A number of individuals occasionally need to look for people, from adoptees trying to locate birth parents, creditors looking for debtors, party planners trying to arrange reunions, or people simply trying to re-establish contact with long-lost friends and relatives. The automation of many vital government records, such as birth and death certificates and obituaries, into online databases and the increasing popularity of social networking sites means that you can access a wide array of information using the Internet. Armed with a name and date of birth, you can quickly search thousands of national databases to find the individual you seek.
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Search public records such as obituaries, birth and death registries and county appraisal records using free databases such as Zabasearch.com and USA.gov, the US government's information portal. Using the person's name and an accurate date of birth should increase your chances of locating the individual you seek within these records.
Search social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace for the individual. You can input the person's name and then use profile pictures and age (if given) to further narrow down potential matches.
Run a query through online people search databases such as BirthDatabase.com, PeopleSearchNow.com or Abika.com. You simply input the name and date of birth to generate a list of results. If you see a result that looks promising, you will generally need to pay the service to access more detailed information.
Hire a private investigation service to help with your search. You can give them any information you have gathered on the individual and allow them to conduct a more detailed search; perhaps even going to various locales to look at non-electronic records.
Tips and warnings
- If you are trying to find a woman, she might have changed her last name as a result of marriage. If you only have one name for her and suspect this might be the case, you might have better luck searching using only her first name and date of birth.
- When using USA.gov, just type the name and birth date into the search field to find a variety of hits.
- Try downloading a Facebook advanced search application (link in Resources) to help you quickly search through Facebook profiles using age.
- Location information, even if it is the last place you suspect the person lived, is essential to finding anybody using the Internet or public records databases.
- Make sure you use a reputable people search database or private investigation service; check with the Better Business Bureau before paying for a service to make sure the organisation or individual has a good reputation.
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