Ten years ago an organization, Unclaimed Persons, was established to reunite deceased individuals’ remains with their families. Genealogist Megan Smolenyak first began this project after a video with this name was aired on television. To read about this project and view the video visit http://tinyurl.com/y8elqdmb.
Since June 2008, 839 cases have been solved but many around the country are still unsolved. The bodies (or cremated remains) of known individuals need to be claimed by family members for proper burial, but those family members need to be found.
To become a part of this group of volunteers who use their genealogical skills to find family members, visit https://unclaimed-persons.org/volunteers.
Find hidden info
Genealogists around the world have learned to use the vast resources provided, free, by FamilySearch at www.FamilySearch.org. Even though billions of records can be searched because they have been indexed, there are also billions of records in 844 record collections that have not been indexed. (“There aren’t enough volunteers in the entire member body to keep up with the indexing, especially considering they are still acquiring new records.”)
Problem solved! Ancestral Findings has posted an article at http://tinyurl.com/yanhaxvo, “How to Locate Hidden Genealogical Gems on FamilySearch.org.” The instructions are easy to follow. Also be sure to note the suggestion for using browsing points — also called Waypoints — as guides.
Presidents’ family data
Anyone who is curious about the family trees of our U.S. Presidents would enjoy visiting Presidential Family Trees and Famous Kin at https://tinyurl.com/y9z679mc. The data from George Washington to Donald Trump includes family trees (links to pedigree charts, Ahnentafel charts, etc.), famous kin and surname lists.
For example, did you know that our first president was/is related to King Edward I of England, Gen. George S. Patton and Gen. Robert E. Lee? Also, do you know which president is related to another president (in addition to the Bushes, whose ancestry is also detailed at https://tinyurl.com/363v6y)? And did you know that Abraham Lincoln is related to George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Elvis Presley and Amelia Earhart?
Another interesting website, Genealogical Relationships of Presidents of the U.S., at https://tinyurl.com/ov5pu6o , shows that many of our presidents were cousins — often many times removed — to other presidents. For example, Donald Trump is a 10th cousin 4 times removed to James Monroe.
Additional family history on each US President can also be found at https://tinyurl.com/ybnuwsad .
Myra Vanderpool Gormley has written an interesting article, Finding a Potential Presidential Pedigree, at https://tinyurl.com/y89n3osg. She quotes eminent genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts, “Anyone with early New England ancestry is probably related, though perhaps distantly, to five or six U.S. presidents.”
The Illinois State Genealogical Society continues to provide free webinars to anyone having a computer with an Internet connection, and held the second Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. Central. Upcoming webinars, posted at https://tinyurl.com/yb2e2xrr, includes the August 14 presentation by Jane Haldeman, titled National Archives Resources at the Chicago Branch.
Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com.