Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Internet Sleuths on the Hunt for Next of Kin--WDYTYA Being Renewed

Internet Sleuths on the Hunt for Next of Kin

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article today in its lead U.S. News section relating to genealogy.  Apparently for many years coroners have been having problems finding the next of kin of deceased people who were either homeless, estranged from their families or had no known relatives.  Somehow Megan Smolenyak got involved about five years ago in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania helping track down relatives; but the demand grew so rapidly she put out the call for help to other genealogists.  The response was overwhelming and thus was born Unclaimed Persons.  In the last five years, Unclaimed Persons has taken on nearly 600 cases and have successfully tracked down family in 355 of them. 

The article featured a 32 year old man who grew up having no memory of his father, having met him only once at the age of 5.  He was recently tracked down by Unclaimed Persons, as his father had died of natural causes; but was homeless and, after a month's effort by the coroners office to try and track down any family, the case was given to Unclaimed Persons 

The article, which goes into much greater detail about the birth and success of Unclaimed Persons, was on page A3 of the lead section of the paper.  I wouldn't be surprised to see their number of volunteers grow considerably as a result of the article.
Who Do You Think You Are
Renewed by TLC

The following announcement was carried in Variety today:

“Who Do You Think You Are?” was given a second chance by TLC after NBC cancelled the series last year, and now it looks like the unscripted family history program has become a new mainstay on cable network’s lineup.TLC announced today that it has handed “Who Do You Think You Are?” a second season, ordering 10 hourlong episodes of the revived series that will air in 2014. Program has been averaging 1.8 million total viewers in its first run on TLC, and has thus far featured celebs including Kelly Clarkson, Cindy Crawford, Chelsea Handler and Zooey Deschanel.

Even though I haven't gotten around to viewing the final episode, I enjoyed the series and am happy to see them bringing it back next year.  It is also interesting to see that there will be 10 episodes next year vice the 8 they had this year.