Trying to use the Web to find someone? I’ve put together a Top Ten list of where to find the best free public record searches on the internet, all the way from obituaries to census data.
Yes, Google definitely belongs on this list of free public records search sites. Not only is it free, it’s also one of the world’s largest databases of information. For more info on how to use Google as your own public records locator, read my articles titled Google Search, Google Cheat Sheet, Google Reverse Lookup, and How to Create a Google News Alert (a great way to track mentions of your topic across the Web).
2. United States Vital Records Information
An invaluable site that basically provides vital links to every state office you might need for any kind of public record. VitalRec explains how to obtain vital records (such as birth certificates, death records, marriage licenses and divorce decrees) from each state, territory and county of the United States.
3. Obituaries 101
Obituaries 101 is an extremely comprehensive free public records search site; it features every American state major newspaper with links to obituary sections, as well as the day’s prominent obituaries and AP obituaries.
4. Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records
A (mostly) free genealogy search site; excellent for those researching genealogies. “This website is a directory of online death indexes listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices & registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery & burial records. Also included is information about searching the Social Security Death Index online.”
5. Google People Search
If you’re looking for information about someone, one of the best places you can start your search on the Web is Google. You can use Google to find background information, phone numbers, addresses, maps, and more. You can find a lot of information about someone simply by entering their name in quotation marks.
You can do also do a free reverse lookup with Google – it’s fast and pretty simple. Here’s how you do it: 503 555 1212 or phonebook: 503 555 1212
Simply put, Zabasearch is a free people search engine that scours freely accessible public information and records. It’s a free service, but you’ll have to pay if you want more detailed information, such as background checks.
7. FirstGov, the US Government’s Official Internet Search Engine
FirstGov.gov is an absolutely mammoth search engine/portal that gives the searcher direct access to searchable information from the United States government, state governments, and local governments. Every agency that handles public records in the United States can be found somewhere in this huge database.
8. Find a Grave
Did you know that you can find a grave online? You can also view many cemeteries on the Web using my list of sites on the Web that index graves and cemeteries.
9. Census Finder
For the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, a free public records search site: “Census records are among one of the best and most often utilized tools for genealogy research. Many censuses are recorded or transcribed online. Locating free census records online can present a challenge. With a bit of patience, you will find thousands of census links to free census transcriptions, census indexes and census images in our categorized directory.”
10. DirectGov (UK site)
A searchable public records search database of a wide range of government information and services in the United Kingdom. An excellent place to start for a free public records search.