Discussion in 'Unclaimed Persons' started by raine1212, May 14, 2012.
I missed you!!!
i have entered all the cases that where newly added to claimus,( last case number was 309, for my reference).
Washington state has added a lot of new cases today, I will start adding them tomorrow.
Question: Should we move all Matches and Resolved threads to the stickies to clean up? Aside from our two matches today, there are a few Resolveds on pages 5 through 7. Are the Stickies a good place because that section will (hopefully) get so long that current open cases will end up on the second page onwards? Does the forum work like that? If so, should we set-up a "Claimed" section like the "Identified" one?
Great idea, I will check and see what I can get done. I have also asked about separating us and giving us our own section.
Kimster is going to make a sub-forum for the Resolved and Match
Page 13 of claimus is added, will try and finish page 14 (note to self last case number entered 317)
Washington state has limited info.
I'm wondering if we could put each state's unclaimed in a separate sub-forum area? Like we did on the resolved. If the state is easily identified, it is easier to find a case you are working on in web sleuths.
Just a suggestion. Others may feel differently. NM
Is there a thread with guidelines or directions on how to go about trying to match the unclaimed with their families?
Do you just pick one and try to make connections?
I would like to try my hand at this but don't want to "reinvent the wheel" in figuring out what the best plan is....
Hi WestCoast Lady:
Welcome to unclaimed! There isn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to why I pick the cases I work on vs. the ones I wait on to work.
Here's what I did when I started: Pick someone with a not so common name for your first go at it. You'll get less frustrated. And someone that the full birthdate has been posted on.
Join claimus.org. You can read more information about the case if it is available.
I start with the genealogy record first, because that is my comfort level and what got me interested in this particular forum. I have experience working my own family genealogy. I am in no way an expert, I just enjoy it. (I am not one of those TV professional genealogists who take your records and prove all sorts of amazing things! LOL!!!) I see if I can find the basic information about the deceased person in the genealogy record.
One of the first things I look at is: is there a social security death index? It usually tells where the person was living when they got their social security card. Might also be the state they were born in, but not necessarily. It's a place to start. If the social is listed, don't post it to WS.
Can I find previous addresses for the person? Is anyone by that same last name still living at any of the addresses? Are there property records or associated people or any other kind of clue?
Is there a birth record or a census record for the person (Census is available thru 1940). See if I can gain clues about potential family members. 1940 census isn't completely indexed yet, they just released it to the public about two months ago. That means the 1940 census is not yet searchable by names. Ancestry is working on it. The census records 1930 and back are indexed and a great resource on the older folks.
Also, some of these folks may have a criminal record. Often there is a reason they lost touch with their family--prison, addiction, homelessness. I see if I can find info about whether or not the person does or doesn't have a criminal past; and what clues I can get from those records. I look at property records. I look at marriage and divorce records if they are available. I look for MSM newspaper articles, if I can find them. I look at obituaries for other people with the same name. I look for veteran's records.
I just keep digging and digging until hopefully somebody surfaces that may be a relative. Then I PM the info over to Raine1212!!!
I usually let her contact the ME's office, rather than emailing the case manager thru claimus. She has been doing this longer and has relationships with folks at some of the offices. I learned this thru experience!
She has experience contacting families and is a great resource. I am a little more shy about it. But I will.
It took some time and perseverance for me to get the hang of it. It is worth it though. Don't get discouraged. You will have a few false starts at first. But it is very satisfying to know that you have returned someone to their family or even if the family isn't interested in actually claiming the body, at least they know what became of the person.
I know Charleston county ME's office is particulary appreciative of our efforts. I have worked on many of those cases, but fresh eyes always help.
Washington State has recently posted a LOT of cases of unclaimed to claimus and I haven't had time to look into any of them really. Raine1212 has posted them to web sleuths. So, that might be a place to start. If you are connected to the west coast, it may give you some insight.
There are plenty of cases to go around.
Raine and others have their own methods. I am just posting what I do.
Some free resources are: familysearch.org, the white pages, government websites, especially state, county and local. Court records. Findagrave. There is roots web and Cyndy'slist as well.
There are other directories available on the web.
For sites like Ancestry.com you pay a fee. Some less expensive ones are Archives.com, Fold3 (military mostly), genealogy bank (newspaper articles), and others.
Best of luck sleuthing! NM
Clicking the "thanks" button was not enough, Nemo's Mom. That was a wonderfully informative post!
Great info NM, Sorry I was not on last night, we had a bad thunderstorm and lost power until about 11:30 pm.
Also I am working on cases behind the scenes as always.
I KNOW you are always working cases. You do so much for the unclaimed and I know you are also working in other forums. Thanks for all you do! Hopefully, my life will settle a bit and we will get a chance to catch up!
You are an awesome resource. Just saying
Sorry guys, I have had major internet problems.. we have been having alot of outages. Hopefully I will stay up and running now.
I have some issues in my non virtual world, but I'm back at it sleuthing! nm
Thought I'd list some of the free resources for researching the unclaimed and this is as much to remind myself what is available:
And most of these I got from this website called 101 ways to research your family tree for free (I believe in giving credit where credit is due): http://genealogy.about.com/cs/free_genealogy/a/free_sites.htm
These are some that I picked out. There are many others listed in the above article, check it out!
resources available thru local library databases:
land and property records available from the bureau of land management:
cemetery and burial records:
African-American genealogy resource: http://www.afrigeneas.com/library/
world wide genealogy: http://www.worldgenweb.org/
historical newspapers: http://theoldentimes.com/
census records from around the world: http://censuslinks.com/
World I and World II veterans for the British commonwealth:
canadian records: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html
archives of norway (available in english): http://www.arkivverket.no/eng/Digitalarkivet
search the social security death index in one step (these records are scattered across many sites:
lookups in genealogy books called books we own:
national archives (some limited info available online)
you can request a volunteer to lookup one record a day:
Illinois State Archives online
Way back machine:
archive.org (not to be confused with archives.org)
births, marriages and death records for UK
French and worldwide genealogy
Kentucky vital records
Native American Genealogy resource:
Resource of resources
Sorry guys I have been away..I have had some medical problems, plus my mother has been very ill, she might be moving in with us so I can care for her. I am going back to work on our forum.
Thanks for understanding
Been working on the forum.. Alot of resolved, but we had 2 matches.
Thanks guys for all the hard work..
Please remember Fulton County has exhausted all resources so please contact me or Nemo'mom for information. She knows how to reach me.
This right up my alley, I'll be glad to help you guys with these cases.
I've already begun working on the first one on the list. He's a tough one, but I think he does have siblings still alive. I'll keep you posted.
Clarify something for me. Are we not to submit our findings on the Claimus site? and instead send them to Raine? or do both or what?
Thank you Nemo for the great post with all those resources. I use many of them already, but some I didn't have. That's a great list.
I am going to post some of the newer cases from claimus.org to the forum. Just so we can start all working on them. Probably a few at a time.