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Q: Person search ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Person search
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: zipeter-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 10 May 2005 15:53 PDT
Expires: 09 Jun 2005 15:53 PDT
Question ID: 520154
I am trying try to find a person I met in Italy in summer 1990. He was
from Boston, Mass. and spent a year as an exchange student in the
Netherlands with a dutch family. The went on holidays to Italy
(Riccione/Rimini) where me met.
I can only remember his first name: Sandy.
Is it possible to find this person without a surname and without
knowing where he might live today?

Clarification of Question by zipeter-ga on 11 May 2005 00:10 PDT
Made a mistake, it was not in summer 1990 but 1980.

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 11 May 2005 01:01 PDT
Dear Zipeter, 

First, let me remind you of the Google Answers Terms of Service: we
cannot provide you any personal details about a private individual.
What we could do, is give you all kinds of tips and advices (that
might or might not work, given that your case is relatively difficult
to crack) that would help you find him yourself.

Clarification of Question by zipeter-ga on 11 May 2005 04:46 PDT
Either way help to me find the person would be great.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 May 2005 05:05 PDT

Without some additional details, it seems to me that this sort of
search is pretty much impossible.  However, perhaps there is more
information you can add that would be useful:

--how old was Sandy when you met him in 1980?

--Do you think Sandy is his given name, or is it a nickname for, say, Alexander?

--Do you know what school he attended, or even what part of the
country (assuming the US) his school was in?

--What did he study in school?

--Any other details at all?

To repeat, with the current information at hand, I really do think
this may be impossible.  But with some additional details, we may be
able to assist you.


Clarification of Question by zipeter-ga on 11 May 2005 13:36 PDT
Dear  politicalguru and pafalafa,

thank you for your attempts to help me. 

Unforunately there is very little information I can add. I know that
he was somewhere around 18 years old in 1980. So he should be around
45 by now.
I know for sure that he came from Boston, Mass. and I am pretty sure
he went to school there.
I think Sandy was his first name. We called him Sandy and I can
remember a post card he sent me from Boston giving his name as Sandy,
but I cannot remember his last name if I ever knew it at all. Perhaps
I could identify his last name if I saw it or heard it.

As far as I know there is no online search tool for the  first name
only for last name. Could it be possible to find people who lived in
Boston, Mass. with the first name Sandy.
I can remember that he was about to go back to Boston from the
Netherlands at the end of the summer. Either he had already finished
Highschool before going to the netherlands in summer 1979 or he went
back to Highschool after returning from Holland.
You see, not a lot of information I can add, but perhaps you still see
a way to help me.
Subject: Re: Person search
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 11 May 2005 16:04 PDT

If Sandy is indeed the name of the person you're seeking (rather than
a nickname), then there's a possibility, at least, of locating the
right 'Sandy'.

The situtation is helped greatly by the fact that Sandy is not an
especially common name, so that searching by first name is more
plausible than looking for, e.g., 'John' in Boston.

I will steer you to several sources that allow searching by first
name.  Each search provides somewhat different results, and allows you
different sorts of search options, so you should probably try them
all.  I've included several commercial search services as well,
including one that I highly recommend.

I'm certain you're aware by now that there is certainly no implied
promise of being able to locate this person.  However the tools below
are your best bet for getting started with the search.

I trust this information will fully answer your question.  However,
please don't rate this answer until you have everything you need.  If
you would like any additional information, just post a Request for
Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further, and I'm at
your service.

Best of luck,



First stop is Intellius' people-search page:

Entering [ sandy ] in the First Name box, [ boston ] in the City box,
and selecting Massachusetts for the state, and 1960's for the Decade
Born will pull up a list of 65 Sandy's in the Boston area.  The list
includes approximate ages, so that's a big help right there in picking
out plausible records for additional research.

You may want to play around a bit with the Intellius search page, as
different searches turn up different -- and sometimes unexpected --
results.  For instance, the list for the above-mentioned search
includes other names besides Sandy -- I'm not sure why.  A search for
all Sandy's in Massacusetts (without listing a specific city) turned
up a few hundred Sandy's in the state, but no ages were given.

Note that you can purchase the records of the search results from
Intellius, as well as purchasing a more in-depth background report for
any name of your choosing...just click on any individual name to see
the options available, as well as sample reports for each option.


Next stop is the online phone book known as Superpages:

Obviously, [ Sandy ] goes in the First Name box.

The trick at Superpages is to enter an asterisk [ * ] in the box
labelled "Last Name: (required)".

You may also want to check off "Include nearby areas" to get the towns
around Boston.

I also strongly recommend checking off the box that says "Exact
matches only" -- without this checked, your results will be
overwhelmed with people listed by the first initial "S".

With the exact matches checked off, your search should provide a list
of about 140 Sandy's in the area.


I'll mention another option, just to be thorough, although I can't
personally recommend this service, since I haven't made use of it
myself. has a variety of person-searching services
available for sale:

Note the text on the right-hand side of the page (near the binoculars) that says:  

"Find People by First Name or Maiden Name"

Click that, if you're interested in purchasing their people-search
service, but before you do....


I've saved quite possibly the best for last.  A colleague of mine has
an online search service, Fiind, that is very thorough and very
reasonably priced:

We offer:

Individual people tracing, done by hand, utilizing various databases
and search engines - many are not available to the general public.

Every query is different, so we use intuition, experience and
intelligence to spot clues and provide accurate results.

I've seen this fellow perform near-miracles, and for $20, I think it's
well worth a shot.


These resources will certainly get you started, and perhaps even give
you cause for hope.  Best of luck, and like I said, if there's
anything else you need, just holler.


search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites for people searching.

Request for Answer Clarification by zipeter-ga on 13 May 2005 13:43 PDT
Pafalafa and political guru,

I followed your advive pafalafa, so many names turned up, I cant con
tact them all by mail. sounded great I send them the information I have and
the money requested and got a straight answer no person search
possible with firstname and aproximate age. Hope the money will be
refunded without much loss.

Political guru,

I like your Idea. What would be the best paper?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 14 May 2005 17:44 PDT

If you repeat the SuperPages search, but uncheck the box for "Include
nearby areas", you should get a list of 14 Sandy's that are listed in
Boston proper.  This seems a reasonable number to work with.

I agree that it would certainly be onerous to contact dozens of
Sandy's in the Boston area.  However, with the very limited
information you have available about who you are looking for, a
certain amount of culling of lists is unavoidable.  If you're not able
to do that yourself -- by writing letters or making phone calls -- you
may want to consider hiring the task out to someone who can.

Sorry to hear about not working out for you, but as has been
said before, this is an awfully tough search.

Lastly, the suggestion to post a classified ad is a good one.  You can
also do something of the sort online at sites such as:
Locate your ClassMates, CoWorkers, Friends, Relatives
for FREE in the places where you knew them.

I haven't used this service before, so I can't vouch for it, but it
seems worth checking out.

Best of luck...

Subject: Re: Person search
From: politicalguru-ga on 13 May 2005 12:06 PDT
I think Pafalafa-ga's answer is very good. Another idea I might have
used, is to publish (for several weeks), an ad in the classified
sections of Boston's local newspapers. If not Sandy himself, it is
possible that someone who knows him closely could help you locate him.

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