A good first step is to get in the habbit of saving results of your public-records “people find” searches as you go along.  

The information that you collect as you search is free for you to use to further refine your searches.

Like a private detective looking for clues,  public records is a research process, use research strategies in finding the missing persons you are looking for.

You can add to your base of known data , what you had to begin with and what youhave already discovered as you find more information.  Addresses, personal information, telephone numbers and, particulary, possible relatives.

Why would you be searching for someone if you already had an address or phone number?  Well, possibly because that information is no longer valid for some people.  Find those people however, by using data you do have.  It can still be used in the web people search sites because frequently old addresses and phone numbers are still associated with individuals and many times that information is available for you to check with current information that you do not have yet.

Finding people through the web people search engines is like playing private detective on you own computer.  Approach the search effort from that perspective.  When you have no information at all for the person you want to find other than just a name, your going to have to look clues as you go along.  Putting clues together for the next search will help you find your girl or guy.

Save The Public Records Information As You Go

When looking for people find and use the commercial people search engines, the ones that require a small payment once you find your search target.   You’re paying for the use of their search engine and the daabase of public information they have compiled.

These pay search sites have huge databases and are far more convenient to use than looking for information through government and other so-called “free” search sites.

Don’t use just one when starting out, try several of them. You will find one better than another for your particular purpose. All of them return lists of individuals that you can sort and filter according to useful variables, e.g., name, city and state.  If you any such information handy, use it,  in the beginning, and  as you find more.

Remember, as you find it, save the useful clues to organize your thoughts and focus your investigation of public-records search results. People searching is actually fun, but keep organized and stay focused.

You will frequently get long lists names if the person you want has a common name. Several things are useful in narrowing down that list.  Middle initials and age or birth date in the search engines that offer these search options are very handy to use.  Make use of the people finder search engines that have age, birth date and middle name or initial text boxes.

Lots of Public Records Information is Actually Free

Most public records sites afford free people search, at least in the beginning phases.  Don’t start right off giving up your credit card data, for two reasons. 

First you may get a long list that doesn’t contain your target name anywhere.  You don’t want to pay for that if it’s possible to narrow the size of the list.

Secondly, you’re not only losing money, but you’re wasting time.  Do some research first.  It doesn’t cost any more to buy a long list than a short one, but do you really want to call all the people on that long list?  Use the search engines for nothing first, to make your list shorter, then buy the list.

You can do a lot of investigating before you finally want to pay for the detail. If you do it intelligently, write things down, you may not have to pay at all. In any case, don’t pay until you are fairly certain you will have
your target name on the list.

If you’re looking for a girl you knew in high school, or even a married woman with whom you lost touch over the years, she may have a new married name. Many people-search sites provide for searching marriage license indexes. Use the free search first to see if you find her maiden name with a likely date, both for her age and the time of the marriage.

The free search will not provide her new name, you will most likely have to pay for that. But once you have it, you can use the other people-finder search engines to locate your target.

The marriage information will also provide the husband’s first name, which will be useful in narrowing down your search. Again, use all the information you’ve accumulated, husband and wife’s ages, marriage dates, birth dates, age and possible relatives when those are listed.

To find one long lost friend, I entered her last name into a marriage license search and got two hits, one for a groom and one for a bride. Obviously, the bride was what I was looking for, so I could ignore the groom. No information was given though, except the last name I had entered, so in order to find her married name at this point, I had to pay for the marriage license information.  You won’t get a copy of the license, but you will get the pertinent data.

After you get some free data, before you pay anything, don’t forget to try Google. Frequently, you can get addresses and telephone numbers through Google for nothing.

But use the commercial public records databases for the free information they provide to narrow your search results and provide new directions to guide your search.