How to find a person
March 28, 2004 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find someone from my childhood. I've googled and used, but neither has turned anything up. Are there any good people-finding sites that I might not know about? I'd be willing to pay a small amount (under $100) if necessary.

To make things more difficult, this is a woman, so she might have changed her name in the 30 years that have gone by since I knew her.
posted by grumblebee to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1) On Mefi long ago someone commented about keeping a webpage with a list of people they had lost touch with. Since it got indexed by google, people googling themselves (or in the same situation) came across the page. I recall the person also added keywords like the school name and cities.

Any results would be serendipitous, but hey, it's cheap and easy. Probably not the best step for actively trying to find someone.

2) Many school alumni associations doggedly pursue former students, so if you know the high school or university she ended up at they may be able to help by passing on a message (most of them won't give more than a zip code to people outside the community).
posted by whatzit at 9:43 AM on March 28, 2004

Whatzit is probably referring to Andy Baio/Waxy/Waxpancake's lost friends page.
posted by teg at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2004

I haven't used the service myself, but at has a search from US Search that peeks into govt records, etc. There's a cost involved, but it can look into her name and even get her married name.
posted by birdherder at 10:14 AM on March 28, 2004

Beyond waxpancake's method — which a great idea, BTW — I would suggest MyFamily People Finder.
posted by silusGROK at 10:19 AM on March 28, 2004

I can vouch for my method, which works very well. I've been able to get in touch with several people formerly on my "Lost Friends" list. The others who haven't responded either haven't come online yet, haven't searched for themselves yet, or simply don't want to be found.
posted by waxpancake at 10:26 AM on March 28, 2004

A few years ago my friend's ex from college was trying to find him via the internet. He never used so she didn't find any info already posted there, but she did leave a message on's boards for his highschool saying she was looking for him. Some of my friend's former highschool classmates who were still in touch with him and used, saw the messages and let him know about them. (He read the messages but chose not to contact his ex.) You may want to try something similar if you know her highschool/college name and class years. Maybe someone who is still in contact her will see it.
posted by Quinn at 12:34 PM on March 28, 2004

The previous AskMe thread mentioned above is:
"How do you relocate a long-lost friend online?"

posted by gluechunk at 1:21 PM on March 28, 2004

When the easy public methods fail, sometimes it's good to turn to marketing data. I'd recommend MelissaData. It's pretty affordable, too... under $20 for a single-person search, and under $40 for a month of free searches, if I recall correctly.
posted by namespan at 4:34 PM on March 28, 2004

i was always under the belief that was some kind of monstrous email harvester.

people have actually used with some success?
posted by fishfucker at 5:30 PM on March 28, 2004

i used classmates with some success. my class is lame, so i'm thinking i might need to get a reunion together myself, instead of student government, etc., so i joined.

i got in contact with three people i lost touch with out of the four i tried to get ahold of. another friend of mine had an old girlfriend contact him and then had a 2 year fling.

i think it's worth it.
posted by taumeson at 12:48 PM on March 29, 2004

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