Monday, October 29, 2007

"Digging Up the Un-Dead" program today

Our Chula Vista Genealogical Society program today was presented by Joan Lowrey of La Jolla, whose topic was "Digging Up the Un-Dead (Finding Living People)." Joan's biography and talk summary was provided here. We had 44 attendees (more than 50% of our membership), of which 3 were guests (two of whom also attended our 10/20 seminar).

This was an excellent program given by an excellent speaker with excellent credentials - one of the very best programs we have had. The subject is of interest to everyone who is looking for living people - distant relatives, old flames, classmates, etc.

Joan went through the different web sites with:

* Free Telephone Directories (she highlighted, the US Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002 on (need subscription to Ancestry) plus others)

* Other Free Sites (she highlighted Steve Morse's site, plus others)

* Free Sites with Fee Options (she highlighted and, among others)

* Fee Sites (she highlighted,, and among others).

In all of her work, she didn't pay a dime to find out what she showed us about her own family and several other families of interest. From bits and pieces gleaned from these web sites - all for free - she was able to find out many useful things about a person - name, spouse, children, age, address, phone number, approximate home value, neighbors, etc. You can choose to subscribe to a fee service that looks for many more items - criminal records, drivers license, court records, email address, utilities bills, etc. Of course, there are many people who don't own a home or just don't want to be found, so it isn't foolproof.

Joan also showed and summarized two articles that compared People Search fee sites - the articles are at:



Joan warned us to be careful about the recommendations at these sites, since we don't know if any of the People Search sites paid to be listed. She also warned us to be careful when using any People Search service - either free or for fee. Use of some sites may generate spam if you give them an email address or a credit card number.

Joan did a really nice job on this presentation, and it generated a lot of comments and questions.

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