In the universe of scurrilous people who frequently change their names for reasons most nefarious, the greatest arch-villains are the ex-cons and women. This is not a blog about ex-cons.
This is a blog on women. But not just any women. This blog is about women with relatives. Yes, women who have parents, brothers, sisters, children, or grandparents.
Women, who inevitably in the course of time, must lose their loved ones to the ever hungry, implacable, insatiable jaws of death. So if you’re looking for little orphan Annie or the immortal Amazons of Paradise Island, this blog is not for you.
But for the rest of us, now is the time to talk about obituaries. Believe it or not, obituaries often hold the key to finding your old friend who may have married, remarried, changed names, and moved again and again.
Obits are a treasure trove of dates, names and places. A chock full of who’s related to who, who they’re now married to and where they NOW live. So even if you can’t find your BFF from grade school, you may be able to get her number through her siblings, parents, new spouse or children.
How To Find Obits
How you find an obit is not so important. It’s all about what you do with the information. Often what you get is an obit for a brother, sister or parent, which in turn could list the new surname, spouse and location of all surviving female relatives, including your old girlfriend.
Most people typically stumble upon obits in a Google search and then after reading a few names, move on to the next hit. Few people actively search for them. Or even know how to leverage what they find.
The fact is, that an upfront search for an obit can save you lots of time. For example, if they have a rare maiden name, you could of course Google their last name like this: Fogelman AND obit OR obituary OR died OR deceased OR death. (OR and AND must be in caps). This could pull up the names of the woman’s deceased parents, aunts, uncles and brothers, which in turn could give you surviving relatives including your subject, her new surname with where she lives now, or the names and locations of her surviving siblings.
Still too many hits? Then narrow your searches with a city and state. (But this is unwise unless it’s a common surname or you’re sure of where their relatives live or have died).
Also try Googling the full name of a parent or close relative likely to be deceased. For example, Graham Firestone AND “Survived By” (The AND must be in caps.) If you know the year they died, add that too!
Sample Search Where An Obituary Led Me To A New Surname
Recently, someone on Facebook needed help to find an old childhood friend named Teresa Bagnell. While Bagnell was a very rare name, it was decades since they last saw each other and by now Teresa could be married, divorced and have changed names several times. She could also have moved anywhere in the world. So how could I know where to find her?
All I had to work with was that Teresa had 4 brothers and sisters named Brian, John, Kathy, Bill, and James. I was also told that she was in her 70s and her nickname could be Terry or Terri.
Naturally I started with a search for Teresa Bagnell. But I struck out. She had probably changed names long ago. Few like to admit it, but Googling for people is more an art than a science. Sometimes you just get an intuition of who to start with.
My next step was to Google the rarest names of her siblings, preferably with the name of a brother or father who’s last name would never change with marriage. When I Googled together the names Brian Kathy Bagnell, I hit pay dirt. Lo and behold, there was a 2010 obituary of Thomas Bagnell Jr., which listed the surviving brothers and sisters including a Terry Miller of Miami, OK.
I was very lucky because while Terry Miller is an extremely common name, there couldn’t be too many in the uncommonly small town of Miami, Oklahoma.
Also, brother “Brian” was really “Bryan”, an even rarer name. So from there I simply went to Cyberackgroundchecks.com and looked up the names of both siblings, limiting my search to their city and state. This allowed me to get their wireless (cell phone) numbers, which I could confirm were still valid through reverse cell phone lookups, such as Spydialer and OK Caller.
Otherways To Find A Woman’s New Surname
Does looking through death records makes you squeamish? If so, you can always search for their new last name by Googling for Marital Status & New Surnames! Best of luck, and I hope you enjoyed this go happy blog!
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