Search Tools

Below is a list of free and fee-based websites which can be used for family finding, as well as a list of non-Internet sources. Some sites are general search engines, such as Google; some specialize in people finding; others focus on a specific area or topic, such as obituaries or genealogies. For several sites, the initial search is free, but a fee is required for more detailed information; these sites are marked "free/paid."


Criminal Records

Family Watchdog
National sex offender registry

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Can search for Federal inmates incarcerated from 1982 to the present.

Megan's Law
California Department of Justice's web site, which lists designated registered sex offenders in California.

Superior Court of California, County of Monterey Public Access
This site allows you to view court calendars and search an index of defendants by name or birth date in Criminal, Civil, Traffic, Juvenile Traffic and Small Claims cases.

VINELink is the online version of VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), the National Victim Notification Network. VINE is a service through which victims of crime can use the telephone or Internet to search for information regarding their offender's custody status and register to receive telephone and email notification when their offender's custody status changes. If the inmate for whom you're searching is in custody at a corrections facility that participates in VINE, you should be able to locate custody information on VINELink.

Email Top 9 Tips to Find Anybody's Email Address
In addition to the actual tips to look for email addresses, there are multiple links to other search sites, and a list of related articles.


Access Genealogy
Search a wide variety of genealogical records

Indian Tribal Records
The Native American Rolls contain records related to treaties, trade, land claims, Native American removal to Oklahoma, allotments, military affairs, military service and pensions, trust funds, and other activities.

Latter Day Saints (LDS) Genealogy Search
Genealogical records from the Mormon Church

General Search Engines

General search engine. Try searching on a person's name. Sometimes you can find a current address, genealogy or other interesting information on individuals online. If you Google an address, you can obtain a map and/or satellite view of the location. This site is a favorite of Stanislaus. For more in-depth searching, try Google Advanced Search.
Another general search engine; good for preliminary information.

Obituaries (free/paid)
Newspaper obituary search. Searching through's vast collection of obituaries and death notices is free and unlimited. Users then pay to view a specific item.
Links to obituary listing in the United States and Canada

People Finders
People finder which searches "images, videos, phone numbers, email addresses, social networking and Wikipedia profiles and much more." Also does international searching.
Searches high school yearbook/class information

Federal Parent Locator Service (for public use)
This website is sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. Los Angeles County accesses this site through their District Attorney's office. The site includes information from the child support services system, and the social security death index.

iSearch (free/paid)
People finder with the option to search by screen name, in addition to name, email, and phone. Initial search is free; pay to view more detailed information supplied by Intelius.

Jigsaw (free/paid)
Provides professional contact information, including names, titles, email addresses. Obtain information by purchasing it or by submitted others' contact information. (free/paid)
This site is run by Intellius. Preliminary information is free; additional information costs (through Intellius)
People finder using more robust technology to search the "deep web," a vast repository of underlying content, such as documents in online databases. According to, general-purpose web crawlers cannot reach the deep web. Its content is estimated at 500 times that of the surface web, yet has remained mostly untapped due to the limitations of traditional search engines. (free/paid)
The free portion lists places that people have worked, towns they have lived in, and possible relatives. The paid portion lists people the search subject has lived with. (free/paid)
People finder. The free portion searches social networking sites and the Web. Includes links to other sites.

People finder for the US, Canada, and UK. Includes email search and search of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Also search for people by school, interests, career, photo, etc.

Zabasearch (free/paid)
Search by name or phone number. Initial search is free; fee-based (through Intelius) for additional information.

Public Records/Vital Statistics (free/paid)
This site includes links to several other search engines for public records, including state, local, and federal information.

CA County Codes Chart
List of the 58 California counties

CA State Vital Records (free/paid)
Vital statistics for California: births, deaths, marriages, etc. (free/paid)
Geared for private investigators, this site includes links to public record searches and other information.

Marriage Records
Included records for several states, including Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Texas, and portions of California.

Rootsweb Death Records
Site also has links to several other genealogical/public records sites
  • Social Security Death Index
  • California Death Records
  • Kentucky Death Records
  • Maine Death Records
  • Texas Death Records

Note: The California records have more information than the Federal records, such as, birth state, mother's maiden name, father's name. (free/paid)
Very large public record directory online. Provides links to over 35,958 searchable public record databases, many of which are free. A good site for finding municipal records and death certificates. SearchSystems also offers a premium service, which is charged on a per-search basis: $29.95/year or $9.95/month. Recommended by Kevin Campbell.

Social Security Death Index
This link gives an introduction and directions on how to use the site. Click here to bypass the instructions and go directly to the search page.

SSN Allocation Table
Shows the first three digits of assigned SSNs and the state or U.S. Possession in which the SSN was issued.

