MAKING A DIFFERENCE by Barb Chandler

Make a difference in someone’s life by volunteering your time and talent at Unclaimed Persons.

Join a community of genealogists who assist medical examiners, coroners, and investigators to locate the next of kin of deceased individuals whose relatives have proven difficult to identify or trace.

“On behalf of the families of the deceased contacted as a result of the efforts of ‘Unclaimed Persons,’ please accept my sincere gratitude.” Richard L. Bailey
Manager of Operations Medical Examiner Department, Hillsborough County
Tampa, Florida. “Since our chief investigator first contacted you three months ago, 15 cases have been referred to ‘Unclaimed Persons.’ Not only did these volunteers find some families that had not been located through routine channels, but they did so with remarkable speed. As a result of this outstanding performance, referring cases with no known next of kin to your group has been incorporated into the investigative checklist.”

When a case manager at Unclaimed Persons receives a referral, it goes directly to a case administrator. They notify researchers, and oversee their work. Researchers use their skills to find all the information they can on the decedents’ families. When they believe they have found enough information, the case administrator sends the findings to a case manager. They review the research, write a report, and submit it to the requesting organization.

Volunteers are asked never to contact family, friends, or associates of the deceased. They code any information they leave about living people on the Unclaimed Persons Web site to protect their privacy. In addition, they do not share information from the group with anyone out of respect for the deceased and their kin.

“Frankly, I was skeptical about what a team of volunteer genealogists could contribute but they’ve demonstrated an ability to turn up useful information without making contact with family members.” David Van Norman, Deputy Coroner Investigator/Unidentified-Missing Person Coordinator, San Bernardino County Sheriff Department – Coroner Division. “After seeing the remarkable amount of information that these skilled researchers can obtain from a wide array of websites not typically accessed by law enforcement, I now regard them as not only a helpful supplement to our own efforts, but essential!”

You don’t have to be a professional genealogist or have advanced research skills to join. Anyone with an interest in the mission of Unclaimed Persons is welcome. Those who are new to genealogy may wish to join and monitor some cases to get a better feel for our techniques and favorite resources before actually participating.

To get involved visit; http://unclaimedpersons.org/index.html

Videos about Unclaimed Persons are featured at; http://www.rootstelevision.com/

The group also has a presence on Facebook.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s