How to Locate Someone Without a Last Name

By James McElroy

Searching for someone without having his last name may be tricky, but you stand a good chance of success if you take advantage of every piece of information that you do have. Start with your basic knowledge of the person you seek and use information you gather along the way to intensify your search.

Step 1

Contact the places where the person used to work. Provide any information you have such as the period of employment or the position held. The company might not give you the contact details of its former employee, but might be willing to pass along a message for you. If the person worked in a profession that required licensing or registration, check with the government agency or licensing organization. Use the information you do know to narrow the search. Many licensing agencies publish the business places of members on their websites. Professional associations that do not issue licenses might maintain public membership rolls.

Step 2

Get in touch with schools and alumni associations and ask if they have contact information on file. Narrow your search with information such as degree earned, year graduated, club and team participation. Like employers, they might be reluctant to give out personal information but might be happy to pass along your information. Check with websites that specialize in reuniting old classmates to see if the person you seek is registered with one of them.

Step 3

Contact places frequented by person. If he used to hang out a certain coffee shop or lounge, pay a visit and ask the employees and regular customers if they know the person you seek. A former landlord or neighbor might have a forwarding address or tip you off to the last name. If you get a new address and a last name, send a letter. If the person has moved from that address in the last year and established a forwarding address with the post office, the letter should get to him.

Step 4

Use social media in your search. Use the information you do have to search on social and business networking sites. The person's first name, hometown, high school and college, age and sex all help to narrow the search. Even if it leaves you with 10 candidates, contact each. The person you seek may be in this group.