Social/Professional Networking

Social networking site

Professional networking site. Although it is free, you have to join to use the site.

Social networking site

Social-networking aggregator; searches 43 major social networks. According to their website, "Spokeo is a friend finder/tracker that automatically brings you friends' updates across the Web."

Telephone Directories/Reverse Lookup
This site has both reverse phone and reverse address lookup. You can also search for neighbors.

Argali White & Yellow (free/paid)
Directory lookup that searches and aggregates results from several web-based phone and email address databases, along with several other directory searches. Requires software download. Free version allows ten searches per month; paid version allows unlimited searching and is $29.95 per user per year with quantity discounts. (free/paid)
This is AT&T's online directory; advanced searches are done through Intellius. The site includes white pages and a people finder. Using the free portion, you can find towns and sometimes ages.

Area Codes
Look up area codes for all the states, cities, and other areas serviced under the North American Numbering Plan, including Canada.

MSN white pages
White pages search, including reverse phone and address lookups
Site includes yellow pages, people finder (including reverse phone number), and business search using a map.

White Pages

Ultimate White Pages

Yellow Pages

Ultimate Yellow Pages


A division of LexisNexis. Key features include:
  •People Search... locates neighbors, associates and possible relatives.
  •Phones Plus... track down phone numbers not typically available to increase your chances of finding your subject. Access over 268 million non-directory assistance records, including cell phone numbers.
  •People at Work... links more than 287 million individuals to businesses and includes information such as business addresses, phone numbers, and possible dates of employment.
  •Relavint™... visually links individuals with businesses, addresses, relatives and vehicles.
  •Advanced Person Search... helps find individuals when only old or fragmented data is available.
Contains immigration, military, census, birth, marriage, and death records; Jewish family history; African American family history
Offers 2 week free trial
Pricing for U.S. only/worldwide searches:
Annual membership: $12.95/24.95 month
Three months: $16.95/27.95 month
Monthly: $19.95/29.95 month

Entersect Public Records (EPR) offers searches on a variety of public records with as little information as a name, social security number, or cell phone number.
Individual searches range from $1 to $21, plus a one-time application fee of $49
No monthly service fee or minimum usage fee

Global-Locate, by Integrity, provides accurate address, phone and identification details on citizens of 207 nations. Powered by worldwide Government issued ID data, Global-Locate can help determine a current address, an active landline phone number, a cell phone number or an unpublished number, plus identity and age verification information such as date of birth, passport number or government-issued ID number, where available. Global-Locate was designed specifically for use by government, law enforcement and child welfare agencies to help locate individuals world-wide.
Monthly fee of $199/user for unlimited access; site pricing available.

People search, as well as background and criminal check
Per-use fee for each report requested ($1.95 for a people search report)
24-hour pass for unlimited search is $19.95
Quantity discount pricing is available; contact Intelius for more information.

Contains archived obituaries from 87 different newspapers in California alone There are also archives available from all other states. If your local newspaper is not included here, check with them to see about adding a subscription to their online archives, if available. Search by name, publication date, or obituary text.
Single Article: $2.95
100 articles every 30 days: $19.95 (billed monthly)

The Work Number
The Work Number is an income and employment verification service used by social service workers nationwide to determine eligibility for TANF, food stamps, low-income housing, welfare-to-work programs, cash assistance, Medicaid and other benefits. It's also used by Title IV-D directors to find child support evaders in cases where court orders have been established. The fee for a pay date summary (SSN Search) is $3.00; the fee for an Income Verification is $6.50.

US Search
Provides a variety of search services on address, phone, social security number, email address, maiden name, criminal records, and court reports.
Cost per search ranges from $1.95 (simple name and address) to $295.00 (due diligence background check with criminal search)



  •Absent Parent Department
  •Assessors Office/assessors records
  •Child Support
  •County/State Resources
     - CalWORKs Case File
     - CWS/CMS, CWS Case File
     - History in hard case file
     - Statewide MEDS System
     - County Automated Welfare System
     - Statewide Child Support System
  •County jails
  •County vital statistics
  •Department of Justice
  •Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records (
  •District Attorney's office
  •Eligibility Worker
  •Emergency contact information card from school
  •Family members
  •Family Services
  •Immigration Services/Consulates
  •Interviewing the child
  •MediCal Database
     - Use this database to look up SSI information, death information, social security numbers, and search for addresses
  •Medical records (death code)
  •Military agencies (Social and Family Services Departments)
  •Obituaries (funeral homes)
  •Parole and Probation
  •Red Cross
  •Registered voters
  •White & yellow pages (work phone)


Download Search Tools List (word)
Last update 09/25/09


© 2019 National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness. All Rights Reserved Web Design by eLab Communications