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Finding a Person’s Phone Number

A print directory can prove to be more effective than online or CD – ROM search when trying to find a person’s phone number. The results produced may also be more accurate for the simple reason that online resources take their data from second-hand sources, sometimes generating errors because of manual input into their mainframe. Microfilm is an additional essential element when tracing a person’s past and trying to find a person’s phone number or find a person's address for free .

When trying to find a person’s phone number, don’t limit your search to only one source. For out of town listings the online or CD-ROM directories may be the way to go. Databases differ vastly. Each one is different, not only in accuracy but also the up to date aspect is something to keep in mind. To find a person’s phone number the added information found in these databases can be invaluable; such as apartment numbers, personal name variations and length of residence just to name a few. When trying to find a person’s phone number be sure to use all possible combination variations of a person’s name in your search. It may also be necessary to get a list of all persons who have the same last name of the person for whom you are searching that reside in the same area.

Find a person’s phone number at their residence

An important key to finding a person’s phone number is to always check linguistic differences and varied spelling for the person’s name. For instance different directories often offer a “see also” guide at the beginning of a long list of same-spelling surnames. An example would be if you were looking for Marcus Wright, at the beginning of the “Wright” listings you would see the notice “WRIGHT SEE ALSO RITE, WHRYTE, WRITE.” The reference material you are using may not always have these notices included in their publication or may not include all variations of the given name. When trying to find a person’s phone number another suitable reference is the New Dictionary of American Family Names.

Another important step in finding a person’s address or phone number for free is to be familiar with the directory you are using and know its listing system and alphabetization process. In certain white page listings initials may precede the first names, for instance, “Smith, S.R.” comes before “Smith, Sandra”; some abbreviations are spelled out such as “St. Thomas, Marie may be listed as “Saint Thomas, Marie”; some names that include prefixes are treated as one word regardless of how the person spells it. For example, “Mc El Ravy” and “MacElravy” will be listed in alphabetical order according to first names with “MacElravy, Ashley” coming before “Mc El Ravy, Astrid”. All of these variations should be considered when trying to find a person’s phone number.

If you can find a person’s phone number using his or her surname consider searching under their spouse’s birth name or linked names. For example, “Sheila Sanders-Wilson, Sheila Wilson-Sanders, John Sanders-Wilson, John Wilson-Sanders, John and Sheila Sanders-Wilson, John and Sheila Wilson-Sanders, etc.

When trying to find a person’s phone number, be sure to study the entire list of surnames in the directory, especially if it is particularly long. Missing a crucial name is easy. For example “Sharif Nelson” may be listed as “Nelson, Sharif”; it may also be listed towards the beginning of the list as “Nelson, Anderson Sharif” or “Nelson, Anderson S.” The person’s name may also be listed following the first name of their spouse in a joint listing such as, “Nelson, Lisa and Sharif” which may be overlooked if you are unsure of Sharif’s wife’s name, in which case you should be sure to go over the entire Nelson listing. Just a few important facts when trying to find a person’s phone number.

When trying to find a person’s phone number, never assume it is unlisted, even if they have a need or desire for one. There have been instances where someone was trying to find a person’s phone number and they didn’t even try using the local directory. They assumed it wouldn’t be there because of the line of work they were in or the area of the country they lived in. More often than not, this is not the case.

Finding a person’s phone number at their place of employment

When trying to find a person’s phone number, be sure to look for their name in the business section as well as the residential white pages. Many self employed and freelance professionals have business listings under their own names. They are generally listed in alphabetical order sequenced with business names and non personal names, sometimes however, they are listed just as they are in the residential section, with surname first.

If you’re trying to find a person’s phone number, and it is not found in the business white pages, consider searching for the names in any business or corporate listings that include the subject’s name or his or her spouse’s name either in whole or in part. For example, if Jackson P. Mitchell operates a home business, he may call it Mitchell Enterprises, Jackson P. Mitchell Enterprises, Phillip (his middle name) Mitchell Enterprises, JPM Enterprises, among other arrangements. Also be aware of the article “the”. Some directories handle it differently. For example, if Mr. Mitchell calls his business “The Mitchell Agency” the directory may list it as simply “ Mitchell Agency”. Another thing to watch out for is the use of possessives: “Mitchell’s Advertising Corp.” may be listed as “Mitchell Advertising Corp.” (or vise versa). Also be aware of the possibility of transposing names in business listings; for example, “Jackson Mitchell Co.” becomes “Mitchell Jackson Co.” Just a few problems that you may encounter when trying to find a person’s phone number.

When you take on the task of finding a person’s phone number, knowing the type of business your subject is involved in will prove to be helpful and allow you to conduct your search in part in using the yellow pages. For utmost effectiveness try using the online yellow pages or Select Phone.


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