Originally Posted by Dove
In 1948 two other girls and I became the best of friends until 1952 after our High school graduation. I managed to find one because our Social security number was just one number different since we went together to get our card. I found Frankie in 1992 with the help of someone who did this for a fee. He did a credit check and came back with an address in Texas and San Diego...BUT we can't find Florence. I saw her in 1962 and found out she was on her third husband since we graduated...I just know her maiden name and her Mom's maiden name..the man that found frankie through her S/S number isn't in business anymore.
If anyone has any ideas PLEASE contact me...
Wow, Dove, this is a toughie. So much time . . . but here are some things I thought of.
The three "goldens" that people tracers most prize when searching for the missing are date of birth, social security number and last known address. That's what your guy used to find Frankie. Without those, the search isn't impossible, but it's a lot more difficult. What you must do is think outside the box. Write down every single scrap of information you have about Florence, and mine them whichever way you can.
The first thing I thought of is, have you gotten in touch with Frankie to see what if anything she remembers about Florence? Like the name of her third husband? Or even the names of her first or second husband? How about where she was married to each of the men? If you can get the location of the marriages, you can get in touch with a PI in that city and have him search the county records for copies of the marriage licenses. They will provide you with the names of the presiding clergyman (or justice of the peace) and possibly the witnesses. Those are sources you can look up and talk to. The witnesses especially might remember something, like where Florence said they would be living after the wedding, etc. With the clergyman, you'd get the name of the church, and also the clergyman might remember some of the wedding attendants. I know, that's a long shot, but when you haven't got a lot to work with, you need to dig real deep. Then you order a copy of that city's white pages phone book, and you start calling the people with the same last names as the people who attended the wedding until you find the one who attended it, and ask if they remember Florence.
Ask if Frankie remembers any jobs Florence had. If the businesses are still operating (another long shot) you can get in touch with the personnel office and see if they have an employment record for her, which will give you her address at the time and, if the guy is cooperative, her social security number. Maybe if you're real lucky, there will be notes on any references the office gave to employers Florence applied to after she left this job.
Do you remember where Florence's mother lived? Do the white pages thing -- call up everybody with the same last name. You might get descendants who can give you info on Florence's whereabouts.
If you know the mother's first and last name, you can search the Social Security Death Index. That will give you date of birth, social security number and the city which the last social security benefit was sent to. And, though it is painful to think about, you might search the Index for Florence's name, too. You can look up the names here:
. All you need is the first and last names, but if that's all you provide the search box, you will get everyone of that name who died. But the last-known name of the mother is another opportunity for a white-pages search. Of course, if the mother died with a married name, that's out. But many women take back their maiden names after divorce, so it's worth checking.
Talk with Frankie and pick each other's brains about everything you recall about Florence. Sometimes buried memories are triggered, about names, jobs ... did Florence have siblings? Do either of you remember the names of any neighbors? Not everybody moves. An amazing number of people can still be found at the same address many years later. Again, white pages.
You see where I'm going -- if you can't go straight to Florence, you search for anyone you can find who is or was associated with her, relatives, employers; did she attend college? You've got attendance records.
If you can find a last known address, that gives you a starting place. Again do white pages or, depending on how recent the information, call a PI in that town and have him do a local search. He can search DMV records for any tickets issued, county clerk's office for any court actions or lawsuits, etc. that she may have been involved in, marriage/divorce records. Ditto for the mother. If you can locate her husband's family or the family members of any other children she may have borne after Florence, there's another source.
Do you have a yearbook from your high school? Look at the pictures, see if you can recall anyone who knew you three, or knew Frankie or Florence. Did Florence belong to any clubs, sports teams? Look in the yearbook for students who were in the same clubs and do the white pages. Maybe one or more of them will remember something about her. Did she take part in any activity that you think she may have pursued after graduation? Could she have joined the military?
If you go this route, write down everything anybody tells you, even if it doesn't pertain directly to Florence's location. You want to collect lots of litle threads so that later, you can maybe weave cloth. Important: When you don't know anything, everything you learn is important.
Needless to say, you need to be prepared to spend some money.
I hope this gives you some ideas to play with. If I think of anything else, I'll post that as well.