Unclaimed Persons is a group of volunteer genealogical researchers who donate their time and 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.
The group is a spontaneous outgrowth of a show of the same name on RootsTelevision.com that features a genealogist helping coroners’ offices. The show sparked a wave of volunteers to offer their services and resulted in the Unclaimed Persons community.
WHO ARE WE?
Janis Martin, Director
Arwen Newman, Director
Vreneli Doyle, Director
Cathy Blancato, Case Administrator
Robin Geiger, Case Administrator
Linda Herrick Swisher, Document Administrator
Megan Smolenyak, Founder
and hundreds of volunteer researchers from across the US and abroad
WHY AREN’T MEDICAL EXAMINERS, CORONERS AND INVESTIGATORS DOING THIS KIND OF RESEARCH?
They are, but we provide a useful supplement. Many are like other government agencies in that they’re overworked, understaffed and handling large case loads. It also happens that the resources genealogists tap into are largely complementary to those used by many offices, so the Unclaimed Persons volunteers function as a supportive research team that can often ferret out information that might lead to the next of kin of the deceased.