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How To Find Old Friends

What ever happened to that best friend of yours from high school? Did she get married? Does she have children? Did she pursue that dream she always had of becoming a doctor? The Internet, which has played an integral part in helping old friends reconnect with each other across the miles and the years, may be able to help you find her. While there are still many people who aren't accessible by means of the Web, that number is steadily decreasing. And if you can't find your long-lost friend online, there are other ways you might be able to track her down. Below are a few tips to help you with your search.

  • If you're fairly certain the friend you are looking for is in the United States, the first place you might want to explore is the CD-ROM of national telephone books at your local library. Many libraries offer access to these and other informational CDs at no charge.

  • Check out Yahoo! People Search, which may help you find an e-mail address or phone number belonging to your friend. The advanced search form lets you look for people using more specific information. It gives you the option of including keywords targeted toward high school, college, military affiliation, location and more. There are other online searches you may want to check out as well, or Google the phrase "locate people" and note the numerous pages of results.

  • If people searches come up empty, try a full-on Internet search. Go to Google, Yahoo!, or another popular search engine and type in your friend's first and last names. You may want to put quotes around the name (e.g., "Julie Griffin"), as this will help some search engines omit irrelevant matches. While these searches may provide you with online references to your old friend, they may not turn up anything as concrete as a phone number or address, but keep searching! Every clue can help.

  • Check out the Web sites of schools and organizations that your friend is currently or was once affiliated with. Most high schools and colleges maintain updated contact information in their alumni directories.

  • Search online active-duty military databases. They are constantly updated and provide accurate information about members of all military branches. Search county assessors' offices for property tax records, which will contain owners' names and addresses. Visit marriage license bureaus to search for female classmates by maiden name. You can even investigate county registrar of voters offices.

Finding that long-lost friend can call your most acute detective skills into action. If you're discouraged, don't give up. Cover all the bases and you'll surely find who you are looking for.



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