Adoption Concerns Triangle of Topeka, KS

Adoption Search


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April 2019 - Marilyn Mendenhall Waugh, MA; Topeka, KS


Important: Check with your local public library to determine which

 databases they offer, both on site and with remote access. 


If searching for married name changed from maiden name:  very popular site and most public libraries have a subscription that is free to use for patrons with library card.  Take your laptop to the library if possible.   I access through my local library subscription online and connect through my computer at home.  Search obits with any of three fields – name, date and/or obit text.  I like to use last name of

birth mom, date framed from adoptee’s date of birth to present, state or city and then first name of birth mom. - fairly recent site with LOTS of good info such as new and old addresses/phone number, email addresses and possible relatives (you can click on a relative's name and it will hyperlink to THAT person's info)  Lists name, age, city/state and also lists family members together (fabulous!). One of the most useful sites around as “dead people” are often listed with family members. uses same database as  Search by name census, birth, death, divorce, marriage and obits.  Use the advanced search when searching by name as you can use partial or complete date of birth or approximate age.  Can search also by using maiden name.  LOTS of info at a small fee.  Millions of cemetery records, famous and non-famous names, are listed here – many with photos of gravestone.  Great for searching for relatives in a certain town/state. – wedding info; can check if they have registry – baby registry (they include maiden name for search purposes) - use only the "free info" - this will show relatives, city/state and addresses plus phone number  great stalking tool!  Click on “neighbors” and it lists all the neighbors with their contact information.  Good about listing apartment numbers.  Now also puts possible relatives and occupation.  Note: check all phone sites - compare info.   fast website results that list names, addresses, phone numbers plus aerial photo of home (links over automatically to whitepagesplusbyPPL)  phone/address listings – can search by name and zip code; will often list female name AND/OR male name of phone # owner (not done by other phonebook sites as a general rule). If you click on "full profile" you will link up with the info on for free.  phone listings for the World   Accessing this site can provide name, age, family members (with ages), interests, photo of neighborhood and house (google earth).  Can search by name, address, phone, username (on email and social media sites).  Very reasonable fees and gives quite a bit of info on person. Great for addresses, dates living at which residence, relatives, phone and email addresses.   Family finder sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  now owned by but lets you access information archived by each state (census, cemetery records, military records, etc)  enter first and last name; has space for city (or can just do state).  Free site and can search with just last name and/or state.   Search this Social Security Death List by name or by birthdate!!  Search the SSDI by last name; gives you birth and death dates for each person and state where they died. Helpful in locating an obit that lists survivors.  can put in name, username, phone and/or state and the site does a “deep web” search that uses several search engines and sites.  will give name/city/state, and often maiden name, plus age and, if dead, the date of death.  Not always accurate on alive vs dead so recheck.  Often has free 24 hour search special.  put in name and it also gives age, locations and relatives.   Been advertised on TV a significant amount.  An OK site but it seems to morph similar names together (eg Stephanie and Steve Waugh are viewed as same person; ditto for Don and Donna Mendenhall)  good database.  Must pay for some info but cost is minimal.  put in name and last known state – lists age, employment, family members, cities lived in  search by first and last name  Enter city and/or state and it will show what online databases are available for that area.  Do NOT put person’s name in the first blank; it is for location only. - free newspapers from the US Library of Congress  and supported by many funeral homes across USA  search by name, interests, work, school and many other categories.   enter address and the correct complete address and zipcode will appear.  EXCELLENT way to find out if the person lives in an apartment.  search database of 120 million names and birth dates.  Put in first and last name and estimated age of person.  Gives birth date (wonderful to have for other search databases) and city/state. (aka Memory Lane),  free membership lets you search these sites for high school, college, and military alumni name.  Be sure to try the “map location” feature on!  Blog type site that ANYONE can access.  Scary how much info people post about themselves.  Usually blocked on work computers!  They do not update membership files so it can be helpful to track someone’s trail.  Look at the photos also as a specific college t-shirt can help determine different locations to search.   Nominal fee.  Claims to have selected birth indexes (TX, CA, OH, MN, NC, KY VT).  Now has free trial period for 11 days.  enter date of birth for adoptee and lists names and location of people who have registered with site (mutual consent registry)  Another social networking site. I suggest using last name only for a search and often you will get the city/state where the person is located.  will give relatives and towns/states where person lived. use the free info on site.  Also does “deep web” search  Gives age, year of birth, address and partial phone number.   listing of newspaper, magazine, radio, tv stations   good resource for genealogy info on a certain 

area of the United States.  State list on left side.  can search by three categories: people, company, job  listing of those killed in Korean Conflict plus other great info   Listing of lawyers nationwide on these two sites  search for prisoners by state  search for those in federal prison system.  Site by Federal Department of Justice.    photos of criminals and listings for various states is growing.   Info on school reunions future and past; often lists event coordinator and contact info   Lots of data portals to look up everything from correct zip code to addresses to maps to radius of area codes.  Search with first and last name plus state (city optional). Results may have present owners of house, for example, mixed in so be careful in using this site.



Plus some others:


Genealogy Resources:   free estimate to hire a genealogist (about $45 per hr); connected to   People Searching Tool – small fees


Public Resources:   State by state info and hyperlinks   often used genealogy info   New York State Unified Court  fee to use but free at most public libraries; great info; good for city directory searching

 best name search engine – put name in “quotes”

 my second choice for name search engine  Vital Records Information, Birth Certificate, how and where to obtain copy in U.S.   Cyndi's List – Marriage info sites  - National Obituaries Archives - Search for schools, libraries, and colleges - clicking on the search tips is helpful.  You might want to read through the FAQs (frequently asked questions) also.   Helpful for locating materials when using Interlibrary Loan   links to each state’s resources  Has searchable database registry plus helpful info for anyone born in Ethiopia



Specific to Kansas City born Adoptees:  

search Kansas City marriage records by mother or father’s name  Online death certificates for Missouri on anyone deceased from 1955 to very early 1900’s  Missouri court info – can search by name.   recorder of deeds; can search marriages licenses with bride and/or groom names up to present day  Kansas City, KS library and access to their databases – need to have library card. Listing of databases under “Research”.  Kansas City, MO library and access to their databases – need to have library card. Has Heritage Quest, Ancestry (need to be in building), Missouri Death certificates and Newspapers.   Kansans can now access and for free (!) when searching Kansas information. This is an arrangement made between Ancestry and Newspapers websites and the Kansas Historical Society. For free use, Kansas users must access the records through and confirm their residency using your driver's license number. Then click on Online Collections and start using their databases. 



DNA Testing (best to “fish in all three ponds”):  general genetic testing; read section on adoptees  because of FDA ruling can only minimally list what diseases you might be at risk for with your DNA, can do lists of relatives (usually cousins), geographic area of your ancestors, others with similar DNA and their contact info.    offers DNA testing but does not archive samples  provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Can compare your results across FTDNA, Ancestrydna and 23andme.  paternal line testing  At $78 seems to have the best reputation plus has testing info when participants are in different regions. And this explains the process when you live in different areas:


DNA Detectives ( – closed group but just ask to join. Many search angels are willing to help on this site.


Search Squad ( – another closed group that you must ask to join. You have to send any search responses to one of the site’s “official searchers” rather than get a response directly from someone on site. Not quite as “user friendly” as DNA Detectives.





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