24 May 2013

Unclaimed Persons -- every life is worth remembering



Though we most often use our genealogical research skills to identify long-deceased ancestors, they can also be used to identify living family members for the recently deceased.


It's a quiet but disturbing epidemic. People are going to their graves with no family to claim them. Medical examiners and coroners' offices—frequently overstretched with burgeoning case loads—are turning to an unexpected resource for help. Over 400 genealogists are now offering their volunteer services to help locate the next of kin for unclaimed persons. And it's working. To date, more than 400 cases have been solved through this unusual partnership.

Do check out the video on the page where Megan Smolenyak and others talk about the process of.  And, read her article (written in 2009) about her efforts, Unclaimed Persons.

The state of California has an Unclaimed Persons Database.

Does your state or county have something similar?

Do you know a genealogist who has been contacted by a coroner’s office or similar and asked to identify next of kin?


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