People leave footprints behind as they move through life, tracks etched in public records — property bought and sold, marriages launched...

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People leave footprints behind as they move through life, tracks etched in public records — property bought and sold, marriages launched and dissolved, blog musings and rap sheets.

Sometimes, their secrets are hiding in plain sight. You can run the name or address of a prospective date, nanny or housekeeper through the databases listed (see the attached chart) and get a pretty good picture of the public-records trail they’ve created.

Public records aren’t perfect — bear in mind these databases could contain inaccurate information or be missing data.

While you can learn a lot, don’t take any of it as gospel without double-checking.

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