A lot of people lose touch with friends and members of their family over the years. If this has happened to you and you don’t know where the person is anymore then you have a few options. When you want to reconnect with these people the best way to do this is through a people search.
There are a number of different ways to perform a people search. The Internet is available to you and it is a good tool to use for people searching. These days most people leave some kind of footprint online and when you use the right techniques you can find these clues. We will take a look at the various people search options that you have in this article.
Using Search Engines for your People Search
You can certainly find most things online by using a search engine such as Bing or Google. Sometimes you can use search engines for a people search as well. The main advantage of using a search engine for a people search is that it’s free. It will not always be the best way to find people though.
Most people only have the name of the person they are looking for. They may know something about where they used to live which might be useful. Start off by entering the full name of the person you want to find into the search engine.
If the person has a common name then you are going to get lots of results back from search engines that are not relevant. You will have to go through these results to see if they are the person you want to find or not. This can take a great deal of time and there is no guarantee that you will find the person using search engines.
Using Specific People Search Websites
There are a number of websites that will offer you the opportunity to find people you have lost touch with. Some of these are free and some require a payment. If you have a lot of information about the person you are looking for then it is possible that you could find them using a free people search website.
Some of the premium people search or background checks websites offer some functionality for free. It is worth trying this if the free websites do not produce the results you are looking for. In most cases it is worth paying the small fee requested from these websites for full information.
The premium background search websites usually have a lot more information available. They also update their system regularly which is very important. A lot of the information found on free websites can be out of date and you may find that a person has changed their address and contact details.
It costs money to keep the premium websites up to date. These websites employ a number of people to make sure that as much information as possible is available to users and that it is current. Some of these background check websites have thousands of members that support this endeavor.
Finding People through Census Data
This only applies to family members. If you want to find out information about a family member who is alive or dead then the GenWeb Census Project in the United States has records for most states going back a while.
The best way to start a people search in the census records is to find out the state where the person was born, is living now or where they died. The GenWeb Census Project has records going back to 1940. If you need to go back further than that then you will need to contact historical associations in the right state.
Using Social Media for a People Search
In the United States there are many adults over the age of 18 that have social media profiles. The most popular social media website is Facebook by far, but some people prefer to use Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn if they are a business person.
All of these social platforms have a search facility that you can use for people search. You can start by entering their name. If the person you are looking for has the name Bill Smith then you are going to get a number of results returned. You can narrow your search by adding geographic information such as a state or city.
You need to keep in mind that the user generates information on social media platforms and there is no guarantee of accuracy. There are unfortunately a lot of fake profiles on social media so it can be a real challenge to find the information that you are looking for.
Using Online Public Records for People Search
The government mandates all states to keep public records. By law the states have to make this information available to the public. Some states interpret public records differently to others so you might find that the information you require is not available.
A lot of states will make public records searchable online but not all of them do this. You can check this by using a search engine and entering the state followed by “public records”. If you find a website then read the information carefully about what is available and what is not.
Other agencies keep public records as well and a people search might bring the results that you want. You can look at records from health departments for example. The military provide records as well usually through national archives.
Hire a Private Investigator for a People Search
Most towns and cities have private investigators that you can hire to find people. If the private investigator is licensed then they will have a variety of different methods they can use to locate someone.
Don’t just hire the first private investigator that you find. Find out if they have a good track record by contacting the Better Business Bureau or another consumer assistance group. Private investigators are expensive so you need to do your homework.
The Best People Search Solution
You can spend hours of your time using search engines and social media to find someone and not get any answers. You can never be sure with public records either and there are likely to be some inaccuracies.
The best way to conduct a people search in the United States is to use a premium background check service. It will save you a great deal of time and effort and you are far more likely to find the information that you need.