06811


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War II, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of World War 11, SS Lane Victory, Berth 53, PO Box 629, San Pedro, CA 90733

United States Submarine Veterans of World War II, 862 Chatham Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, PO Box 11129, Arlington, VA 22210-2129

Military Order of the World Wars

435 N. Lee St., Alexandria, VA 22314

National Association Rainbow Division Veterans, 16916 George Franklyn Drive, Independence, MO 64055

Women World War Veterans, Morgan Hotel, 237 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of Vietnam, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

America’s Victory Force, PO Box 2016, Learned, MS 39154

Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 2030 Clarendon Blvd., Ste. 412, Arlington, VA 22201

Gamewardens of Vietnam Association, PO Box 5523, Virginia Beach, VA 23455-0523

77th Artillery Association, PO Box 141, Booneville, MO 65223

Society of Vietnamese Rangers, PO Box 29965, Atlanta, GA 30359

Veterans of the Vietnam War, 760 Jumper Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702-8033

Vietnam Combat Veterans, 1267 Alma Ct., San Jose, CA 95112

Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, 7 W. 7th St., Ste. 1990, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Vietnam Veterans of America, 1224 M St., NW, Washington, DC 20005-5783

Vietnam Veterans Inst., PO Box 386, Timonium, MD 21093



Burial Places of Veterans


The Department of Memorial Affairs at the Veteran’s Administration administers cemeteries for veterans of American wars.  If the person whose place of burial you seek was in the armed forces, they may have a record of his burial.  You may contact the Department of Memorial Affairs at the following address:


The Department of Memorial Affairs

Veteran’s Administration

810 Vermont Avenue N.W.

Washington D.C. 20420

Tel: 202 393-4120