How to Find Out People's Middle Names

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Use birth or death certificates as a means of discovering a middle name if the certificates are public record.

When introducing yourself to someone, you often do not state your middle name. So when you want to find someone else's middle name, either out of curiosity or for other reasons, it takes either knowing the right people or the time to investigate on your own. Sometimes talking to someone affiliated with the person you are attempting to know more about is all it takes to discover a middle name. If that is not a possibility, use the Internet or local resources in your community as tools for research.


Step 1

Talk to family members or friends of the person whose middle name you are attempting to discover. If you are attempting to find out the person's middle name for a present or other type of surprise, let the family member or friend know and he may be more willing to share with you information only known by a few.


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Step 2

Do a general web search using the person's first and last name, as well as a city of residence. If that person uses a social networking site or has her own website, her middle name may appear on that site.

Step 3

Use specific websites that search for public information on a person. Some of these sites, such as, may provide limited information for free. For the cost of a membership or a one-time fee, you may find out more information about the person that is comparable to a background check. Other sites, such as, can help with genealogical searches.


Step 4

Check your state's laws to see which records are public records, especially if you are searching for a person's middle name from past generations. In some states, birth or death certificates can be found at libraries or in other historical records. In Pennsylvania, for example, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a collection of birth and death records from the years 1870 through 1905 from Allegheny County. Although these records are not actual copies of the birth or death certificates, they are written entries. Historical societies also may have available information for people who no longer are alive or people who have lived in the community for a lengthy time.





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