Women everywhere have made a habit of changing their name at least once in their lives. This cermonial practice, where a woman sheds her maiden name for her husbands surname, can be a source of great frustration for those trying to find someone. After all, there are billions of individual records freely available online, most searchable by name.. but each record is virtually useless if you have no idea what that name is.

One of the most proven and simplest ways to find someone by maiden name is to use an information broker that offers these types of searches. You hand over your credit card details, any information you have on the person, and with a little luck the search turns up trumps and you have the information you're after. Your pocket will be a little lighter, and this method pretty much defies the point of this article, so let's take a look at how we can find them for free.

Do you know what school or college they went to?

Online classmate and reunion sites maintain large registries that make searching for people easy. By focusing on the school or college, and the years they attended, there's a fair chance you'll locate the person you are after, or at the very least some potential leads. The advantage here is that most people were known by their Maiden Name in school, hence list it so others can find them

Whilst not everyone remains close to their friends from school, there is always a chance the person you are seeking has. With this in mind, browsing class lists for potential contacts can prove valuable in your search for someone. If any of their former classmates know the new surname, this can save you a lot of time. Better yet, they may even be able to provide you with direct contact information. Take note that if you engage in any messages or conversations with their former classmates, be sure to be courteous and polite. Nobody is under any obligation to assist you in any way, and often it is the approach you take that dictates what, if any, information they share with you.

Does the area they are from have a searchable Marriage Registry online?

If you need to find someone by maiden name, you might as well go right to the point of change for more information. Searchable marriage registries are a bit scarce online, but if there is one available for the area then be sure to use it. If you do manage to locate the persons marriage information through a search, be sure to take note of the husbands full name, and not just their surname. At the very least you may need their first initial so you can run phone and address searches online.

You have to love the internet..

Sure enough there are registries online dedicated to finding people by maiden name. All information however needs to be volunteered by those who have changed their names, or in other words.. first they need to find the maiden name registries, and then they have to register on them. These types of sites may never have enough records to provide a truly comprehensive search, but they are free, and only a few clicks away, so give them a try as you never know your luck.

Using the Maiden Name..

If your direct searches fall a little flat, it may be time to consider locating family members. The person you are seeking was given her maiden name by her parents, so run a few phone and address searches to see if you can find their contact information. With just the maiden name, and the region where you last knew the person or their parents to be, you can run some fairly effective searches. Even in the case where the parents have moved away, you may still end up locating a brother or other family member living in the region. You will need to make contact in this instance, and not everyone is going to just hand over contact details for the person you are seeking, but there are ways around this. You can always advise them that you are looking for the person (and provide your reason - i.e. attended school together and would like to catch up), and that if they could get the person you are seeking to give you a call it would be appreciated.

You may also run similar searches by name for any former friends of the person you are looking for, and make a similar request to that above.

Good luck with your search.

February 2005 :: Article 1.02