Daves guide on how to trace people for Family history (also applicable for identity theft).

Once you have traced your family tree, you no doubt want to check if your right or delve
into the background of particular individuals. You can do this by contacting people on the tree leaf nodes.

Option 1: Find a service. Note this may include deriving information illegally from the corruptable.

Option 2: Use the following resources.

Ingredients (choose more than one of the following):

Google - obvious starting place. This is a gateway site which will open a particular
avenue or take you to a specialist, probably paid for / subscription site.
Don't forget the power of google cache - what goes online stays online as the
Internet archive will show you.
There are some new sites such as pipl which are specifically geared to person searches but just index like seach engines.

192.com or ukinfo disk software (available from the same website).
This site holds historical electoral roll records 2002-2005 (full register) and then
subsequently, the edited register. You can search names and addresses and also a directory enquires search.
In addition, BT provide directory enquires (not historical).

BMD index site - www.thegenealogist.co.uk & UKBMD etc. These are now becomming useful as they hold
BMD records near to the present day (only hold England and Wales indexes).
One note about birth registrations - these also contain re-registered
births (adoptions, name changes) and duplicates for double-barreled names.
The index does not make this clear so a bit of confusion may occur.
Also any other local authority specific sites such as burials / graves online indexes
show recent deaths and owners of grave plots, if you have been a little tardy in your research.
Dating information containd therein will tell you which archive local newspaper obits to read.
As access to data progresses, Council are externally facing all sorts of other databases
such as licensing records etc. etc.

www.creditgate.com  - search for higher net worth individuals who may be
registered as limited company directors (proper board members, not poncey titled ones and not
sole traders/partnerships). Then use juniper (company info) etc at your local library to flesh out the details.
Remember to take storage for downloading reports. 192.com also has a simular service but I cannot
comment on its usefulness. You may find companies house some use.

Also related is the Individual Insolvency Register showing DOB and addresses, England and Wales.

Friends reunited - check details, changes of address, maiden names, spouse & no children info.

The sibling site Genes reunited (paid for site) - shows peoples family trees, searchable by name & dates.
You can then contact the person who has put your target individual in their tree.
Also other social networking websites for younger people such as bebo, facebook, my space, etc.
The profiles may link to other people which can validate or corroborate identity.
Although some users may use privacy settings, these can be circumnavigated by way
of add-on applications provide by the site.
Note all data contained on contact & social networking sites are untrustworthy.

Net house prices - check if your target has 'sold' a property recently that has been
recorded with the land registry when using out of date sources (does not work for renters or home swaps).
Lets you know if they have moved house in the past 3 months.
rightmove.co.uk - biggest online estate agent & aggregator in the country - see if
the address of your 'target' is for sale, indicating a move.

Whois - for personal domain names, companies etc (i.e. someone call Fred Smith with a website fredsmith.com
Websites www.networksolutions.com/whois/ and whois.domaintools.com
These sites may yield addresses and email addresses unless registrant opt-out has been used.
Also IP address database may contain data. Useful for getting email addresses. See RIPE for Europe

talktalk.net - Local loop unbundling - used to check/validate postcode and phone number
Combinations. Telecos with presence at BT exchanges have access to land line phone numbers
and there associated post codes. If you enter a postcode and phone number which is accepted,
chances are someone on that street has that phone number.

Local planning websites - sometimes a Google search will hit a local authority (council) planning
website or planning application report. More often than not, the content canít be indexed so searching the
planning system may yield info if name searches can be done. LA Planning sites also
have Ordnance Survey maps.

There is one traditional resource not mentioned here yet and that is actually talking to somebody.
If not executed in the correct manner, it can be construed as social engineering - the new electronic
based term for this is phishing.

Tracing people forward involves similar skills adopted for genealogy research namely documentation and
recording sources of information (ie when & where you got it from and getting more than one corroborating source),
pattern recognition and matching etc. For example in the past, families live within one mile of one another.
This still holds true today.

Making contact

Finally, try to do this by phone. You get immediate response and feedback. Prepare what you need to say
and anticipate potential responses. Otherwise written forms are preferred next.
I would say you have a 50-50 change of a reply with written.
Rev 08-Mar-2009