Home > Ask Our Experts > Can I Find a Person From His Previous Known Address?

Can I Find a Person From His Previous Known Address?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 5 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Electoral Register Council Search


I am looking for a person who used to be a neighbour. I don't know his surname but I do know the address he moved to. Is there any way I can search for this address to find a surname and then to where this person might have moved.

This is from the mid 80's in England.

(D.J, 23 February 2009)


Although the Internet has made the task of locating lost friends and family a great deal easier, this type of address search is still best undertaken in the real world.

The Local Electoral Register

More specifically, your search should begin with your local electoral register. This contains the names and addresses of people living in an area, who are over the age of 18 and who have registered to vote.

Normally you would find it difficult – and no doubt have found it so already – to locate somebody without first knowing their surname, as the name is usually the first piece of information you need to begin any search. However, the electoral register is arranged in order of polling district and within them, by street order. So, although not much use for a name-based search (you are unlikely to find a version of the list arranged by resident name), it is ideal for your search. The electoral roll will be able to tell you who lives at a particular address.

The electoral register will normally be located at the local library and at your council’s civic centre. You will be able to look at it under supervision and also make any handwritten notes. You may also be allowed to purchase an edited version of the register.

Archived Registers

The register will only cover current residents, however. If your friend has subsequently moved on from the known address then you will need to ask where you can consult archived copies of the register. This way you can look up your neighbour’s address at the time in the mid-1980s when they first moved there.

Many councils run centres that specialise in local history, and provide records such as census returns, parish and nonconformist registers, as well as old editions of the electoral register. These have proven to be popular sources of information for people researching their family histories. Although the web is a very valuable tool in local history research, with some records now online, local information centres are still by far the best source of local historical records.

Good luck in your search!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Bilaljaved
    Re: Spotting Student Plagiarism
    I checked the plagiarism initially and it was 48%, I managed to reduce it to 18%. when uploaded on university blackboard. Later,…
    9 April 2021
  • Grape
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I’m a 13 year old boy from the UK I have been interested in MI6 for a while now I am a shy individual that has not many friends making me a perfect…
    21 October 2020
  • Lucifer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I wanna join you, , , iam a killing machine and willing to die in the battle field
    28 June 2020
  • Apola
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I certainly thought this would have at least any older people to leave a comment, but all I see is preteens being desperate to be an agent. Just…
    23 May 2020
  • riama
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'm a 12 year old girl and have always been interested in joining SIS/MI6. I would like to find out what the GCSE requirements are so I can work…
    29 April 2020
  • Blinkers
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Joined the Cyprus army at the age of 18, i may bot be the smartest person in the room but my i can be very street smart. i feel like i could be at…
    24 April 2020
  • Dead
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I want to join MI6 please fams, don't have ID though.. Immortal on a good day, 5ft 500pounds speaks dog language, i have some people ide like to…
    4 February 2020
  • Fruits
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi im a 12 year old girl and i am really interested in MI6, Ive always wanted to join and be a spy doing secret missions.The thing that inspired me…
    27 December 2019
  • TomCallan
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Y’all aren’t the most perceptive people are you? First things first, you need to be at least 17 and a half to apply and have full British…
    22 September 2019
  • healer
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi Im healer and please take me I will do all the missions and I will always follow the orders please take me Thank you!
    11 August 2019