Before we get started, I need to ask you to write to me and tell me
everything that has already been done on this search so I don't waste
time doing the same things. Next, I want you to read the following
search tips that I send to all people that ask for my help. I also
wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that all of you are
very special to me. But, I must ask you to please refrain from sending
me personal emails such as jokes and things of that nature - after
working 14 hours each day, my lil eyes are tired...
Also, it should probably only take a total of half an hour to
read this all the way through. Sometimes people start reading
it and then start clicking on the links and forget to finish,
so might I suggest that you read it all and THEN go back to try
some of the links.
Please always put the name of the person we are searching for up
in the subject line, first name first (e.g. John Smith), when
replying. This is very important - if you don't do that, I have to
search for it and that is very time consuming, especially since I
read and respond to a couple hundred of your emails each and every
day. It is also part of my filing system. If you have posted a
message in The-Seeker, actually, I'd prefer that you use your
message number up in the subject line instead.
Although this is a rather lengthy message, it would behoove you to
read the whole thing. It may make the difference on you finding the
people that you are searching for or NOT finding them. I read soooooo
many messages everyday that it's sometimes hard to remember who ya
sent what to. I am the Editor of The-Seeker, which is where most of
you know me from.
It's also very important to notify me if any of your contact
information changes - ESPECIALLY your email address. If this occurs,
just drop me a line and I'll gladly go back in there and fix it for
you and update my files. It is very sad when I finally have a match
and then can't get the people reunited due to outdated contact info.
If you are an adoptee or birthparent - refer to search tip #9.
There are some excellent resources in the links below. Now, here
are some search tips for you and if after reading these, if there
is something you want to add or change in the message you have
already posted with me, just send me the info and I'll gladly go
back in there and fix it for you:
1) always double check your email address when posting messages.
You'd be surprised how many come back to me because they are incor-
rect. This is not a good thing - especially if I have found someone
for you and then I can't get the info to you.
2) be as specific as you can when posting your message. For
instance, if you are looking for an old school chum, make sure you
put in the name of the high school and the city and state and the year
3) if you are an adoptee - be sure to include what sex you are
and what race you are if applicable. Also, another good place to
search are the alumni sites - especially for females because they also
have their maiden names listed in those types of sites. Contact your
birthparent's old schoolmates if you know where they graduated from.
I have a classmates.com membership and I will gladly do this for you
if you can provide me with enough info.
4) when using the links below to search, if you don't have success
using a full name, try using just the first initial. If it is an
unusual first name, just plug in the first name and it will list
anyone with that first name - same goes for an unusual last name. Also,
let's say you're looking for a Daniel Joshua White. If you don't have
luck with Daniel or Daniel J White, you might want to try just 'D' or
'D J' White.
5) if searching for "Jimmy", and your search turns up 0
try James or again, just the first initial. Let's say the person
you're looking for is named Larry - try Lawrence, Laurence, etc.
If you're looking for a person named Frances/is, a good rule of
thumb is that females usually are "es" and males are "is".
I remember is "es" for her and "is" for "his". If
you know the
person's middle initial and yield no results using it, drop it
and try for just the first and last name. Sometimes just using the
first few letters of the first name is also a good idea. In the
instance of Francis, search just using 'Fran' for your search
criteria as Frank is another possible listing for the name of
Francis as well as for the female version of Frances. A lot of
gals go by Fran or Frannie. Simply look at the first name and go
from there in deciding what part of it to use.
6) if you still don't have any luck, try searching for a brother,
or a father or mother, or even a good friend of the person that
you're looking for. It's usually easier to find a male than a female
due to marriage and the last name changing. OR...if you know the
hometown, you can sometimes search for anyone with the last name of
that person and find a relative that can maybe help you. Again,
classmates.com or similar sites for high school reunion registries
are always a good choice. Classmates.com charges an annual fee, but
it is by far the best one out there, in MY opinion. The others are
very good too, but this particular one even allows you to search K-12
and colleges as well.
