Locating a phone number by first name

I’m trying to find a phone number for some people that I have not been in contact with for a long, long time.

I don’t remember their last name.

I don’t remember his first name - only a nickname.

I remember her first name, but not her maiden name.

I know they lived in Detroit when we were last in touch.

I tried Facebook, but was unable to find anyone with her first name or his nickname.

Anyone have any ideas how to try to find them?

Ask a mutual acquaintance.

I can’t find anyone that’s kept up with them.

Just the other day I was in local library and saw an old-school criss-cross directory, where you could look up people by name, phone number or street.

Of course, if you can’t remember what street they lived on, or they’ve moved, even that won’t help you.

You are basically trying to find someone that you remember hardly anything about? Why you want to do that is a question on its own but I will assume you have a good reason. Can you think of anything else at all? Maybe they lived near a place whose address is known and you could use that. It is amazing what you can piece together with a few assorted details if you are good at online research.

I have found almost everyone that I ever looked for eventually but there is one couple that is in the same category as yours. I knew them pretty well but only by hanging out at parties and bars with them. They were from far away and moved away suddenly. There names are common but I know enough assorted details that I know I could locate them if I really, really needed to by getting old college directories or phone books.

How about trying Friends Reunited ?

If you know when and where they went to high school, maybe you can procure a yearbook to help refresh your memory on their full names.

If your local library subscribes to ReferenceUSA, you could try that. They have a white pages search along with a business search. I just checked the search and you only need to fill in one of the criteria (first name, last name, phone, city, or state).

How long ago was that?

What you have is so sketchy there’s really little hope of finding them without developing more info. Of the mutual acquaintances who have “not kept up with them” does anyone remember their names? Did you ever go to their house? If they owned the house you could search via the tax property transfer info showing prior owner for a specific address.

The best way to find someone like this is let them find you.

Using the SD Message board is good because it’s indexed in Google. People DO search for themselves online. So what you want to do is go to places like this, Facebook (as you said), MySpace and any other place you can think of to post a message that Google will index and you’ll be put into their search.

So someone looking for themselves will find it and contact YOU.

The part about Detroit, makes me laugh as once I was working in a hotel in Chicago and I was at the front desk, someone comes up to the desk and asks me.

“I’m looking for a man, I don’t know his name but he’s a black man from Chicago.”

OK that helped :smiley:

She used to be my wife’s roommate in college. I wanted to get in touch with her as a surprise for my wife. She likes these kind of things.

Then presumably other college friends of hers or your parents-in-law would know her name. Have you asked them?

Tell your wive a funny story about your roommate at college. See if she responds with a story of her own. If she doesn’t mention the last name, say, “Sarah? (or whatever), Sarah Smith?” to which presumably your wife will respond with the correct last name. You could even then say, no I meant her maiden name and possibly get that as well.

So you do know some key things about her right? You know where she went to college and the approximate year. You should have included that in your OP because that type of stuff is important. The school’s alumni office may be able to help you. They are staffed by real people with access to records you can’t see. If your wife’s roommate has an unusual first name, that would help a lot. Contact them and ask or find an old yearbook and look yourself.

Some colleges have alumni facebook sites.

So you have the following information:

Detroit (Place where they once lived and may still live)

First of all, it would help if you just told us the first name, the nickname, and the name of the college. You may think that you’re preserving their privacy or something, but all you’re doing is making it harder for us to suggest any way of solving your problem. Telling us what they really are will give us ideas for how to help you.

Second, why don’t you tell us all the things that you’ve tried? You say that you’ve tried Facebook. Have you tried Googling on all of those items in various combinations? For instance, put “FEMALE FIRST NAME”, “MALE NICKNAME”, and “NAME OF COLLEGE” into the Google search engine. (Obviously, I mean to put the real names into it, not the fillers I have to use because you won’t tell us the real names.) If the names were Gwendolyn, Jazzy Z., and Siwash State, you might pull up a webpage with a mention of how Gwendolyn and Jazzy Z. Wifferstein, who graduated from Siwash State, moved recently to the Podunk metropolitan area. Similarly, put “FEMALE FIRST NAME”, “MALE NICKNAME”, and “Detroit” into Google. Try all the various combinations of the four things that you know.

Third, if you tell us the actual nickname, that may allow us to guess the real first or last name. If the nickname is Nicky, his first name may be Nicholas or Nicolas or Dominic, for instance. If his nickname is Wifferzie, his last name may be Wifferstein. (Yeah, these are artificial examples, but there’s no way to tell how useful the real one is until you tell us the nickname.)

Fourth, tell us anything else you remember about this couple. How old are they? What do they look like? Do you remember anything about what they were studying, which may tell us what they now do? Do you remember any interesting stories about them? Did they ever mention where they grew up?

Whatever you do, don’t just read through the telephone book looking for her. I’ve heard that it can drive a guy insane, especially if that girl you’re lookin’ for has no last name.