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Looking for lost friends

If they’re not on Facebook, don’t panic!

192.com192.com, the UK’s leading people-finding website is helping Oxford Brookes alumni to get back in touch. They are offering 20% off the normal price to access the site’s millions of names and addresses.

This information has been complied from genealogy specialists like Find My Past to UK-wide directories like 192.com, which supplies free directory enquiries and 300 million records from the edited electoral roll.

192.com also uses records from the Land Registry, Directors Database, and Births Marriages and Death Indexes, showing who lives where, and who with. The site also supplies neighbours contact details, allowing for community-wide searches.

Dominic Blackburn, the Product Director at 192.com advises Brookes alumni to begin a people-search with a broad approach, and get progressively more focused.

“Start by putting in little information into the site; even a first name and general location can give you something to work with.

“Then pare the results down by factoring in more information about the person you are looking for, for example, their general age and who they might be living with. Age guides on 192.com can help with the former, and an advanced people search on the site helps you to sift through results by co-habitees.”

When searching for women who may have married and changed surnames, Blackburn suggests looking through the site’s marriage indexes. “You will have to know roughly when they got married to trace their new surname for this to be effective,” he councils.

“Another option is to narrow your search by profession,” says Blackburn. “192.com contains a listing of Company Directors, and there are four million of these listed in the UK.”

Robin Brown is a professional people-finder who reunites ex-servicemen and friends through his website, findanoldfriend.co.uk. He has the following general advice for Brookes sleuths:

  • Search with a full name and middle initial. Have an open mind to spelling. Could a Steven be a Stephen? Beware nicknames, its unlikely people will be registered as such.
  • Know the approximate age of the person you’re looking for. The publication of Births Marriages and Deaths data has improved considerably in recent years.
  • Research the whole family. Often someone knows where the person is, even if all they know is their general region. Learn as much as you can about who you’re looking for. Who might they have known and worked with? What school did they go to? Start with an open mind, then slowly focus your research.
  • Look at 192.com’s property listings and approximate age-guides. If there has been no sale of the property then the person you are looking for is still probably residing at the same address they were years ago, then use the site’s age-guides to narrow the search.

“Be patient and persevere. The time it takes for a successful search can vary,” advises Blackburn:. “A case-study of ours, Lynsey from Northern Ireland took years to find her sister on a range of websites whereas Fallan from Kent found her missing Father on 192.com in minutes.”

192.com wishes Oxford Brookes alumni the best of luck with their people search.

To access the site’s millions of names and addresses at 20% off the normal price, contact the alumni office for the discount code. Then, register with 192.com, go to the ‘get credits’ section and input the code to enjoy your discount.