Searching for your ancestors in some cases can be a daunting task. So true is the case in which one of those ancestors seems to have fallen from the face of the earth entirely. When this occurs, they truly become a missing person and finding them can be even harder than the traditional ancestral searches. The reason for this is that when one becomes missing, they are missing because there is no way to find where they have gone to.
There are many reasons why a person could come up missing regardless of whether it is in today’s time or somewhere in the past. People disappear without any traces because of things like drugs and other dependencies. In the past, it would not have been uncommon for one to go out to the bar only to never have been seen or heard from again. They could have been murdered or committed suicide, but in many cases you will hear about persons being shanghaied.
The concept of being shanghaied dates back many centuries in the past. It has occurred in places all over the world. What this is, is that a person unknowingly steps into the wrong bar, has too much to drink and gets forcefully enlisted as a member of a crew on board of a vessel. This can cause people to disappear and in many cases never to be heard from again. There are ways of finding them in some cases though.
In instances where it is possible that they may have been murdered or committed suicide, while they may not have been identified at the time, they did not just disappear but rather became a Jane or John Doe. Some people while doing their ancestral backgrounds have come across missing ancestors only to find that they matched a John Doe description from the period of time that they disappeared. This information can sometimes be obtained through various police databases.
There are so many potential possibilities in which one of your ancestors could have disappeared from history, but that does not mean that you will never find out what happened to them. There are a number of possible means from which you can locate them. Finding these missing persons may not be entirely like searching for the rest of your heritage as you may have to take contacting various government entities only to look through years of information in hopes that you come across someone that can match your missing relative.
Of course in today’s day and age, when a person goes missing, there are other ways of locating them and in most cases they will return on their own within a matter of weeks. However it is important to keep in mind that many countries around the world have laws protecting the rights to privacy of living individuals and therefore searching for someone who may be alive today will prove to be a harder task than someone who may have died 50 years or more ago.
The important thing though is that you do not give up the hope of finding that missing person and work until you do eventually find them or have exhausted all of your possible resources. Keep in mind of the possible ways for one to go missing such as being shanghaied, and if so maybe if an ancestor disappeared in an area that was historically known for that, search for shipping logs and the like. You may be surprised as to what you may find.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 18/11/2008