How to People-Search With Just a First Name

It can be difficult to find someone online without knowing their full name, but it's not impossible. If you know other aspects about a person's life, such as where they live or work, you can sometimes find them on search engines using a combination of first name and that information. Social media can also be helpful, especially if you have connections in common on various social tools.

Image Credit: jacoblund/iStock/GettyImages

Find Someone Without the Last Name

One of the easiest ways to search for a person by first name is using a search engine. If a person's first name is at all common, it won't be sufficient to locate the person, unless they're uniquely famous by just that name like singers Prince and Madonna. If you know other information about the person, however, such as where they live or work, you can combine those facts to search for them with search engines like Google or Bing.

For example, if you wanted to find someone named Susan who works at the First National Bank of Anytown, you might be able to type "Susan first national bank of anytown" into a search engine and see results from an employee listing or a career site. Similarly, if you know someone's hometown, educational history or hobbies, you can often craft a search string that turns up the person you seek.

Facebook Search By Name

Facebook and other social networks enable you to search for people by first name and other identifiers. If you know or suspect you have friends in common with someone but only know their first name, you can try typing it into Facebook and see if that person pops up. You can also narrow the search with various filtering options such as where the person went to school, lives or works.

Other social networking sites, including the career-oriented platform LinkedIn, offer similar search tools. Many also allow you to upload cellphone or email contacts to search on the sites, which can be useful if you have a person's phone number or email address.

The More Info, the Better

If you have more information about someone than just a first name, such as a phone number, address or last name, the task becomes dramatically simpler.

You can use people search tools like Whitepages or ZabaSearch to locate people with a given full name in a particular geographical area or do a reverse phone lookup for a particular phone number. You can also include the person's full name in a Google or Bing search or social media search to try to find the right person.

If you find information using one search tool, you can use it to refine your searches on other tools, like adding a hometown or last name gleaned from Google to a Facebook search.

references