Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CVGS Research Group summary - 11/28/07

The November meeting of the Research Group for the Chula Vista Genealogical society had 11 attendees today.

The first order of business was to talk about the "genealogy news of the month" which is summarized here. As part of that, Randy passed several US passport applications around and several of the township maps from the Ancestry collection. Randy also passed the great "Finding local history buried in the past" article from the Union-Tribune around.

Shirley H. presented the first "research problem" discussed. She has an ancestor named Sarah/Sally Pearce born ca 1787 in RI, who married Peter Hazelton, and they resided in Genesee and Orleans Counties in NY, and then in Berry County MI. They were in the 1850 census in Michigan. A Pierce/Pearce book lists a Sarah/Sally born in 1787 to James and Phoebe (Wood) Pearce in Little Compton RI, but James' will in Cayuga County NY gives her married name as Jayne, not Hazelton. Shirley wanted ideas on how to find Sarah's parents. We suggested that she follow a cluster research approach - find out who the associates of Sarah's family were (the witnesses to deeds and wills, the neighbors on plat maps, deeds or census records, etc.), and find out where they were from (look in surname books, county history books, land deeds, probates, message boards, etc.). Then search Pearce (and other spellings) families in those places, especially looking for vital records, probate records and land records.

Shirley B. shared her success in finding information about her Daniel Miller in NY. A correspondent of hers found a number of obituaries in the Utica NY newspaper for descendants of Daniel Miller in collateral lines, and passed them on to Shirley. She now knows a lot more about the family, and in particular Daniel's birthplace, which will help narrow her search.

Phyllis told us about her serendipity experience - she has been unable to find James Regnol in the immigration records on Ancestry, but she knew the year and ship he came on to New York. She input "james" "ontario" and "1855" into the database and found the complete James "Regwell" family - her missing folks!

Cynthia asked how she could find information about the "American Ammunition Company" in New York City that her grandfather founded in the early 1900's. We suggested a Google search with her grandfather's name, a Wikipedia search for the company, NYC City Directories (on Ancestry, FHC microfilm, NYC library), NYC newspapers online, and NYC library vertical files.

Randy discussed finding living people in public records, obtaining death certificates at the County Clerk's office, and finding an unmarked grave using a cemetery map showing "neighbors" of the deceased.

This meeting was helpful and productive - the attendees openly shared their problems, successes, knowledge and experiences to help others.

Research News for November 2007

Here is the genealogy news of interest to me since late October. We discussed these items at the CVGS Research Group meeting today. I've separated them into categories below.


* - An alphabetical list of useful Family History Internet sites provided by Kip Sperry.

* - searches 8 different web sites for your search target. It's useful.

* - searches over 900 different web sites with databases for your search target. It's useful.

* Some of the Premium Databases at the San Diego Family History Center are available for Free access on their computers. WorldVitalRecords, Footnote and Godfrey Memorial Library databases are available.

* New FamilySearch is also available at the FHC, but only if you are an LDS church member.


a) at

* US Passport Applications, 1795-1925.
* US Historic Land Ownership and Land Reference Atlases - 1507-2000.
* New Jersey State Census, 1895
* Missouri Marriages before 1840
* Muster and Pay Rolls for the Revolutionary War
* Oklahoma Territorial Census, 1890 and 1907


* Digitized and searchable books from the Quintin Publications Collection are being added regularly. This week, most of the books are family histories for surnames that begin with the letters L and T. Other books in the collection include state and local histories.

* As a result of the partnership between World Vital Records, Inc. and Godfrey Memorial Library, more than 1,200 pre-1923 funeral sermons and memorials will be available at

c) - information added to
* Naturalization Records – PA & MA
* Revolutionary War Pension Files
* Navy Widows' Certificates
* Texas Birth Records


* Free Webinars are available at for AncestryPress and FamilyTreeMaker 2008. You can view a 60 minute presentation - hearing the speaker and viewing the slides. Go to, click on the Help button (upper right corner), then click on the Webinar tab and you will see the selection. Here are links to the webinars on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog:
** "Search like the Pros" webinar --
** "FamilyTreeMaker 2008" webinar --
** "AncestryPress" webinar --

* Check out for special deals for genealogy software and an Ancestry subscription. For instance, you can buy FamilyTreeMaker 16, with GenSmarts and a number of digital books, plus a one-year US Deluxe Ancestry subscription, for $59.95 plus shipping. This is a great deal for Ancestry alone - the software is a bonus (but you have to install the software in order to get the Ancestry subscription).


