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FINDING PEOPLE Techniques: Public Records

Updated on July 4, 2010

There are many reasons to find people these days, whether it be a long lost friend, a past romance, or any of the numerous other reasons that people search for others in the millions of people searches that are performed on google each month.

Many people try to find others online and think their only choices are to pay for sites like, Intelius, or any of the other leading people searches sites. There are plenty of websites and webpages that may give you the information you are looking for without having to pay someone else to do what you can do for free. So, I'm writing a series of articles on skip tracing and some of the techniques I use to find people for free. (Read my last article here.)

Today, I will be dealing with finding public records online, more specifically--property records. You may have no interest in what land or property the person owns, but don't look over the fact that the property records may lead you to their phone number or address.

At each county's Assessor's Office, are property records that are free to view. Start with the area the person lived that you last knew about. If you do not know the county in which the city resides, google search the city and state within quotes and type the word "county."

Example: "Springfield Illinois" county.

The google results should turn up the correct county. (There is probably an easier way to do it, but that's what works for me.) Then, google search the county and state within quotes along with "Assessor's Office."

Like this: "Sangamon County" Illinois "Assessor's Office"

I google searched with those terms for you and discovered that Sangamon County, Illinois, does not call their public land records office "Assessor's Office." Hmmm.... So, I found a tab entitled "Elected Officials" (since assessors are usually elected into that office) and found this page: which is where you'd need to look for public land records.

That was not planned, yet it brought up an interesting point. Think when you're searching and adapt. :0)

You've Found the County Records Site

Once you find the county land records site, you'll have to learn how that county keeps their records online. Many sites will let you search by several different categories: name, address, legal description, and subdivision. Obviously, you'll probably want to search by name.

Once you find a name and address, use my techniques I talked about: here.

If There Are No Records Online or Free

If you found the county land site, but no records are listed, you may have to call the office since they may not have their land records available online. It has been my experience that the people who work in the land records offices are easy to work with and will give you the information you need.

I have also found that some offices will charge a fee for viewing their records online. If you do not wish to pay, then call that office and request the information verbally.

If you are wishing to find someone in Arkansas, here is my next hub in this series, in which I have listed every county in Arkansas along with its subsequent website and contact information.

To view, click the following link: FINDING PEOPLE Techniques: Arkansas County Records Websites


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