Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Every Life is Worth Remembering" - Unclaimed Persons

The title to today's post contains a quote from Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. You may recall Ms. Smolenyak as the professional genealogist whose well-known tracing of Michelle Obama's roots made national news.  An author and co-founder of of RootsTelevision, Ms. Smolenyak is also the founder of a group that seeks names of relatives of unclaimed persons. According to Ms. Smolenyak's definition, unclaimed persons are "people who go to their graves with no family to claim them."  Staffed by several hundred family research volunteers who are located throughout the country, members of the group "team up" with coroners and function as "research detectives" as they attempt to locate family members of unclaimed persons.  More about how the group was founded and specific details about its mission can be read in this article written by Ms. Smolenyak. Additional information about Ms. Smolenyak's work and how it has assisted the Lackawanna County (PA) Coroner's Office, appears in an article published in today's issue of  Scranton, Pennsylvania's The Times-Tribune.

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