October 26, 2006
An anonymous Class Rep writes.....
It would also be great to have a permanent link to our class web site. We link back to the Alumni Assoc on our
Links page. We plan to keep our class web site active during the in-between years, so a permanent link from the Alumni
Assoc site would be helpful.
Other things to consider: We set up an online registration form for our reunion as well as a Paypal account that
allowed class members to register for the reunion & pay online. This allowed people to register at their convenience
and pay with a credit card if they wished. We still did the snail mail invitations & paper/check registrations as
well, but a little over half our attendees registered and paid online. While you lose a little in fees for the Paypal
transactions, you also get more people to sign up this way. While we did this ourselves, if the Alumni Assoc could
implement (or contract with) some sort of online transaction system for reunion registrations, it might be very useful to
other classes. Just something to consider.
On the topic of locating class members, there's a real art to this. I found the following web sites particularly
helpful (and all free):
- provides age, AKAs, past locations, possible relatives
Use the "Public Records" search. The AKAs at searchbug really helped with the married women whose names have changed.
You can punch in a maiden name and a starting city, state (Shrewsbury unless you know where else they've lived) and in many
cases you'll find them listed along with their new married names. You also get a list of locations (city, state) they've
lived at - good starting point for lookups in daplus.us (see below). The possible relatives was another big help.
We found people's parents, siblings, etc this way. It lists their ages too, so it's fairly easy to figure out who's
- most up-to-date, reverse address and telephone lookups.
A very up-to-date phone/addr directory with good reverse lookup capabilities. Info here was usually more current
than google or other addr/phone directories.
- listings can be old, but provides addr/phone & birth month/year.
You already know about zabasearch, so no need to plug it's usefulness.
Some other (free) methods we used included lookups at the registry of deeds web site and tax assessor's web site in the
city/town where you think you've located someone. These are useful for confirming data you've gotten elsewhere (i.e.
zabasearch, which is often out-of-date). You won't get phone numbers this way, but you can confirm addresses and sometimes
find a spouse listed at a property as well.
The MA registry of deeds is here:
You can also google for the registry of deeds in some other state/county if needed. Some have them, some don't. Assessor
databases are all over the place - again, you have to google for these. Some list their data online, others don't (including
Shrewsbury). Here are a couple of examples that do:
We really pulled out all the stops on locating people this time around and had a huge turnout at the reunion as a result.
Many first timers who were very glad to be included. Also, communication is key. You can't just mail out an invitation
and expect everyone to sign up. We did a lot of calling and emailing before (and after) the registration deadline.
People are very busy these days, so calls & frequent email reminders are often the best way to keep the reunion on their
Anyway, hope that's helpful.