Public Records

Public Records

Thanksgiving Facts To Bring To The Table

Thanksgiving is one of America's most cherished national holidays. Americans gather with friends and family to express their gratitude, but the rich history behind this day is often forgotten. To honor the full spirit of this November holiday, we've put together some interesting facts to bring to the dinner table on Thursday. Read more...

Presidents' Day People Search

Ever notice the abundance of streets, cities, and people named after Presidents? Us too! That's why an analysis of the power of a Presidential name seems perfectly fitting on the birthday of the first President of the United States George... Read more...

Which Records Are Restricted?

In my last post, I discussed the power of public records and the amount of information that you can obtain about someone through an open source background investigation. While open source/public records have become more easily accessible to the public,... Read more...

How To Get Started Being A People Search Sleuth

Admit it -- you probably wanted to be a private investigator once in your life. Maybe it was Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, Sam Spade, the Ferrari-driving Thomas Magnum or the esteemed members of Scooby-Doo's Bloodhound Gang. In most cases, these fictional... Read more...

Holes In Northern California Records Checks

When you think of all-things-wired and the center of digital information you likely think of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. While this may be true in many respects, the digital age has not dawned on some San... Read more...

The Court Office Hierarchy & The Records It Maintains

There are many reasons why a person would like to learn more about someone's past records. In this day and age, it is important to protect a business from an unscrupulous employee or someone providing care for children or... Read more...

Looking Into The Past With Civil Records

Records found in civil courts pertain to money compensation sought by one person or company against another person or company. The civil records also include divorce cases. They are an excellent location to search for background information about a person... Read more...

Using Probate & Guardianship Records To Learn Details About A Person’s Lifestyle

In this post, we're going to share some information how probate records help you learn about a person's lifestyle, not only the direct person but also family members and others that are included in the documents. A probate record is... Read more...

New Feature: State Courts Pages

We've added new information to PeopleSmart, and we wanted to share it with you. Recently, we updated the information for each State's Court Agency page in our public records database. This is where you can go to find information about retrieving public records from a state's court office.

One of the challenges of working with public records is that many are not yet digitized. So, if you need a copy of your birth certificate, or want to verify certain court records, you might need to order a physical copy. Our Court Agency pages will be an important tool for researchers, especially those dealing with records in multiple states.

Read more...

Privacy Spotlight: People Smart Does Not Reveal Social Security Numbers

In this post we'd like to feature another way that PeopleSmart.com thinks thoughtfully about privacy issues.

Social Security Numbers, which we guard carefully while we're alive, become public record after death. The United States government compiles a Social Security Death Index (SSDI) based on the deaths reported to the Social Security Administration. The SSDI contains Social Security Numbers for the deceased individuals in the file, which today includes about 95% of deaths in the U.S.

The SSDI is an important source for public record data for genealogists and people searching for old classmates, distant relatives, and the like. Read more...

How the Supreme Court Paved the Way for Virtual Phonebooks

On Tuesday we shared a bit about the history of the phonebook and the technological features that make PeopleSmart a "phonebook for the 21st century." Today, we're looking to history again, this time to a Supreme Court decision that made it possible to build a national virtual phonebook. In this post, we describe how copyright laws that once protected telephone book monopolies were overturned by a key Supreme Court decision. This decision, and the new legal doctrine it established eventually created the conditions that would make PeopleSmart possible. We'll explain why, without this decision, we never could have made a virtual phonebook, much less one that includes a broad range of public records. Read more...

A Phonebook for the 21st Century

Photo credit: Tobias Deml, 2010 When PeopleSmart launched last September, the New York Times called it "a phonebook for the 21st century." We're honored by the title and want to share some reflections about how PeopleSmart has adapted the historical phonebook concept to meet the 21st century consumer's needs.

From the beginning, phonebooks addressed the need for people to connect with other people and businesses they wouldn't otherwise know how to contact. Introduced in 1878, the first U.S. phonebooks simply listed the names and addresses of a telephone company's subscribers. There was no need to list actual phone numbers, since people had to place calls through an operator. Read more...