Family Tracing Service :


The Family Tracing Service of The Salvation Army was established in 1885, and therefore has more than a century of experience, expertise and credibility.

The service exists for the purpose of trying to restore (or to sustain) family relationships, by locating relatives who for whatever reason have become out of touch. Loss of contact may have taken place within the past few days, or many years ago. It may have been a deliberate break or otherwise. The department is sometimes able to help also in matters to do with identity and relationships. Successful investigations often bring a sense of 'belonging' to those who have never known close blood-ties - restoring in them new feelings of dignity, of self worth and of life purpose.

Today, the Family Tracing Service works in many of the 100 countries where The Salvation Army is operating. Searches are carried out by Salvation Army personnel in the countries concerned. It is usual for a standard enquiry form to be completed in the country where the enquirer is living. To contact the department, simply write to your nearest Territorial Headquarters (addresses are available from the ‘Where in the World' section), addressing your letter to 'The Family Tracing Service'.

When the department is asked to conduct investigations, the average length of time that a relative has been out of touch is about 16 years. (A record reunion took place between a brother and sister after 81 years!) The average age of persons sought is 48 years. Enquiries may take a few minutes - or a few years!

Absolute confidence is observed. The address of a relative who has been found is never disclosed without his or her prior consent. The department is, however, willing to act as a 'postbox' until such time as all parties involved feel free to reveal their addresses for direct communications.


There are certain enquiries with which the Tracing Service does not normally become involved, for example, those to do with:

Situations where adoptions have taken place
Alleged fathers of non-marital children
Young people under 16/17 years
Former husbands or wives
Spouses for divorce purposes
Estate or similar business matters

However, The Family Tracing Service will be happy to advise further on eligibility issues.

© 2004 THE SALVATION ARMY CORPS TUSTIN RANCH   :   10200 PIONEER ROAD, TUSTIN, CA 92782   :   714.832.7100