7) if, for instance, you find, let's say, 15 matches for the per-
son's name that you are searching for, and you don't want to phone
them all and decide to write a letter to all of them, ALWAYS include
a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with each one. Explain to
them that you found 15 matches for anyone with that particular name
and ask them to please take a minute RIGHT THEN AND THERE and use the
envelope you have enclosed to let you know ONE WAY OR THE OTHER if
they are the person you were searching for. Let them also know that
you have sent the same letter to all 15 people with that name. Include
very specific details in your letter so that when the RIGHT one
receives your letter, there is no question that THEY are the correct
8) If you're lucky enough to have the person's social security
number, here's something you can try - it sometimes takes a few months
to get an answer. Write a letter to the person that you're searching
for and place it in a stamped envelope with your return address and
address it to them. Now, write a letter to the Social Security Admin.
explaining why you need to find the person. Make out another
self-addressed, stamped envelope. Next, place all of this into an
envelope and mail it to:
Social Security Administration
Baltimore, MD 21235-0001
If the person you are looking for is working and paying social
security, or drawing social security, they will have an address for
them and will then forward the letter for you. Remember, even if
the person receives your letter, there is no guarantee that they
Searching in California? Try this:
DVM MESSAGE FORWARDING
Sometimes we aren't sure if the person we are looking for is dead
or not. Here are a few places that you can check. Please be advised
that there are some graphic photos in here!
9) ADOPTION RELATED SEARCHES:
The very first thing you should do is go to this link and fill out
the form: http://www.isrr.net/NewFiles/ISRR_reg.pdf
This is for the
ISRR - it is a registry for adoptees and birthparents and is a mutual
consent registry. Instructions on what to do with this form are at:
Next, go here: http://www.the-seeker.com/relative.htm
Where it says categories, click on "check all" and in keywords, just
keep plugging in different info to see if you can find a "match".
For instance, type in the name of the hospital, the adoptee, or the
birthparent's name as listed on your birth certificate, if you're
lucky enough to have one. When typing in your birthdate, try every
variation that you can think of. For example, June 22, 1952 could
be typed in as 06/22/52 - 6/22/52 - 52/6/22 - 1952 June 22 - I'm sure
you get the picture here. Try the attorney's name, doctor's name, your
birthweight - anything you can think of. When you click on "seek
now", any message posted that has your keyword or phrase in it will
come up. There are also quite a few more adoption resources listed
below in the actual search links. Again... check the alumni
registries. Here is a good place to get started:
Compiled by Kerrylynn- firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED ~ 09-21-2000
*Please feel free to pass this information on to others*
Adoption Search Sites ARE AVAILABLE on my home page
By State or Category and Washington D. C., Native American Links,
Canada. Be sure and post your search information while you are
visiting my home page.
Tina's State by State Adoption Information page
ADOPTION INFO - good stuff!
Adoptees' Liberty Movement Association
NATIVE AMERICAN ADOPTION LINK
One more thing... if you can find a birthname, and know what hospital
you were born in, ask your family Dr. to request your birth records.
While files are sealed at the agency/state level, hospitals are often
not involved in this process and many times these records come with
birthparent's names intact as well as other identifying information.
Your Dr. should not mention adoption, only a medical necessity/need.
If YOU request these records, you will be told that they no longer
exist, or have been destroyed. In fact, they were most likely
transferred to microfiche or film before the hard copy was disposed
of and take a Drs order to research and retrieve.
The Cole Baby Registry
ISO adoptees of the 40'S & 50'S in TEXAS
Where you adopted in the 40's or 50's in Texas?
ISO siblings adopted as babies in the 40'S & 50'S in TEXAS
Are you looking for siblings???
Searching for Siblings Registry
Siblings Mailing Lists
Where you adopted in the 50's? But not in Texas?
ADOPTION - good info !
10) It is my understanding that most states offer a message forwarding
service through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a small fee.
