Online People Search
If you need to locate an old friend, relative, associate or lover who you haven’t seen in months or years, read on.
People search is one of those search areas where the Internet really shines. If you know the person’s name and some other identifying info about him/her, you can probably locate him via the people search Internet pretty quickly.
If the person is deceased, you can find that out, too.
But be careful, it’s not as easy as just a question of Googling the person’s name. You have to have a bit of knowhow in online people-search. Here are a few of the possible problems you can run into —
-Your subject has a common name — Smith, Jones, Wilson, Mitchell, etc.
-Your (female) subject has gotten married and has a new name.
-He/she doesn’t want to be found. Maybe the person is hiding from creditors, for example. It’s not uncommon, which is why there’s a huge skip tracing industry out there.
-The person is in the military.
-Your subject is deceased.
I’ll suggest ways to deal with these complications later in this article. However, be aware there’s never an absolute guarantee you’ll find your man or woman. It’s a fact that some people just can’t be found. Most can, though, with a little informed searching.
By the way, did you know the phrase people search is one of the most commonly searched keyword phrases entered on Google? Every day thousands of people try to find someone, usually an old acquaintance, school friend, military buddy, or girl/boyfriend using an Internet search engine. Yet most never locate their subject this way. You’ll only find him/her using a search engine if the person is noteworthy in some way — has written a book, has their name on a web site, has been in the news, etc. Probably 19 out of 20 people can’t be found just using a search engine. You usually need other types of online tools.
Free Online People-Search Tools
OK, notwithstanding what I just said, go ahead and run a quick Google search, maybe you’ll get lucky. But even if you find someone with your subject’s name listed on Google, are you sure it’s the person you’re looking for? If the name is at all common, you probably aren’t. Identification can be a problem. Stop and think. What do you know about your subject other than his/her name? Do you know the city the person lives in or probably lives in (or used to live in)? That narrows your search down a good deal right there. What about date of birth or age? Either of those identifiers can be important if your subject has a common name. What about a former street address? That can be helpful should you need to go to more advanced methods of search later (as I’ll discuss below).
If you subject has a very uncommon name, or if you know his/her likely city or even state of residence, you can try using one of the online directories.
Two good ones are Addresses.com., and WhoWhere.com. Just enter whatever information you have — name, city, state, etc. and give it a try. If you get a likely-looking hit, give him/her a call or send a letter explaining your purpose and that you’re not sure you’ve got the right person. See what reaction you get.
But the online directories often don’t work. For various reasons, your subject isn’t listed. So what do you do then? Here are some other free online people-search tools to try:
– If you think he/she may be in the military, visit gisearch.com.
– If you know the person’s high school, try classmates.com.
– Is your subject into fishing or hunting (as one-third of adult males are)? Check to find out if he/she has a fishing or hunting license.
– Try a news search. For this you’ll have to guess your subject’s likely city-of-residence, then search archives of a local newspaper in that city or region. Just go to Newspapers.com.