Genealogy is the study of family. The majority of the time a person spends working on genealogy involves doing research on one’s own relatives and ancestors. Some genealogists offer their assistance to others.
Unclaimed Persons believe that every life is worth remembering. They are a group of volunteer genealogists who donate their time and research skills to assist medical examiners, coroners, and investigators to locate the next of kin of deceased individuals whose relatives have proven difficult to identify and trace. It was founded by well known genealogist Megan Smolenyak.
Genealogists who want to become a member of Unclaimed Persons should start by visiting the Unclaimed Persons Facebook Page It has some really interesting articles about some of the helpful things that members of Unclaimed Persons has done. It is suggested that you explore the photo area on the Facebook page where cases are posted, the wall where comments are made, and the case-specific discussion boards.
It is important that those who want to become members of Unclaimed Persons follow the case guidelines. You should let them create a separate discussion board topic about a case. You can post the information and findings that you discover into that discussion. Do not contact possible relatives yourself. Do not post contact details or private information about living persons (including likely next of kin) online.
Unclaimed Persons has solved more than 400 cases since June of 2008. Unclaimed Persons has partnered with 51 counties in the United States. Some include Hillsborough County, Florida; Orange County, California, and Los Angeles County, California.
Most coroners or medical examiner’s offices will attempt to look for a next of kin of a deceased person. After they have exhausted their own resources, some contact the Unclaimed Persons group for assistance. The goal of the coroner or medical examiner is be able to return the remains to the family, give the family closure, and give the decedent a chance to rest in peace.
All of the research done by members of Unclaimed Persons is done online. People who already have online research skills, that they developed while they were trying to learn more about their own ancestors, could use those skills to help an unclaimed person to be reunited with his or her next of kin.
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