Saturday, June 14, 2008

The "Unclaimed Persons" Search Group is Thriving

When Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak started the Unclaimed Persons Group on Facebook, I jumped right in. So far, 8 cases have been posted and the group has responded by solving several of them and several more cases are being actively researched by a dedicated group of researchers.

As of this morning, 244 people have signed up for this Group on Facebook. That is a good number, but it is just a small fraction of the potential number who could help out solving these Unclaimed Persons cases.

If you are interested in helping in this Unclaimed Persons Group, then please first read Megan's post "Wanna be my (Facebook) Friend?" Facebook is a free signup, and is pretty easy to use once you are there and have experimented for awhile. You'll find a number of well-known genealogy "friends" there, and you can be their Friend too!

Megan's post above has a link to The Unclaimed Persons Group. The Group rules include:

1. We'll create a separate discussion board topic for each case, titled with the case number and the name of the deceased. Please post all research findings here and not as comments on the case-related photos or The Wall. Hopefully, this will help us avoid duplicating efforts.

2. If you'd like to email Megan or other Unclaimed Persons administrators about a case, please use the email address at This will help us make sure your questions and/or tips don't get buried in our inboxes.

3. Please do not post contact details and other private information about living persons, such as likely next of kin, in the public forum. Once you have those details, email them to

4. Please do NOT contact coroner's offices directly, unless it's specified in a case that they have requested this. We're not trying to be control freaks here, but several coroner's offices have requested that we act as a point of contact and forward them the compiled information. We want to make sure that we don't overwhelm them with our enthusiasm!

5. NEVER contact possible relatives. Instead, provide the information to the relevant coroner's office via this Facebook site and/or

The Discussion Board is the place where the Cases are posted by the administrators, and the place to post research information about the cases. Reading through the discussions for each case, I find suggestions for ways to improve my own research skills.

This is fun research and also helpful to society and families. Come join this really friendly Group!

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