You might want to call your local DMV to check out what their procedure
is in your area. Here is another helpful link. It will allow you to
access quite a few public records for different states:
11) I'm seeing an awful lot of requests for directory looks ups
from people across the country. You can dial 00 and press "1" and
get the operator to look up a name across the nation - you don't
need a city or state. Far more up to date than many of the online
directories, it is updated fairly quickly, like within 2 or 3 days,
some of the online directories are off by a few months. It's not
free, of course, it is like $1.50 or $2.50 or so, I forget.
12) Something else you can try since you are searching, is go to the
link below and place a free classified ad - Will run for 30 days free
in the CITY NEWS in the city or cities you're searching in. In 30
days they will mail you a URL to renew your free ad. It's a breeze
and it's FREE Folks. Get the word out about your searches.
13) If we find the person you were searching for is deceased, you
will need to obtain a death certificate as well as a copy of the
obituary. Here is how to do that:
The first thing you may want to consider is getting a copy of the
original social security application once you find a sure match in
the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). Here is the link to getting
that, as it just may hold some clues:
REQUEST COPY OF ORIGINAL SS APPLICATION FOR DECEASED PEOPLE
If you have the ss#, you can also get a copy of the death certificate.
This will give you the name of the 'informant', or who claimed the
body. As you know, this is probably a close relative, or even a spouse.
The funeral home will be listed and sometimes, they still have the
contact info for the informant at the time of death. At least you will
then have the last location of one of the closest relatives. Here's the
link that will help you with that part as well:
Vital Records Information for United States
(birth, death or marriage
Now, getting a copy of the obituary... If you can get your hands on
this, it could be very helpful. The easiest way to obtain one is to
contact a public library or a newspaper in the city where they last
lived. To get those listings, go to: http://yp.netscape.com/
Once you get there, set your location (the city the person died in).
Next, type in public library and click on search. For newspaper
listings, repeat the above process, only this time, type in
If you DON'T have a Social Security number, you can call the Social
Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. If you are a child of a
person that you are searching for, or a blood relative, tell them
that according to the Freedom of Information Act you are entitled
to this information and they should give it to you. This phone number
is also very helpful for you if you have a social security number and
have found a listing in the SSDI but it doesn't list a city or state
where the death occurred. They can sometimes tell you where the person
died and then you will be able to get a copy of the obituary.
Another thing... librarians are awesome and very helpful. Following,
is one of the largest genealogical libraries in the world. I do know
that they charge research fees, but they could probably provide you
with a wealth of info about this. Here's that info:
Family History Library
35 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-3400
Public Telephone Number: 801-240-2331
Although all may not pertain to your situation, there are some
powerful links here for everyone - there are even alumni links for
people looking for old school chums. The-Seeker has many good ones
that you can access right on their main page in their Site Seeking
Section at http://www.the-seeker.com,
but I've gone ahead and included
just a sampling of the thousands that are in there right here for your
convenience, on my links pages. The-Seeker, in my opinion, is by far
the best tool on the Internet for people that are searching. The site
has a gazillion searchable sites. In a lot of cases, just utilizing
this search information will be enough to find you're missing person.
If you have a correct birthdate or a ss#, I should be able to help you.
Also, if you have an idea of the last state a person was in and a
birthdate, or even just a birth year, I can search that information
The-Seeker, also has a radio program every Saturday. It is very
informative and is heard all over the world. You are all, as always,
welcome to call in and tell listeners who you are looking for, or
announce an upcoming reunion or event, it is toll free: 1-800-488-1280.
You can call to let the whole world know who you're looking for every
Saturday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST. The host of the program is Linda
Hammer, founder of The-Seeker. To listen live on your computer, just
click on http://www.the-seeker.com/
and scroll down the page until you
see 'Listen Live'. Click on that and the program can be heard from
your computer if you have Media Player or Real Player. If you don't
have either one of those, you can download either one for free right
from the above link.
And there ya have it....
Thanx and good luck !