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How to find a person's previous address

Updated March 21, 2017

The reasons to know a person's previous address, including verifying someone's identity through a residential history, needing to contact previous neighbours for a reference or conducting a background check. Previous address information is available through a variety of sources, from libraries to online database searches. Best of all, most of these are free.

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  1. Research old telephone books. Your local library maintains older telephone books, often going back 10 years or more. Look up the person's name in older telephone books to retrieve previous addresses.

  2. Do a reverse name search. There are search engines that offer free reverse name searches, such as 123people, which examines websites, blogs, Instant Messenger (IM) logs. Go to 123people.com; enter the person's name, city and state; press the "Search" button and review the results. This requires some investigative work as you're looking for instances of the person's name and any associated addresses, some of which may be previous addresses.

  3. Conduct a free search at the clerk and recorder's office. Go to the clerk and recorder's office for the county in which the person lived. Ask the clerk for instructions on researching a granter/grantee index by name. This index shows titles to properties, which also shows previous addresses for a person. The National Association of Counties (NACO) website contains listings of county offices throughout the United States, with instructions for locating their contact information .

  4. Hire a private investigator. An investigator has the skills and resources to research a person's residential history. To find a qualified private investigator, contact your state professional private investigator association or contact a reputable law firm and ask what investigators they recommend for people searches.

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About the Author

In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.

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