How to Find a Person by Name & Town
By David Sarokin
If you're searching for the address and phone number of "John Smith" you're in trouble, because there are an awful lot of people that share that particular name. But if you know the town where Mr. Smith lives, you can narrow your results considerably. Your first stop is the phone book, of course, but if that doesn't provide the information you need, there are other tools you can use to find information on a person by name and town.
Search for the person at Pipl.com by entering the name, town and state in the proper search fields. Pipl scours the Internet for information on people and presents it in a well-organized fashion. It searches general sources such as Facebook and MySpace, and also consolidates information from many sources on the "invisible web" that are not usually included in a general Internet search.
Search at Intelius.com by entering the first and last names along with the town and state in the respective search fields on the Intelius advanced search page. Intelius is a commercial database with hundreds of millions of listings across the United States. Preliminary search results are free; there is a charge for a full listing.
Ask your local librarian. Libraries often have access to specialized institutional databases such as ReferenceUSA that are not otherwise available to the general public. Your librarian can help you find information on a person when you know the name and town in which they live.
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.