Searching for a Living Individual

Searching for a living individual.

A really close friend recently asked me recently if I have any special tricks to finding living people. He had tried to find a cousin of his wife, but kept running into sites that cost and didn’t guarantee that the person they were providing data on was the right person.  He indicated that he was getting really frustrated.
Now my friend knows that, as a genealogist, I would want all of the information on the individual that he had. So he provided lots of basic information (names and dates changed for privacy reasons).

John Doe
Born in October 1948
Parents were Curtis Doe and Lorraine Olson
He married Nancy Smith in 1967
They had three children, Jane, Mitchel, and Todd
He and Nancy divorced in about 1991
He sometimes went by the nickname of Jack.
My friend also proved the last known addresses for John.  He had several addresses, mostly in Minnesota, and one in New Jersey.


If I couldn’t find John’s location today with that much information, he didn’t want to be found.
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I find that Facebook and Linked in are the best sources for finding people living today. In the case of John Doe, neither search yielded anyone that appeared to be him. (I guess John is probably a Luddite,) Next a search for one of his kids.
A girl born in the 60s or 70s is probably married, so I figured I’d begin with one of the boys. I looked for Todd and a very likely candidate popped right up.  I also looked at his “friends;” he had one named Mitch Doe.  He lived in Minnesota only a few miles from where John Doe lived in the ‘90s. Another Doe was listed; it was a women.  Photos that were shared indicated that it must be the wife of Mitch and not the sister.
Another approach that sometimes works for me is It isn’t that Zabasearch always works but they also provide “sponsored results.”  In this case the sponsored results yielded five results and one of them was associated with Hyacinth, Nancy, Mitch, and Todd. The sponsored result also indicated three locations in New Jersey (one the same town my friend provided) and several in Minnesota.  It also provided John’s current city.  I could have paid a couple bucks for the information provided there.   I knew my friend didn’t want to spend anything so I continued on.


Oh, before I go on, besides Zabasearch, I highly recommend  They provide reports for a fee. You get a pretty good report for only a couple dollars ($1.95).
Then, I looked him up on both White Pages and 411 ( and and got the same New Jersey phony number, 732-555-1234. Just to be certain, I did a quick area code look-up, on Google, a search for  “area code 732”  brought up a Wikipedia article which indicated the area code was in New Jersey – Perfect.
I copied and pasted the name, age, phone number, and addresses into an email to my friend.

I recommended the following course of action:  

Call his cousin via the number provided.
Contact/email his kids on Facebook and see if they will facilitate contact.  (Note: All the kids are adults.)
US Mail his cousin.
If the above don’t work, spend the $2 at Intelius for a report.