Unclaimed Persons Update

UnclaimedPersons.bmpLast May, I blogged about the Unclaimed Persons (www.unclaimedpersons.org), a network of genealogists organized by our friend Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, to help coroners locate the families of unclaimed persons who have died.

The group began as an offshoot of a RootsTelevision program that showed how Megan was working with coroners offices to help solve several unclaimed persons cases. In response to the show, Megan began hearing from other genealogists who wanted to help with the effort. The small network of volunteers I wrote about last year has grown to around 500 and since June 2008, this dedicated group of genealogists has solved 45 cases. Congratulations to everyone who is involved in the project!

Last week the group was the focus of an article in San Bernadino’s The Sun. San Bernadino is believed to be the first county to put its database of unclaimed persons online. More stories on the initiative, including an article from the January/February 2009 issue of Ancestry Magazine can be found here.

Click here to learn more about Unclaimed Persons. Click here to visit RootsTelevision.

8 thoughts on “Unclaimed Persons Update

  1. Seeking 3 cousins, Father: Roy/Leroy Daniels Mother: Unknown
    Born: Between 1940 – 1950 Where: ? Wi, Mn, N.D,S.D. ?
    Have found all but these and have Brothers and Sister waiting to meet you…..

  2. According to a family story, my grandfather, Taylor L. Mills, walked away from his rented room in Florida, around Coral Springs area, leaving belongings and any ID and was never heard from again. This was in 1920. I wonder if there is any way to find out about “John Doe” cases about that time in Dade County? I have a photo of him if there were any photos taken of bodies found then. Its a Looong shot but I put a feeler “out there” every so often to see what might come up,

  3. Long lost son – may well be dead. Walked away from home in Pensacola, FL 1977. Investigative search shows no use of SSN so investigator suspects he was one of the lost boys who died somewhere in a ditch. Born 24 Sep 1956; about 5’11’ – 6′ tall; was VERY slender last time seen; medium brown hair; hazel eyes; wore glasses; had the word LOVE tatooed on hand at or between knuckles.

  4. Trying to locate family of Florence Cochrane nee Skinner.
    Sent to Canada as Home Child 1904 then she went to USA. I know she was in Florida between 1930-1960
    Any info would be appreciated

  5. I don’t know who to contact,but I have recently uncovered a family mystery. My great-great-grandfather has a large burial plot in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Richmond,VA. According to the inscription on his gravestone, Patrick Callahan was born in Stradbally County Waterford, Ireland and died in Richmond on February 22, 1922. in his 92nd year. Thank goodness the family commissioned such a detailed tombstone, because Mt. Calvary has no interment records for that plot. The cemetery does have a rough sketch of the plot with ( I guess) chronologically numbered names of people buried there. The first two names in this family plot are #1 Mary Costello and #2 John Costello. No one in the family knows who these people might be, never hearing of any relations named Costello. The third burial is for two infant Callahan boys and does not have a stone or cemetery records. The fourth burial, to give a time frame, is that of an infant Johnson who died in 1898. The 7th burial is Kate Costello which would have to have been between 1908 and 1917.
    I have searched records in the state library for Costello deaths and have had no luck. I have not found Costellos with matching first names in Richmond City Directories of that time or on genealogical websites.
    Any suggestions or leads would be greatly appreciated.

  6. At age 63, I found out I was adopted. My birth-mother wanted to see what became of me and did the search. I am, apparently,
    the result of a one-night stand. She does not know the name of my father except for a first or nickname. The birth certificate says for father, “Brill ?” In my family,
    we now refer to him as “Brill Question Mark.” He supposedly was born about 1904, give or take a year. He lived in Oakland,
    California in 1933 and was supposedly an insurance guy/salesman? Does anyone have an ancestor whose name or
    nickname is “Brill” and who lived in Oakland in 1933?

  7. I only found out about this site today. I believe with the 37 marker match I had with a man named Holder, my biological father had to be either his father or one of his father’s brothers or their father of one of his brothers. I don’t claim to understand DNA but with my understanding of it, I can’t be that far off the mark. Anyone further to either side of the family tree would dilute the markers slightly. June 1936 is the time it all happened for me and some Holder had to be in the Washington DC area at that time. My Mom was just 18 and had lived in an orphanage for 5-6 years because her Mom had abandoned her children. I know she tried out with a few of the big bands that year, one of them being the Glenn Miller Band. I have no idea what happened there but I supposed she didn’t get picked to sing with any of the bands. I’m sure she was impressionable and naive and up until she was released from the orphanage in March 1936, I rather doubt if she had been with a man. Sometime between March and June 1936 she met this man named Holder (last name) and they had sex at least once in late June or there abouts. I was born at the end of March 1937. As I was growing up she would never talk about it. I hope someone out there can help me. The only dad I ever knew died in 1990 and mom died in 1996. I have a younger half brother and half sister from that marriage both of whom treat me like I wasn’t a half brother.

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