People Search Tips To Help You Find People Online


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These free people search tips with people finder sites can help you find past friends and family online that you have lost contact with.

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People Search Tips To Help You Find People Online

  1. 1. Free People Search Tips Free tips and online people searches for finding past friends and family that you have lost touch with. Created by: People Search Copyright 2009 ( See last slide for reuse of this material )
  2. 2. 1. Write It Down Before you begin your actual search for someone, you should write down as much personal information on the person as you can remember. Some information that you may want to record will include ...
  3. 3. Information To Write Down <ul><li>First, middle and last names
  4. 4. Maiden name and married name(s) for females
  5. 5. Nicknames
  6. 6. Previous phone numbers
  7. 7. Previous street address(es)
  8. 8. Email addresses and online usernames
  9. 9. High schools and universities attended </li></ul><ul><li>Names and last known locations of people related to the person
  10. 10. Names and last known locations of mutual friends that you share with the person.
  11. 11. Professional and career information, including companies worked for
  12. 12. Current or approximate age
  13. 13. Any other personal information that you can think of </li></ul>
  14. 14. 2. Whitepages People Search <ul>One of the first online searches you use should be the Whitepages (see links at the side). Whitepages allow you to do variouse searches like: “city and state”, “state only” or “all states”. Whitepages also has reverse phone number and reverse address searches that you will want to run on previous knows addresses and phones. </ul><ul>Whitepages Search Links <li>People Search
  15. 15. * Search for the person in previous known locations, for people with uncommon last names exclude the city and try a statewide or nationwide search.
  16. 16. Reverse Searches
  17. 17. * Try reverse searches on previous known addresses and phone numbers for the person. </li></ul>
  18. 18. 3. Other Free People Searches <ul>The web is full of great free people searches. Before we go on, try searching for someone on some of the web's top free people searches on the right of this screen. </ul><ul><li>
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  20. 20.
  21. 21.
  22. 22. </li></ul>
  23. 23. 4. Search Social Networks <ul>The recent explosion in online social networking has made it easier than ever to find past friends and classmates. At the right are links to some of the web's top social networks. You will want to try searching these social networks for friends and family. </ul><ul><li>
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  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31. </li></ul>
  32. 32. 5. Mutual Friends & Colleagues <ul>A great offline resource that you may want to try is contacting any mutual friends & colleagues that you share with the person you are looking for. I call this the “six degrees of separation” search, after the notion that everyone on earth is separated from one another by no more than six personal contacts. </ul><ul><li>Mutual family members
  33. 33. Coworkers & Colleagues
  34. 34. Past high school or college classmates
  35. 35. Past mutual military buddies
  36. 36. Neighbors
  37. 37. Any other people you can think of that you may be able to locate and contact </li></ul>
  38. 38. 6. Last Name Searches <ul>Last name only searches can help you locate a person or possible family members. This is especially helpful if the person has an uncommon last name or has lived in small towns or rural areas in the past. To perform a last name only search, just leave out the first name in any online people search. </ul><ul>Search by Last Name Only <li>
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  41. 41. * Do last name only searches in all city, state areas that the person has lived in. Don't forget to write down any possible family leads you find. For really uncommon last names, search statewide and “all states” nationwide. </li></ul>
  42. 42. 7. Neighbor Searches <ul>Neighbors, both past and present, can be a big help in locating a person. To find find possible neighbors, do a reverse address search on and include a bracketed range of addresses that include your target address. Note : do not include any space characters within the bracketed range. For example: [100-125] is a correct search, but [100 – 125] is not a correct search. </ul><ul>Find Neighbors <li> Address
  43. 43. Example: Say you are looking for neighbors of someone who lives or has lived at 112 Main St.; a bracket range search using [100-125] Main St. along with the city and state will find potential neighbors.
  44. 44. If no results are returned, try increasing the bracketed range, like [80-150] Main St. </li></ul>
  45. 45. 8. Email & Username Searches <ul>If you have previous email addresses for the person you are looking for or logon and usernames that they have used for online communities, you can try searching these on the major search engines like Google. In addition, has a reverse email and username search that may be worthwhile for you to try. </ul><ul><li>
  46. 46. Email Search
  47. 47. Username Search
  48. 48. * Try searching for your or someone else's email address on Google to see what you find, or try searching any of your username or screen names on Google or Pipl to see what is out there.
  49. 49. You may be surprised at what you find. </li></ul>
  50. 50. 9. Blog Searches <ul>More and more people now publish and post comments on blogs. Blog searches can be a great way to find a person by their real name or by their screen and usernames. </ul><ul>Blog Searches <li>