* ProQuest and the Allen County (IN) Public Library announced an update to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). With this update, PERSI now contains more than 2 million citations from over 6,600 periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The new release includes indexing for over 132,000 articles from 2006 and 2007. PERSI can be accessed online at HeritageQuestOnline through Carlsbad Library.

* The National Genealogical Society announced that the 30th Annual Conference in the States and Family History Fair of the National Genealogical Society from May 14-18, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri. The 2008 conference will be held in conjunction with local hosts.

* now offers the following Preservation Package services (they claim at a discount to commercial services):
** Converting 8mm, 16mm, miniDVs and VHS tapes to a DVD
** Scanning photos and documents
** Digitizing slides and negatives
** Secure storage filing
A check of commercial web sites who perform the 8 mm film to DVD service reveals costs on the order of 10 to 12 cents per foot.

* "Census Substitutes and State Census Records" (two volumes) by William Dollarhide was announced. The substitutes are those name lists derived from tax lists, directories, military lists, land ownership lists, voter registrations, and other compilations of names of residents for an entire state, one or more counties of a state, or one or more towns of a county. Thirty-seven states conducted colonial, territorial, or state censuses that are extant and available for research today.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finding records of living persons

In her presentation "Digging Up the Un-Dead" last month for CVGS, Joan Lowrey gave some practical advice for finding living people using online resources. She briefly mentioned online databases for City or County court, probate and land records.

For San Diego County, the County Recorder and Assessor office provides minimal property information online. For land records, the web site is You can use the Search box (use last name first) to find the type of transactions (e.g., trust deeds, deeds, reconveyances, notices to creditors, tax liens, etc) and document numbers for property transactions. With the document number, you can order the document for a fee.

For probate records, the San Diego County Probate Court web site is here. On this page, put "Court Index" in the right hand search box and then select a "Party Name Search." If you input a surname, you get a list of the Probate Court cases on file between 1974 and 2007. Clicking on the Probate Case number gives you some information about the case - the type of case, the case category, the date filed, and the case file location. There is a link that tells you the physical location of the case file. In San Diego, most of them are in the Madge Bradley Building at 1401 4th Avenue in downtown San Diego.

Civil, criminal and domestic court records can also be found at the San Diego County Court web site. You get essentially the same information as for a probate case. The records are stored in a different location than the probate court records.

But you can find more information about property records by going to one of the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk locations - there are five locations in the county (downtown San Diego, Kearny Mesa, Chula Vista, El Cajon and San Marcos). The offices permit public access to computers with several databases on them. For instance, there is an index of current property owners and the tax assessments on those properties. By inputting a surname, or a surname and given name, you can find the properties they own, the property assessment value, the tax assessment, and a mailing address for the owner. You can also input a street address or a property identification number. This database is fairly difficult to use because it is function key driven, not mouse driven. But it is extremely useful.

The Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk offices also have an index of San Diego county marriages from about 1960 to 2007. The information is sparse - names and date of marriage - but it can be very useful.

All of these records are records that can be accessed by the public. To obtain the actual record, you need to go someplace to obtain it, but a committed researcher, or any person, can find them and obtain them.

Georgie Stillman presented a wonderful program today

November is always "show and tell" month on the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) program calendar - usually it is about our genealogy research, a document or treasure found, etc. Today's program was different!

The CVGS program today, called "Heirloom Discovery Day," was presented Georgie Stillman, an American Society of Appraisers member and a member of several Chula Vista community boards. We had 33 in attendance.

Everybody has seen the "Antiques Road Show" programs on PBS where a team of appraisers visit a certain area and residents there bring in antiques, collectibles, and the like to be appraised by the experts.

Today, 13 CVGS members brought in their treasures and collectibles. Each person gave a short description of what they think it is, where they obtained it, and what time period they think it is from. Georgie then described each article, often giving the method of manufacture, the time period made (and how she knows the time period), and a comment on the value of the item. These were not dry recitals of facts and figures - Georgie is exuberant, extemporaneous and funny, and she loves to see these family treasures. Needless to say, nobody stumped her!

What did our members bring in for evaluation?

