Post by Sandeee
I am looking for a bit of advice on how to track down an old friend
The details I have are maiden name and date of birth and that's really
I've tried to use some of the online searches but not knowing the new
married surname is proving a bit of a stumbling block.
Are there any database which allows you to search for marriage
certificates using maiden name and date of birth. I can search using
maiden name and approx year of marriage but this obviously brings up
lots of results. The only option I can see at the moment is to visit
the family record centre and trawl through all the marriage
certificates from my search results.
Right. This is my speciality.
I've tracked down lots of people... with good results, and without malice.
You are seeking contact without malice right?
First of all, gather as much information together that you know about
them. Without that, you cannot confirm the person you will eventually be
contacting, is the person you seek.
So write down as much as you know right now.
The first things to try, are things like Google searches... You never
know, they might have their own websites, or be on someone's family tree
Try sites like GenesReunited.co.uk and FriendsReunited.co.uk... they may
be listed there.
If not, then it's time to get dirty.
There is a facility called the Electoral Roll. It's available at many
websites, I personally use 1stLocate.co.uk but findmypast.com is also
providing these searches.
However, you need to know what their name is now.
So, the first thing I would do, is if you don't know this persons
parents, then get a copy of their birth certificate. This will give you
the names of parents.
Then you will need to look through the GRO indexes ie through the
marriage lists. It depends on how unique their name is, and whether they
got married in England... if so, and providing the name isn't something
like Smith, you might be in luck.
You just have to search through all the indexes, and note down any
potential matches... which will include a First Name, Surname at time of
marriage, Surname of spouse, year, quarter, and location.
Make a list. It might be a long list, it might be a short list.
You know the date of birth, so I add 16 to that, and start my searching
Then using a personal weighting mechanism, whittle the results down to
likely candidates, and not so likely... So for example, assume that
maybe they got married between 16 and 30, that maybe they got married in
their home town... etc...
Don't dismiss any results, but keep them safe just in case...
Then, with your likely results, try sending off for a marriage
certificate, or several. You can include extra information in checking
references, eg, parents names etc...
Obviously it will cost, at £7 a go, it's not cheap. Depends how
desperately you want to find your friend.
the place to order certificates from is gro.gov.uk and bear in mind,
there may be restrictions depending on when the event took place.
But eventually, you may find a marriage certificate, that matches up the
parents names and the approximate age.
Bingo... you then have a spouse.
Of course, she may have got married again... who knows...
But then, you can go to the electoral roll... Search for this persons
name and the married surname, get back a list of results. then look at
who is in the household and where you match the spouses first name in
the house with that on the marriage certificate, you potentially have
Of course, it's possible the Electoral Roll info is out of date, or she
has asked to be hidden from searches.
Sorry once I get going, I don't stop.... And I don't believe in being
skimpy with the details...