What is a people search?
It has become quite fashionable these days for people to use the internet to look up old friends from school and even to try and track down previous boyfriends and girlfriends! Whether using social media like Facebook or more specialist websites, everyone is using the internet to reconnect with old acquaintances – or even to search for missing family members who they have lost contact with. Of course, something like Facebook and other social media is great for a bit of a fun, but it hardly provides a comprehensive search. After all, not everyone signs up for these kinds of websites, many people get married and change their name and there are so many different sites like Facebook to choose from, that it could take you a long time to search each and every different type of social media for the one person you are looking for.
While it is great fun to track down old school friends to say hi and find out what they’re doing, or maybe even arrange to meet up after many years, there is a more serious side to carrying out a people search. A lot of people who are trying to use the internet to find someone are looking for missing people. Whether this means someone who has literally disappeared or a family member that they lost touch with, it can be heartbreaking to lose contact with someone you love and the internet and other searches can make tracking down lost people much easier. Sometimes just knowing where someone is and that they are alive and well is all that the person doing the search wants at the end of it. Others want to try and get back in touch with someone they lost many years ago. Facebook is fine for some fun or killing some time at the office, but if you want to carry out a serious people search, then there are much better resources out there.
There are dozens, if not more, people search services available out there, many of which pull together all kinds of data and records from all over the United States. You will often have to pay a fee for using these kinds of sites, especially if you want to see all the information they have found on a given individual, but you can relax knowing that the search you have carried out using their data will be as comprehensive as possible. You can also be confident that these nationwide sites will have found the right person and that they will also have at their, and therefore your, fingertips all the information available on that individual. By searching yourself you could waste a lot of time on wild goose chases, looking for details on the wrong individual simply because two people born around the same time, in around the same place, have similar names. If you want to carry out a serious search for missing or lost people, then you can’t afford not to use a serious organization to do the hard work for you and to get it right.
Once you have decided that you are going to use one of these paid search sites to locate people, then it is time to find the one that suits your needs best. Google phrases like “how do I find people” or “where can I find friends” and you should get back lots of hits with links to the kind of companies that search for people throughout the United States all the time. Make sure you check out what kind of fees you have to pay up front and if you still have to pay even if they don’t find anything. Many of these companies have a money back guarantee so that if you fail to find the person or the people information you are looking for you can cancel the agreement and it won’t have cost you a penny.
Why carry out a people search?
As mentioned previously, one of the most common reasons for carrying out a people search is to track down missing people or long-lost friends and relatives. These people may have been missing for many years, but perhaps something has happened recently that makes you want to find someone. Often when people find out they are ill they decide to track down relatives that they may have lost contact with in the past; sometimes an older relative dies leaving something in their will to a missing person; in many cases as people get older they decide that whatever arguments caused them to lose touch with their friends or relatives in the past are no longer important and that they would rather try and find them to make amends.
A very common reason for carrying out a people search is young people looking for parents that they never knew. Perhaps a mother or father walked out when they were very small and they have spent their whole lives wondering who they are. They may only have snippets of information about them, but by using a professional search website, these tiny snippets can be used to track down the individual concerned. Of course, just tracking down a lost mother or father isn’t a guarantee that you will then be able to get in touch or that they will be interested in meeting you too, but for a lot of people just knowing where their missing relative is, and that they are safe and well, is enough.
Tracking down lost relatives or friends after someone has died is another common situation, especially if they have been left something in the will. Other reasons for carrying out a people search could be to tell them they are a father, to warn them about a risk to their health or to try and track down someone who owes you money. There are quite probably hundreds of reasons why United States residents might want to find someone – not all of them pleasant – but it can be a very daunting task on your own. This is why online people search websites are a much better, and much more effective, alternative.
How to carry out a people search
If you are going to try and carry out a people search yourself, it is pretty much essential to know which state’s records you need to look at. If you don’t know which state they are living in now or may have lived in at any time in the past, then you will waste hours searching for your missing relative in the databases of every state in the US. This is something that online search websites will do for you; even if you only have very basic details like the person’s name and an estimated date of birth, these sites will allow you access to their national database and return the most likely candidates, based on the little information you have provided.
However, if you do know which state they are living in and have lived in for most of their life, then that does make carrying out your own search a little easier as you can then look at state-wide databases of records for births, marriages, divorces and deaths. You can also use the search facilities on the websites of local newspapers to see if your missing people are ever mentioned in their pages. Even with the knowledge of which state to look at, it can still take many hours or even days of searching through online documents to find the relevant information and not everyone has that kind of spare time. This is another reason why the commercial search sites are a better option. It is much better to pay them a few dollars and have access to all their information, than it is to spend hours searching for your missing relative only to find nothing and have to resort to a paid site in the end anyway!