* A small stoneware pitcher from the 1850 time frame.
* A decorated lamp fixture from the 1920's.
* A mustache cup from the 1920's.
* An elaborate silver necklace from the 1920's.
* A silver chalice from England, and a small sterling silver plate from 1920.
* A large home-made quilt from the 1920's.
* A glass pedestal vase (not carnival glass)
* A child's red chair from the early 1900's.
* A handmade sewing box from the early 1900s.
* A china pitcher from the 1870 time frame.
* A china export cup and saucer from the early 1800s.
* A child's sampler from the 1840's time period.
* A blown-glass egg with Edwardian lettering from around 1900.
* Two cross-stitch samplers from the early 1800's.

Georgie recommended that the three samplers be preserved by removing the cardboard backing and using an acid-free backing on them. She warned that you should not use dry cleaners for handmade quilts and rugs because of the chemicals used.

Georgie gave us some information about why collectibles and antiques are valued the way they are at present. She said that very rich people buy the higher priced items. These people want status and to display special pieces. They really don't value the "old" furniture, jewelry, art, silver, china, etc. unless it is unique and/or quirky.

Needless to say, the 80 minutes flew by quickly. The members got some idea of the value and rarity of their collectibles, and all attendees marveled at Georgie's expertise and knowledge, and really appreciated her willingness to take time from her busy schedule to inform and entertain us.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

CVGS "Heirloom Discovery Day" Program on 11/26

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society program will be on Monday, 26 November 2007 at 10 a.m. in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) auditorium.

The program will be an "Heirloom Discovery Day" - a show and tell of family heirlooms brought and described by their owners and then evaluated by Georgie Stillman, a professional heirloom appraiser who lives and works in Chula Vista. These will not be professional level appraisals at this meeting. Georgie will provide an estimated value and briefly comment on the origin of the piece.

Georgie Stillman is a Senior member of the American Society of Appraisers, past President of the San Diego Chapter, and Founding Director of the International Society of Appraisers, having held many offices in each. Her expertise is in evaluating and appraising silver, China, glass ware, furniture, artworks, quilts and samplers,many dolls and other collectibles. She does not appraise pre-1830 Chinese or Oriental pieces, Oriental carpets, antiquities, jewelry with gemstones (costume jewelry is fine), coins or stamps.

We had an immediate signup for this program once it was announced - 15 members will share their treasures and hope to learn something about them. We had Georgie do this same type of program in 2005 and it was very popular and fun.

There will be a short business meeting before the main feature. Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room so that you can sign in, buy a raffle ticket, pick up handouts and have a snack.

This program should be of interest to genealogists, family historians, and antique collectors. We welcome guests and visitors to all of our meetings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CVGS Computer Group Meeting on 11/21

The monthly Genealogy Computer Group meeting for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was held in the Computer Lab at the Library today. We had 16 attendees, which were more than the 12 available computer stations, so several of us floated and had other things to do.

It took some time for Gary to get the projector and computer station hooked up - it was a computer cable problem. While he got that working, I tried to access Ancestry Library Edition and failed - the Library IT people had moved the Online Databases page to some place we could not find. Shirley went to ask the IT people about it.

Everybody could get on the Internet, so I asked them to go to and showed them how to get to the three Webinar videos at home (click on the "Help" link on the home page, then the "Webinar" tab on the Help page) and also how to use the Ancestry Learning Center ( The Learning Center has thousands of "how-to" articles concerning genealogy research and are an excellent free resource of information.

Shirley came back and led the group through a number of places on - including the Freepages, the Message Boards, Mailing Lists, Town and County templates, etc.

I helped one of our new members find information about church records in Mexico using the LDS databases and the Family History Library Catalog. I also told him about ordering microfilms at the Family History Center. We found out that there is a monthly Hispanic Genealogy Group that meets at the FHC, and showed him the contact information.

After the meeting, I met briefly with the Library IT person and separately with the Branch Manager in order to sort out how we can be assured of access to Ancestry Library Edition. They volunteered to install a shortcut on the Computer Lab screens that go right to the Library Databases. Hopefully, this will solve our access problems and reduce our frustrations.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What every genealogy society needs

What does every genealogy society need? Besides lots of members, "how-to" classes or groups, interesting and helpful programs, work projects and the like?

The biggest thing needed by most genealogy societies is enthusiasm and a steady stream of new and current members willing to volunteer their time and talent.

