General Question

Mr_Saturn512's avatar

How can you look someone up for free?

Asked by Mr_Saturn512 (392 points ) July 30th, 2014

Say you’re an old guy and you were wondering if an old friend of yours even still lives in a certain town. Can you go to the town hall or something and ask their records or whatever? Would that be weird?

Say that you don’t have Internet or cellphone (even so, sites that look people up are iffy and can be inaccurate). I guess you could look up the Yellow Pages or something but sometimes people have ways of preventing themselves from being printed on there.

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13 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Have you tried Facebook? I found cousins I never met before and old friends I had not talked to in 30 years on Facebook. Also, if you just google their name and city, even if it is the city they lived in many years ago, some of their information will come up for free, and probably will help you determine their current city.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Google is your friend!

zenvelo's avatar

Go to the public library, and ask for the telephone directory for the town you want to check.

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LuckyGuy's avatar

Try anywho white pages . It is very good – and free.

hearkat's avatar

[Mod says] Please remember that this is in the General section, so responses must be helpful and relate to the OP. Thanks!

ibstubro's avatar

So, you say that I’m an old guy without internet and I’m looking for an old friend?

I find a young friend with internet (or even, gasp another old guy that uses the internet, like me? and have them Google the old friend’s name, check the white page (Yellow pages are businesses) listings and search Facebook. (All mentioned above.)

Still having trouble? Check the same places for mutual friends or classmates. Search the family name in and around the town [you appear to know].

Smitha's avatar

Try googling his name and state or search on Facebook ,Myspace, Friends Reunited, ubfound or Linkedin. Good luck getting acquainted again.

Mr_Saturn512's avatar

I don’t think people quite understood my question.

Let’s just say you’re on your own and for whatever reason you can’t use the Internet. You have no home. You’re just wandering into a town. Forget the Internet. Pretend there’s no library. This is just you walking into town. Is there a place you could ask – like some municipal department or whatever – to look and see if someone lives in the town?

LuckyGuy's avatar

You could go into the county court house and look through their public records of marriages, property ownership, judgements, or any other records. If someone lives in a place for a long period of time they are likely to need to register something with the county.
My county has records online but the old books still exist.

JLeslie's avatar

County court house as @LuckyGuy suggested. Basically, the department where you pay your property taxes. They should have a computer either open for public use or one where a clerk will help you look up any information about a property in the county. When you search online on the internet you can do it by name. I assume the county computers works the same, but it’s possible it is only by address I don’t know. I can’t imagine it’s different. They also have it all copied onto microfiche usually as a hard copy. This is in America, other countries might not consider property ownership public record accessible to the population at large.

People who need to keep their identity and where they live hidden from the public buy property in the name of a corporation as one way to make it more difficult for the public to find them.

If the person doesn’t own property then there won’t be a place to look up someone like you are talking about. Unless they have a landline phone and they allow the number to be published and someone in town has a phone book they can let you look through.

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