Case Studies

There are many types of cases I have been hired to work on over the years that I have been a professional genealogist. These are highlights of just a few:

  1. Family research: we discovered that client has three paternal lines to the Revolutionary War and happy to report she was approved and is now a member of a DAR chapter.Forensic case .
  2. Research completed for a public administrator’s office in Canada, where they were looking for an heir living in California.
  3. Movie industry client wanted to know paternal and maternal ancestry and as it was a show business family for a number of generations, the case not only discovered English and Irish roots, but also movie and vaudeville databases researched found a fascinating historical profile of American Theatre.
  4. Irish/Scots-Irish research in the USA and Northern Ireland for a family that held on to its Scottish ancestry by even listing their birth information on original records as Scotland and not Ireland. It took a bit to work through and locate the records needed in the Public Record Office in Belfast once the California records took the search there.
  5. An Irish family from Southern California that wanted to know their Irish roots. The records in the U.S.A. led the research into the western part of England before going back in the west of Ireland. Many twists and turns but finally used the occupation of the male members to track the family.
  6. Revolutionary War records that a person wanted to locate for an ancestor but had difficulty finding the name in any of the National Archive databases. Searching obscure microfilm, it was discovered the man had been a deserter from the war and I was very apprehensive to let the client know about it. When told, the client seemed relieved because at least he had been found!!
  7. Court archive records of a probated estate and guardianship of one of the heirs. A most difficult case because of the guardianship and the enormous amount of court papers that accompanied it. The guardianship lasted thirty years and the person was in a facility the whole time, which meant going back to court over and over again to review the funds needed to maintain the person.
  8. An Adoptee that wanted to locate birth family. As the files are closed, it meant searching many difficult options: one, searching the birthdate for children born same date, same place, same sex; looking at a variety of legal papers for clues to the client being the same person as one named in a divorce action, finding people of like name, and searching online databases for current locations.
  9. Domain Name dispute A dispute in federal court that required researching family names to show that they are widely distributed and had been around for at least several centuries. The result of the research proved this fact and assisted reversing the lower court decision in favor of the defendant.
  10. Some additional cases included locating ancestral burial places in Ireland and northern California; finding New England roots and winding up on the eastern shore of Maryland; Native-American research for someone that insisted they were Cherokee but actually the ancestors were from a Canadian tribe; determining legal status of an apparent Adoptee whose adoption was challenged by other heirs to an estate.
  11. Diverse research for someone that has paternal Ukrainian-Jewish ancestry and maternal Irish Catholic ancestry. The research is a challenge because they are very different. I am happy to have the opportunity to work on research as diverse as this case.
Copyright ©2022 by Sheila Benedict. All Rights Reserved

Association of Professional Genealogists

President 2021-2023, APG Writer’s Special Interest Group; Member APG Forensic Genealogy Special Interest Group; Member: APG Virtual Chapter;

Corresponding Secretary for The Irish Ancestral Research Association; Board member Genealogical Speakers Guild; Member of many genealogical societies.