(Update: please read comments on this posting, from Search Systems' Tim Koster, explaining why it became a fee service, and offering hope some of it will be free again. He also explains why it's worth subscribing too, if you can.)
An email from OnlineSearches.com asks me to post notice of their public records finder database, Free Public Records Directory
. I've known about this site for a long time and have linked to it from here before. I certainly use it often and have featured it on links pages I've done.
At any rate, this is probably the best free
directory of online public records around right now. It also features a collection of free searches and a public records blog, both of which I've linked recently.
It replaced -- for me -- the directory at SearchSystems.net
, which I used for years and still see recommended by researchers. But that directory is no longer free so not useful for many who once swore by it. You can still use it to discover if a record exists but must subscribe to see the link. Unfortunately most other directories don't have the international section that made Search Systems even more useful.
The most important thing to remember, though, is that no directory is complete. New records go online all the time and finding out that a particular county has put marriage licenses, for example, online, can take months. Besides Free Public Records, I also check directories from BRB
, and NETRonline
For news of new online public records, The Virtual Chase
's (link fixed
) newsletter often lists them, as well as PIBuzz
There are a couple free search sites that help find public records on people at times; Pretrieve
. You will have to pay for details, though.
As far as people finders, last week
I mentioned a new subscription service, Reporter's Edge
, which does a great job of providing info previously available only in more expensive services. A couple free ones that have caught my eye (they give just enough detail to determine where to search, at least) are VoomPeople
, and the search at Free Public Records Online, which leads to PeopleFinders.com
Even more interesting, notice of a new search engine just for people, called PIPL
. This finds references to people in blogs, news, some public records, besides phone and address and email directories. It's been reviewed in SearchEngineLand
, and by Mark Schaver at Depth Reporting
I've tried to keep up with public records search links -- especially Florida links -- on my public records reference page
, and am in the process of updating it now (some links may not work).
Labels: news research, public records