Historic Telephone Searching

Posted on January 4th, 2019

We all know there are countless “White Pages” style of telephone number lookup sites that work well for landline numbers. This has had great value over the years, but many people are ditching the landline and only using cell phones in the home. I have always possessed numerous residential telephone book CD-ROMs in case I ever need to go back in time to find an old number or address. These discs are a burden and require a Windows 98 virtual machine. I needed a better option. I recently found three various online resources that possess historic telephone number data associated with landlines dating back to 1994. These three sources happen to allow a URL query with a pure text return, so I put together an automated tool which should help with searching. It is located on the Telephone Tools section of the IntelTechniques Search Tool at https://inteltechniques.com/menu.html. Below is an actual example.

Loren Copp, a former pastor and owner of a pizza parlor, was recently found guilty of several child sex crimes near St. Louis. A search on TruePeopleSearch.com revealed a telephone number of 3144570842. I searched this number through the tool and found the following.

THIS example indicates:

Another person owned the number from approximately 1994 to 1997
Another person owned the number from approximately2002 to 2003
The number was likely unused from 1998 to 2001 and 2007-2013
The number was assigned to our target in 2014
The number was still assigned to our target in 2018

In ANOTHER (unpublished) example, this tool informed me of the following.

My target possessed the number from 1996-2018 (present in tool)
My target changed addresses near 2001 (address changed in listing)
My target was married near 2003 (Spouse added to listing)
My target was divorced near 2014 (name change and spouse removed)
My target moved near 2018 (address changed in listing)

While landline numbers may not be as valuable today as they were in the past, we have a great resource of historical details to take advantage of. There are many small nuggets of valuable information hiding within these old phone-books. Instant availability thanks to the internet make it easy to search, and inexcusable to avoid. Special thanks to Justin Seitz (hunch.ly) for fixing my original PHP mistakes on this tool.

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