I was reminded of this last week when I read the article "Youth Leader" in the January/February 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine. There is a two page article on page 10 about Anthony Ray, a 16-year old young man who has a passion for genealogy and helping others. He holds three positions in the Antelope Valley (CA) Genealogical Society in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles. In addition to being chairman of the publicity committee, he also heads the cemetery committee and leads an effort to form a Hispanic genealogy team. Anthony also presented "How I Researched My Five Hispanic Families" in September to the society members.

Anthony responded back in early March 2007 to the Family Tree Magazine forum question "Genealogy Societies: What's Your Take?" - his response is about 60% of the way down the page. There is a lot of experience and wisdom in his responses.

If you can, please read the FTM article about Anthony and be inspired by his excellent example of being a genealogist, a society member and a volunteer.

All genealogy societies need to broaden their membership to include young people of all ages.

Societies get a real bonus when members volunteer to serve on a Board or a committee, to lead meetings or speak at a program.

Ancestry's "Search Like the Pros" Webinar

I spent an enjoyable hour the other night watching the webinar (WEB semINAR) titled "Search Like the Pros." This webinar was broadcast on 29 August 2007, and is available for viewing here.

If you want some ideas on how to search effectively on, I encourage you to view the webinar video. Suzanne Russo Adams is the speaker for the technical aspects of the video. I learned several new things about ranked and advanced searches in this webinar and can't wait to try them out. They do have several poll questions, and answer several questions submitted by the participants at the end of the 53 minute webinar. You can download the presentation in PDF format (100 slides, 7 mb) for your review at a later time.

About the only link on the main page at that I have not clicked on is the "Help" link. There are six tabs on this page for Ask Ancestry, Videos, Email Ancestry Support, Live Help, My Profile, and Webinar. The Ask Ancestry tab has a list of 15 FAQ articles. The Videos tab includes 7 video demonstrations about using your Ancestry subscription. The Webinar tab has links for the AncestryPress, FTM 2008 and Search Like the Pros hour-long videos.

This type of presentation sure looks like the future of genealogy education to me. When executed by professional presenters, this is an effective way to teach genealogy. This technology could be used to teach groups of people if a high-speed wireless connection is available.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

AncestryPress Webinar is available

An AncestryPress webinar (WEB semINAR) was held on 1 November 2007. The webinar can be viewed by clicking the link at the AncestryPress blog post here - it's down at the bottom of the post by Stephanie Condie - a link labelled "clicking here." This webinar presentation will be available until 31 January 2008. You can download the presentation slides as a PDF file. The link to the summary page that starts the presentation, and the presentation itself, are not able to be copied.

AncestryPress books are described in the presentation as:

"Ancestry’s brand new online self-publishing application presents new ways to preserve, share and give your family’s history as a gift. It also presents plenty of new avenues to explore, and plenty of neat features to master. Please join us for a 30-minute online interactive presentation where you’ll learn how to:

* Build a book, or let AncestryPress build one for you from your online tree.
* Bring your book to life by adding photos, historical records, maps, postcards, newspaper clippings, family recipes and stories.
* Customize the look and feel of individual pages by choosing backgrounds and fonts and adding embellishments.
* Create custom family tree posters and photo pages that you can frame and share with everyone on your holiday gift list.

I posted about my AncestryPress experiences in "Using AncestryPress to Make a Book - Post 2.0" and "Using AncestryPress to Create a Book." I was not complimentary to the final product - it really didn't suit my needs. But I'm willing to be shown the error of my opinions...

The Webinar presentation is excellent. Stephanie Condie shows a beautiful coffee table type family history book with many family photos, some stock photos, document images, etc. Then she shows the process used to generate many of the pages. I can see how this product can be very useful as a family history book that provides significant information to living family members about their immediate ancestors for whom there are photographs.

They took several polls during the webinar where participants could respond to questions, and they showed the poll results a bit later. These charts are not in the downloadable presentation.

They took questions and answers in the last 15 minutes of the webinar. Stephanie said that the current format of the book could not word wrap from page to page - you have to build each page separately using cut-and-paste. That was my biggest complaint about AncestryPress, and I'm glad that she addressed it. Another question concerned the four generation limitation for the charts and the book pages - they said that they were going to increase the number of generations eventually.

