FINDING CONTACT INFORMATION FOR LIVING PEOPLE
©2022 Donald R. Snow --
Page last updated 2022-04-24
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ABSTRACT: Finding contact information for living people may be
very difficult when you want to find descendants of your ancestors
(your cousins) or old acquaintances, for example. Telphone books now only
include land phones and not cell phones and online websites may
charge you for information. This class will give you some
ideas to find contact information of living people primarily in the United States and will start with
some questions to give you some ideas of where to look. One question is whether they ae still alive or not. The notes for this class and related
articles, all with active internet links, are on my
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION TO CLASS
- Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( firstname.lastname@example.org
) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
- These notes, with active internet links and other related articles, are posted on Don's website
- Tips: (1) Easy to put an icon on your desktop for the
URL for these notes, or any website, by dragging the icon from in front of the address in
your browser onto your desktop. (2) To open a link from
here in another tab, so you keep your place in these notes, hold down
the Control key while clicking the link.
- Problem: How to find contact information for living people.
QUESTIONS TO GIVE YOU CLUES
- What is their full name and nicknames?
- If you knew them, where and when was that?
- What old contact information do you have, e.g.
phone number, address, email address,letters from
- Do you have, on old church directory, phone book,
business directory, etc. that they would be in.?
- Do you know someone who would know their information?
- Were they a member of some organization, e.g. a
church, school, Chamber of Commerce, trade union,
- Do you think they would still be alive?
KNOWING FULL NAME AND NICKNAMES
- Try typing various combinations of their names into Google.
- Use various name combinations in quotation marks to narrow the search.
- Use the Proximity search in Google, e.g. [given name] AROUND(4) [surname] -- finds the names within 4 words of each other and in either order
- Try using the Proximity search with their name and city or state where they lived.
SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX (SSDI)
- If it's been a long time since you've been in touch, check the
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) so see if they might be
- There are several versions of the SSDI online; a helpful and free one is -- https://www.mytrees.com/yao/SSDISearch.html -- but it only goes to May 2012; the version on FamilySearch goes to Feb 2014 -- https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1202535
USING OLD INFORMATION ABOUT THEM
- Old email addresses - type the old email address into Google and you may find that it is still alive or get an updated version; this works for old URLs too
- In search engines try variations of name and use the AROUND(n) command or NEAR command (NEAR is like AROUND(n), but you don't specify the maximum number of words between
- May be able to find articles or social media items posted by the person
- Call or email someone who lives near where they did or who knows them
- Send a postcard to where they used to live with your phone
and email address
- Keep in mind that they may not want you to contact them for several reasons, e.g., bill collectors
TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES ONLINE
- Printed and online telephone directories
now only list land phones, not cell phones
- Below are some helpful online phone directories, some charge $ and some show me show people related or associated so you know you have the correct person
- Ancestry -- https://www.ancestry.com/ -- has some searchable telephone directories
- FastPeopleSearch - free -- https://www.fastpeoplesearch.com/
- Spokeo.com --
- White Pages --
https://www.whitepages.com/ -- $ now
- PeekYou --
- Anywho -- https://www.anywho.com/
- Address.com -- https://www.addresses.com/
- Schools they attended, e.g. universities, high schools, trade schools
- If they have done some genealogy, try contacting
them trought the online tree, e.g. FamilySearch --
they won't give you the email address, but you may
be able to send an email with your information that
they will deliever, so the person can contact you.
- Check the U.S. censuses for names, addresses, and family relationships
- Check voter registration records -- all public, but may require info to search them
- FamilySearch Wiki -- https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Finding_Living_People_in_the_United_States
- Bob Rankin article --
- Cyndi's List -- https://www.cyndislist.com/ and https://www.cyndislist.com/finding-people/
- Finding people used to be much easier, but privacy laws now
make it difficult.
- You used to be able to send a stamped letter (open in an envelope) and the Membership Dept of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wold send it on, but not now. Some organizations may still do this for you.
- There are many commercial websites that will search, but subscriptions to some are very expensive.
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