How to Do a People Search With Residence History
By David Sarokin
For better or for worse, the Internet is a deep source of information on individual people. You can find databases that show current name, address and phone listings, along with information on former residences and even addresses from past decades and generations. The information is useful for genealogical work and for general background checks on someone you want to know more about.
Check Intelius. This commercial people-search service has a large database that includes current as well as previous address information. You can search Intelius at no charge. The results of a simple name search will show names as well as present and past cities of residence, but there is a fee to obtain full address listings.
Search at Ancestry.com. This popular family-history site provides access to recent and historical telephone directories and other public records information.
Use the "Search" feature at Ancestry from the pull-down menu (don't use the "Family Tree" search, as this doesn't return residential results). An initial search is free, but you'll need to sign up to the service to see the full listings. Ancestry offers users a free trial.
Search at pipl.com. This free online search tool compiles personal information from social networking sites like Facebook, online directories, public records and hundreds of other sources of information across the Internet. The amount of personal information available is surprising and often includes present and past addresses.
Search online historical directories if you really want to dig into the past. FreeGenealogyTools.com offers links to a host of online directories from past decades and centuries. There is no charge to access these.
- Credit reports generally contain the most complete address history for a living person. However, these are available only to financial and real estate professionals and cannot be accessed by the general public.
David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. He has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government. David is the author of Missed Information (MIT Press, 2016), a book exploring how better information can lead to a more sustainable future.