Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Adventures in searching

Some interesting things discovered during searching for alumni from my Enloe High School Class of 1986 alumni

  • When doing a phone book search using names, I discovered that there is a "Star Trek" road in Raleigh, North Carolina. Imagine explaining that when placing an order. Actually it's a pretty apropos address for many of my classmates.
  • While doing a reverse phone lookup, you tend to find a lot of numbers from 10 years ago that have been reassigned to people that you've never heard of. For example, one was actually reassigned and listed as beloning to "Donnie Darko" of Angier, North Carolina. The address was actually the same as we have on file from 10 years ago, so I'm assuming that's a joke.
  • At least two of the alumni appear to have married each other, although one may have killed outlived the other one. They have the same address and phone number in the 10-year-old records, but only the female (with the male's last name) shows up on-line.

Some suggestions for upcoming graduates and others who hope to be found for their future reunions:

  • If you are a female person, please put your maiden name on your real estate transactions. I found quite a few more hits on men than on women due to name changes.
  • Give your children unique names, especially if your last name is "Smith" or some such. It is much harder to find a unique "Mark Smith" than it is to find "Ezekialaloicious Smith".

Some suggestions for future searchers:

  • Start with the existing addresses. Send postcards or emails or whatever. That's be a good weeding out beginning to the process and isn't too expensive - just labor intensive.
  • Search real-estate records in the area where your high school was located. Especially at later reunions (like the 20th) odds are good that most of your classmates have purchased a home.
  • Do reverse phone book lookups on any old phone numbers. Even when people move, they often take their number with them. If nothing else, you'll get candidate addresses and potentially some new last names for women who've dropped their maiden names.
  • When printing labels for printing, print one page at a time. The printing gets off a little bit more on each page, so you end up with 2 or 3 pages of useful labels and 10 pages of trash.

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