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Forensic Genealogy

Theory & Practice

A new book, co-authored by Michael S. Ramage, JD CG, and Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG, is now available for pre-order.

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Forensic Genealogy

Genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications

Who Do We Help?

Hierarchy Chart with Hands | Stone House Historical Research

We assist law offices, title insurance companies, and financial institutions to locate missing and unknown heirs, legatees, and beneficiaries by providing ethical, trusted forensic genealogy research services. Contact us for:

  • Source-cited genealogy research reports
  • Affidavits of Kinship, Due Diligence, and Family Tree
  • Exhibits containing all documents relied on to determine identity and kinship
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Foreign documents with appropriate certifications, apostilles, and translations

Our credentialed, experienced genealogists provide research you can rely on. We deliver reports and affidavits at a reasonable hourly cost.

forensic genealogy
genealogy associations

All our researchers are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and have signed its Code of Ethics. Catherine Desmarais, Ruy Cardoso, Craig Scott, and Mark A. Wentling are associates of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and have subscribed to its Code of Ethics as well. Catherine is a member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and adheres to its Standards of Practice and Conduct.

Why choose us? Our experience, expertise, and ethics.

An experienced, Board-certified genealogist manages every case, and all our researchers participate in extensive continuing education. We all subscribe to the Code of Ethics for the Association of Professional Genealogists and other professional groups to which we belong.

We have thousands of combined professional research hours, all of which are billed hourly, never on a contingent basis. Our cases have involved research throughout the United States as well as in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, and more. Our reports and affidavits have been accepted in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Maryland courts. Here are just a few sample cases we have solved:

    • Traced the family of an New York City Slovakian immigrant with no known living relatives through fifteen different countries, using documents written in seven different languages, resulting in locating two living first cousins once removed in Switzerland
    • Located forty-eight heirs of a property owner who died in 1909 in order to quiet title.
    • Found forty-nine nieces and nephews of a WWII soldier, for just one of hundreds of completed military repatriation cases
    • Reviewed research and identified missing information in a case that was completed by an heir search firm, in regard to a Massachusetts decedent with heirs in Germany
    •  Verified the deaths of three unrelated remaindermen beneficiaries to a trust, given only their names and 1960s addresses, and located their heirs
    • Documented the death of one witness to a will, and found an address for the other witness, starting with only their 1981 locations
    • Located two half-brothers for a decedent previously known to have no close relatives.



“Thanks for your efforts Catherine. Everything worked out well. I’m sure to have more for you in the future.”
– Attorney,
Massachusetts law firm
“Thank you for your work. The report was well done, and we are mailing payment today. We will have other cases for you to review in the near future if that is okay with you.”
– Attorney,
Massachusetts law firm
“I filed your affidavit with the Surrogates Court. The court probate clerk was very pleased to see that it had been prepared by a professional genealogist… You’ll be pleased to know that the Surrogate’s Court has finished reviewing your affidavit and has accepted it. The court has now issued a Citation, the next step in the probate process, to the new, previously unknown, distributees.”
– Attorney,
Manhattan law firm
“Thanks for your work. You have provided detailed information in a timely fashion, and within budget.”
– Attorney,
Manhattan law firm
forensic genealogist

Catherine B. W. Desmarais, Certified Genealogist®

Catherine, the owner and founder of Stone House Historical Research, LLC, has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate’s Court of New York County, New York. She teaches forensic genealogy courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and formerly taught at the Forensic Genealogy Institute in Texas. A US Department of Defense qualified genealogist since 2012, Catherine has managed hundreds of cases to locate family members and DNA donors to assist the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency with their efforts to fully account for service members from WWII and the Korean War.

Read more about Catherine here.

Contact a Forensic Researcher