How to Find People: A Totally Free People Find

by Contributor

Looking to find people? Background information can be found in totally free ways. You just have to know where to start looking, how to look, and what tools to use.

START WITH WHAT YOU KNOW. You may need to skip steps or rearrange them based on the information and data you have in order to find people. Background relationships, actions, jobs, etc. can guide you on where to start. People finding isn't a lock step process...but there are steps you can take.

USE LIMITED SEARCHES TO FIND PEOPLE. Background on limited searches: A limited search can help you find people in several different ways. First you can give specific phrases that have to be present together in that order by using a set of quotation marks. Simply surround their full name, for example, in the search box with quotation marks. Add further specifiers and limiters by using words such as AND or NOT. AND command requires the search results to have both elements such as "John Whereishe" AND "Somewhere, PA" NOT "Anywhere, PA." This quickly limits the searches to the specifics you have to find people, background included.

USE RELATIONSHIPS TO FIND PEOPLE. A totally free people find technique is to simply look for people you know are connected. Sometimes in a relationship there is one net savvy person and another net avoider. Look for the one you know will have a website, a listed email, or a contact page online.

USE SOCIAL NETWORKING TOOLS TO FIND PEOPLE. Background searches aren't the only way to find people. Facebook and twitter are increasingly helpful at reconnecting. If you went to school together, search facebook's network connected with your school. Look for relationships and friends that would connect you with them. If you think their name might have changed, look simply for their first name.

USE PUBLIC INFORMATION TO FIND PEOPLE. If you know a county where someone lives but don't have an address don't lose hope. If they are homeowners your county auditor or assessor has their address in a publicly searchable file, often online. Search for the last name using your county's website. You can also check other public records such as auctions, court trials, and newspapers.

USE YOUR OWN NETWORK TO FIND PEOPLE. Do you know where people are who might know where this person is? Send out a mass email titled 'looking for...' and see if you can find any leads.

TRICK THE PAID PEOPLE FINDERS. Many paid people finders will only give you initial information to get you hooked. But a few of them will give you the name, age, and town before they make you pay. If you can find one of those, that information may be all you need to then use the internet's free resources to find the rest. See more tips and warnings on people finding below.


  • Just ask yourself, 'How would I find this person in 1950?' Send letters to relatives, contact old connections between you, drive to the to town you think they might be in and look around.


  • Make sure you are looking for someone who wants to be found.
  • Don't look up some old flame while you are still married. Come on now... don't be that creep. If you do, you are just trying to poison your cake and eat it too.

Photo Credits

  • (c) Dimkyy l