If AncestryPress is something you might be interested in, I encourage you to click the link in Stephanie's post and watch and listen to the presentation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Be Careful with Indexes at

The key feature that makes and other commercial web sites so valuable are the Indexes. Without them, we would be reading handwriting on page images just like we did with microfilm images in years past. The Indexes on genealogy web sites have many excellent features - wild cards, many search fields, exact or Soundex searches, etc. They significantly raise the odds of finding the information that we are searching for.

However, sometimes there are flaws in the indexes, or in the data indexed. I pointed out flaws in the California Death Indexes here some time ago. Now I have found another.

Ancestry has a database called "Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941." The Ancestry source description of this database says:

" Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data:

* Works Progress Administration, comp. Index to Marriage Records Indiana: Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940.

* Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Indiana. Many of these records are on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah."

One of our CVGS members was looking for a marriage of Benjamin Reynolds to Cerilda Flinn in Indiana in the 1860's. If he goes directly to this database (which is a logical thing to do), he gets the following results:

* If he searches for the name as "Benjamin" and "Reynolds" - he gets 7 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for the name as "Benj" and "Reyn" - he gets 9 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for the name as "Ben*" and "Rey*" - he gets the 10 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for "B" and "Rey*" - he gets 82 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for "Cerilda" and "Flinn" - he gets 1 match for Cerilda J. Flinn married to Benjamin J. Reynolds on 22 Sep 1867 in Crawford County IN. The same match comes up if he uses wild cards for Cerilda.
* If he leaves the names blank and searches for the Spouse name of "Benj*" and "Reyn*" - he gets 10 matches including the one who married Cerilda Flinn.

But if he didn't know Cerilda's given name, or surname, he would have missed out on this information. Before this search, he thought the name was Sirelda from another record. The Soundex search does not find the record with a given name of "Sirelda" because it works only on the surname. [As a side note, there are 31 "Cerilda" entries in this index! I've never heard the name before.]

I found this record just by happenstance. I put "Ben*" and "Reyn*" in the search box on the Ancestry main Search page. That gave me a long list of matches in different databases. When I clicked on the "Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941" link, I found the record quickly. The search found the spouse's name in this search. It is evident that the search box results for this specific database only finds the name in the "Name" column, not the "Spouse" column. The main Ancestry Search box finds both. I don't know if this holds for all databases or just this one. I tried more spouse's names in the database search box, and while many resulted in matches, some did not - I'm guessing 5% to 10% did not show up as a match.

The lessons here are:

* The Ancestry main search box may provide more matches than the specific database search box.
* Not all names of persons in a specific database are found by a search using "Given Name" and "Last Name" searches.
* In this specific database, some names of spouses are not included in the "Name" database - they apparently were not indexed.
* Searches in specific databases should include not only the search in the given name and last name boxes but should consider putting the target name in the "Spouse's Name" fields if that is available.

Is this's fault? Maybe not, if they took the database from other sources (see above). Perhaps the WPA list did not include the name(s) missing from the "Name" column.

We are so spoiled by the availability of these databases with excellent indexes and search capabilities. If I don't find someone after I use all of my "tricks" to find them in an index, I often will assume that they aren't there. On census records, I have resorted to using spouse names when known, but I haven't used them on vital records indexes and other databases previously. I will now!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

FTM 2008 Webinar Available Online

A Webinar (a WEB semINAR) was held on Thursday, 25 October at 8:30 EDT to demonstrate FamilyTreeMaker 2008 and answer questions the attendees had concerning FTM 2008. The Blog post with the link into the Webinar is at

You can watch and hear this webinar until sometime in early 2008 (I saw the date but can't find it now!). You do have to register your name and email to watch the demonstration. The total time is just over 1 hour.

There is a Powerpoint style presentation with over 140 slides, most of them screen shots showing how FTM 2008 works and the different menus, tabs and options. You hear the lecture but don't see the speakers. You can download the presentation to your computer (13.4 mb).

After viewing the webinar, I have a much better understanding of the capabilities and features are of FTM 2008. I understand why they had to build a new version. Some of the features, especially the maps and web integration are pretty cool (assuming you have a fast Internet connection and an Ancestry subscription, of course).

They answer some common questions at the beginning of the presentation, and then answer questions from webinar participants at the end (you hear the question and response - no visuals).

I encourage anyone interested in genealogy software to spend the hour to register, connect, listen and watch the webinar.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CVGS Events for November 2007

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for November 2007 include:

** Wednesday, November 21, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab. We will visit some new genealogy web sites and/or Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) databases. This is an opportunity for those members who haven't used computers for genealogy research to practice with a mentor to guide them. It is also an opportunity for members who don't have an Ancestry subscription to dig into the ALE databases.

