Utilizing Spokeo for Genealogy Research – Thankful Thursday

The ancient Greek philosophers have urged countless generations to “Know Thyself”. Now there’s a website that can tell you (and others) who you are with one mouse click.

Spokeo.com, a split personality website which marries online ‘white pages’ with an information gathering search engine, allows subscribers to search for individuals by name, location, ect. and relays information about marital status, household income, political affiliation, and other vital tidbits.

This site was a topic of discussion at our FPLD Genealogy Club meeting last night.  Our speaker Robin Seidenberg reminded us that our information isn’t really private in this digital age. (BTW: Read Jennifer Holik-Urban’s review of last night’s meeting.  It’s fantastic!)

According to their website, Spokeo is “a people search engine that organizes vast quantities of white-pages listings, social information, and other people-related data from a large variety of public sources. Our mission is to help people find and connect with others, more easily than ever.”

The really interesting aspect of this website, apart from the cute name and accurate mapping tools, is the epic failure of the information available.

According to Spokeo, I’m married, and live with my parents, three siblings, grandmother, and several cats in my parent’s home in Michigan.

Our house appraised at over one million dollars, I’m a Catholic, a Republican, and I run a home-based business. My hobbies are cooking and traveling. My astrological sign is Aries, and I enjoy reading books about fashion.

WOW! I’M MARRIED! REALLY? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?  (Shouldn’t I remember something like that?  I know some people would like to forget their marriage, but am I one of them?)

AND GRANDMA’S ALIVE!   NO WAY! (Dude, she died a decade ago!  But to be fair, we still get her catalogs and mail.)

I’ll admit my parents just had their kitchen remodeled, but I’ve dropped off their mortgage checks at the bank, and there’s NO WAY their home is worth one million dollars.Political and religious privacy aside, I don’t run a home based business.

Did they get anything right? Yes. My parents have a cat, I am an Aries, and I enjoy cooking and traveling.

And I could have found out more about myself, like my education level, my economic health, or my wealth level if I purchased a one-year subscription to the website for the ultra low price of $2.95 a month.

So, go to Spokeo.com, get to know yourself, and comment on your findings in the comment/reply section below, and let me know what you think.

In the meantime, if you find my husband on Spokeo, tell him to come home to my flat, because he doesn’t need to drive to my parents place. I want to start a family, and I need him to help me hang up the new curtains I bought and empty the trash before garbage day. Oh, and tell him we’re having my deceased grandma over for the weekend, so we’ll need to run a few errands before then.

See you at the Library!

Debra

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About Fountaindale Public Library District's Genealogy Blog

The Fountaindale Public Library Genealogy Blog transmits research tips, notes, and other useful information for genealogy, family history, and local history researchers. This blog is maintained and authored by Adult and Teen Services Manager Debra M. Dudek, and contains publications and postings by Circulation Manager Theresa Hildebrand, Children's Services Assistant Cathy Gonsowski, and School Program Associate Laura Didier. The Fountaindale Public Library District offers numerous resources for the public, including books, materials, database access, a monthly genealogy club, and free programming. The Genealogy Club also offers volunteer research assistance by appointment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the library at (630) 685-4176 or by e-mail at genealogy@fountaindale.org
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7 Responses to Utilizing Spokeo for Genealogy Research – Thankful Thursday

  1. Oh Debra you are a riot! Thanks for posting the link to my review on Examiner.com. Well I went on Spokeo and I checked out a few friends. Apparently we all love cooking and traveling. Every…one…of…us. LOL!

    So according to Spokeo I’m a Protestant with a $184K home with two parents and one child in the home. Hmmm I distinctly remembering giving birth to more than one child. But whatever. My name is apparently Jennifer Aholik Urban. I always thought A was my middle initial but maybe I was wrong! *gasp* It did get it right that I’m an Aquarius who runs her own business, that I’m female and in my late 30′s. So it was kind of fun to see what it said.

    Can’t wait to see what everyone else writes about their visit to Spokeo!

  2. Terri says:

    I got a big kick out of this. Looked myself up, they gave me an address of where I used to work, with a picture of the strip mall. It states I have lived there for 15 years and that there are 2 adults and 1 child there. Umm, its a Bath and Body Works, no one lives there. (though I felt like I did for all the years I managed the store).

  3. Jason says:

    Unbelievable. Other that my Gender, Address, and Marital Status, they got every single piece of information wrong. Every piece. I have more in common with Mary Poppins than the imposter that they listed.

  4. Nancy says:

    Spokeo is one of those websites that your mother tells you not to go to except to tell them to take your name off their database. I opted out a few years ago and just checked to see that my name does not appear.
    Nancy

  5. Carol G says:

    Loved the part where they said I love to cook. Hah! The best thing I make is reservations. Somewhere they lost one of my kids. Don’t think they mentioned genealogy as one of my interests. Not worth spending $2.95/month to find out how much they really know.

    Carol

  6. Adrianne Beal says:

    Well, I checked out my stats at Spokeo and there wasn’t much right! Each of the three entries had me living with someone different – they had me living with my son, then my daughter living with me, now it shows my son living with me – three different addresses in Bolingbrook, two were correct. They had my age and sign (Pisces) right and then took 20+ years off – that’s the one I’m sticking with!! If anyone picks up the genealogy quest after I’m through, let them sort it out! My ancestors haven’t been too helpful to me!

  7. Jan M. says:

    Ah, I finally found the piece of paper with the Spokeo data on it (one of the problems of genealogy, lots of free floating papers). It showed that there are 3 people living here. Could be, someone might be in the basement behind the stack of boxes and junk. That could explain a lot of things missing from the pantry. Anyway, for both hubby and me, they got the ages close, religions wrong, the home value was taken straight from the assessor’s adjusted list so is not even close. It also states we’ve lived in B’Brook for 15 years. Maybe that’s as far back as they can go with the data available. We moved in in 1971, a bit longer than 15 years ago. For the lifestyle and interests, they seem to have done a copy and paste of hubby’s, for mine and they’re nowhere close to my interests. Me, a career minded and a self-driven person that seeks opportunities? I don’t think so! They got our email addresses wrong, too.

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