  51. 51.
  52. 52. Google Blog Search </li></ul>
  53. 53. 10. Google Searches <ul>Google has also proven to be a very valuable people search tool. Knowing how to “Google” people can help you find past friends and family. As we will soon see Google can also be used to find free online public records sources on the fly. Review the example Google People searches on the right. </ul><ul>Example Google Searches <li>John Doe
  54. 54. “ John Doe”
  55. 55. John L. Doe attorney LA, CA
  56. 56. “ John Doe” Los Angeles, CA
  57. 57. [email_address]
  58. 58. John Doe
  59. 59. John Leigh Doe
  60. 60. “ John Doe” </li></ul>
  61. 61. 11. Site Specific Google Searches <ul>In tip 10. we say examples that used Google's site: operator which allows you to search specific sites or domains. The site: operator allows you to search a specific website or top level domain for information. Some examples of site and domain-specific Google searches are at the right. Note : don't forget the colon after site and do NOT use spaces between the site: operator and the domain name. </ul><ul>Example Google site: Searches <li>“ Bill Gates”
  62. 62. Obama
  63. 63. John Doe site:mil
  64. 64. John Doe
  65. 65. “ John Doe” site:edu
  66. 66. John L. Doe
  67. 67. “ John Doe”
  68. 68. Donald Trump
  69. 69. Schwarzenegger </li></ul>
  70. 70. 12. Advanced Google Search <ul>If you are unsure of all the different options the Google search engine gives you for searching online or don't feel like remembering them, you can always use Google's advanced search page ( link on the right ). Note : the more information you provide on the person you are looking for ( see Tip #1 ), the better Google will be at finding information on that person. </ul><ul><li>Google Advanced Search </li></ul>
  71. 71. 13. Public Records Searches <ul>Government public records can also be a great way to find a person or find information on a person. The closer a person lives to a major metro area, the more likely you will find valuable public records searches that can yield information on that person. Some of the more common public records available online are listed on the right. </ul><ul>Popular Public Records Online <li>Property and tax assessor searches to find ownership of a property.
  72. 72. Civil and Criminal records, court cases and dockets.
  73. 73. City, county, state and federal inmate searches.
  74. 74. Vital records
  75. 75. Unclaimed property searches.
  76. 76. Business entity and UCC searches </li></ul>
  77. 77. More on Public Records <ul>You can find a large number of the more popular city, state and federal public records searches at on our Public Records Searches page. In addition, if there is a public records resource you are unaware of, some quick Google searches will usually find it, provided it exits. Some example Google searches for public records can be reviewed on the right. </ul><ul>How-to Google Public Records <li>Los Angeles county property tax assessor search
  78. 78. Ohio sex offender search
  79. 79. Florida business entity or UCC search
  80. 80. New York city civil case search
  81. 81. South Carolina vital records
  82. 82. Federal inmate search
  83. 83. Georgia inmate search
  84. 84. Ohio professional license search </li></ul>
  85. 85. 14. Post to Craigslist <ul>Each metro area on has a personals section called “Missed Connections”. If all else fails, you may want to post your search for someone under this section in all city, state areas that are at or near where the person you are looking for has lived, in the hopes that they or someone who knows them will see the post and contact you. </ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  86. 86. 15. Special Classmate Searches <ul>Searching for high school and college classmates has become easier than ever, due to big social networks like and However, there are still two old standbys that are still great for finding and contacting former classmates online, they are and ( links to the right). You may also want to try the Google University search. </ul><ul>Classmate Searches <li>
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  88. 88. Google University Search
  89. 89. * In addition, for high school searches, you may want to call your high school and ask who is in charge of the class reunion for the year your friend graduated; then make contact with the reunion organizer and see if they have any contact information for the person. </li></ul>
  90. 90. 16. Live People Search Chat <ul> offers live people search help through a chat window during scheduled and unscheduled times. For more information, try the link on the right. </ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  91. 91. 17. Use Snail Mail <ul>After all your online searching, if you still can't find and contact the person by phone or internet, you may want to try good old snail mail. Send a letter to every address you have for the person, including recent addresses and old addresses, and to all potential relatives that you identify through your searches. </ul><ul>When sending letters to addresses where the person has lived, use RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED on the envelope to return any forwarding address the person has left with the post office. Use the guidelines below from the United States Postal Service on how to use the ancillary RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED service on envelopes: USPS Address Services </ul>
  92. 92. Use of This Material You are free to reuse, publish and distribute this material in any form you wish, as long as credit to is given and links ( if reused in digital form) to all resources remain intact. Thank you.