Craig Johnson

4 Things You Can Learn From a Person's Address History

Public records can reveal the messy truth that you won't always see on someone's social media.

4 Things You Can Learn From a Person's Address History

When newcomers dive into the fascinating pool of public records, they usually look for mugshots and RAP sheets (Records of Arrests and Prosecutions). They comb over legal filings, traffic tickets, and court documents. That's the juicy stuff.

Few realize what they can learn from the address history, especially when they have just gotten started investigating people's background. On the face of it, just the number of past addresses tells you something about a person. We hear from our members that they see long address histories and don't know what to think about it.

Here are four things you can learn from someone's address history.

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That He's a Couch Surfer

It's one thing to stay briefly with friends, roaming from a home base to seek better job opportunities or to reset after graduating or a breakup. But if a person is registering frequent new addresses (with the post office, creditors, banks, insurance providers, and so on), they have no home base. Why so unsettled? Why so transitory?

Friendships are difficult with such people, and forget about a romantic attachment. If he can't commit to an apartment and the job to pay the rent, he won't commit to you. He will, however, be keen to move in with you!

That He's Running From Trouble

"If your man is living in his mother’s house for more than a couple of months—I give a small grace period—red flag!" wrote Michael Lockwood in his self-help book Women Have All the Power: Too Bad They Don't Know It.

Beware of someone whose address history indicates a brief stint out in the world followed by a return to Momma' house, then another foray into independence and another retreat to Momma's house. What mistakes is this person making, over and over? Who is he pissing off?

According to census data, average Americans move 11.7 times in their lifetime, mostly between the ages of 18 and 45:

  • 2.6 moves before age 18
  • 6.4 moves between 18 and 45
  • 2.7 moves after age 45

When it comes to a woman, a gypsy pattern in her address history could indicate that she moves in with men at the drop of a hat (or the flash of a credit card). When the man catches wise to her ways, he kicks her back to her parents.

That He Had (or Has!) a Live-in Girlfriend

Because you have access to powerful public record searching with PeopleWhiz, you already know someone's marital status. But although you will know about ex-wives, you won't know about girlfriends unless he tells you. You can't look up "girlfriend records" online, but you can see whether someone lived with someone.

Perhaps a string of addresses in his history is actually a string of girlfriends he lived with. Run the addresses through a reverse address lookup to see who else was registered there. Whitepages bills itself as the top free reverse address search online; find a name there, and then run it through PeopleWhiz.

Who lives there? Try a reverse address lookup

That He Keeps Bad Company

So you know where he has lived, thanks to public records. And with a reverse lookup, you learned about his live-in girlfriends and roommates, his buddies. Now turn your PeopleWhiz power on those people to see what sort of people they are.

You may learn that your primary search subject surrounded himself with a lower sort—criminal records, DUIs, drug busts, unpaid child support, shoplifting.

Hot Tip
Street-view map photography on Bing and Google lets you virtually drive by someone's current or past address. Get different views by using both search engines.


There you have it: Four revealing things you can learn about someone from his or her address history. Maybe he has a nice apartment now, but public records let you see into his past, the past he hasn't shared with you. You may be looking at merely the latest temporary façade.

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