** Wednesday, November 28, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room. We will review the genealogy news for August, share success stories and information, and discuss members research problems, and potential solutions, based on the collective knowledge and wisdom of the group.

** Monday, November 26, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- the monthly Society meeting is held in the Auditorium. This meeting has a short business meeting with announcements of meetings and activities, followed by a presentation on a topic of genealogy and family history interest. At this meeting, Georgie Stillman, a professional appraiser, will evaluate members' heirlooms in an "Heirlooms Discovery Day" presentation.

She is an expert in appraising:
* Silver,
* China,
* Glass ware,
* Furniture,
* Artworks,
* Quilts & Samplers,
* Many dolls and other collectibles.

She does not appraise:
* Pre-1830 Chinese or Oriental (although I am happy to look at these early things – most are not as old as people think)
* Oriental carpets
* Antiquities
* Jewelry with gemstones (costume jewelry is fine)
* Coins or Stamps

These are not extensive professional appraisals at this meeting. Georgie will provide an estimated value and briefly comment on the origin of the piece. The member should share where the piece came from and how meaningful it is to the family. We have time for only 10 to 12 heirloom evaluations. There is a sign-up list if you want your heirloom evaluated - contact Connie to sign up (contact me at the email or phone below for Connie's contact if you don't have it).

Remember that on Monday mornings (10 AM to noon) - November 5, 12 and 19 - that Dearl Glenn and probably John Finch will be at the table by the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library ready to help people with their research, discuss a problem or success, or just tell stories.

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the Chula Vista area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves. If you have questions, please email Randy at rjseaver(at) or phone 619-422-3397.

Using to find living people

I have struggled over the years to find a reliable telephone number lookup web site to find friends and family addresses and phone numbers. I've tried,,, and several others. Quite often, some of these sites go right to a fee web site that teases me but doesn't provide useful information, and therefore wastes my time.

At our CVGS meeting on Monday, Joan Lowrey recommended and showed examples form her own family members. I decided to try it out, using myself as a test subject.

I input my name "Randall Seaver" in the search box, and it came up with 6 results in the USA, in CA, FL, MI and TN (3). The name, address, phone number and age range (mine's wrong) are given for most of these. If it is a work number, the company and occupation might be provided. There are also "Reverse Number" and "Reverse Address" tabs to search with.

In the results listing, clicking on my name or the "Listing detail" link brings up another page with links to "Map," "Print," "Send/Save," View Web Results and Profiles for this person" and "Find neighbors and home values for this person." The "Map" link gets you a neighborhood map of the address.

The "Find Neighbors ... " link gets up to 30 entries for people living nearby the target person. For some reason, the link for me produced only 7 hits, but they are my neighbors. On this page, there are tabs for "Home values" and "Web results." Clicking on "Home Values" got a list of 10 homes in the area with some real estate value (these may be recently sold homes on the assessors records - I don't know for sure), and a map with stickpins for each house listed. I don't know how they came up with the home value - it's not an average of the 10 homes.

All in all, this site does a better job finding addresses and phone numbers than most of the others that I've tried recently. If you click on the "More results" button you get off to a web page with a link to a fee web site.

How complete is this site? I'm guessing that it includes everybody in the US with a telephone number published in a telephone directory. I checked it out looking for my family and some friends:

* It found one married daughter (they have a land line), but not the other (they have a cell phone only)
* It found one brother in El Cajon CA, but not the one up in Vancouver WA.
* It did not have a listing for my mother, who died 5 years ago. The listings still have her.
* It had 5 of the 6 cousins that I tried. I used the state to narrow the searches.
* It had several of my favorite CVGS members.

I know that some of you will try this out just to make sure that you are listed!The neighbor feature is pretty useful. If you have an old address and you want to see if the person still lives there, you could put the address into the "Reverse Address" search and see who lives at the address. Then if you view the neighbors, you have a number of possible informants to tell you if old Uncle John died, moved, went to the rest home, or whatever.

I tested a few more free People Search web sites, and noticed that produces exactly the same results as - just the web page has a different color scheme!

If you're looking for a web site to find living people, this is definitely one to put on your list. It's free, you get quite a bit of information usually, and it's easy to use.