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Genealogists Track Down Missing People After Devastating Fires

24 Sep 2020 2:16 PM | Anonymous

Here is a project that could use your genealogical expertise! The following is an excerpt from an article by Hallie Golden and published in The Guardian:

On a recent Saturday, as fires raged across much of the US west coast, Nancy Collins, 42, received a Facebook message from a friend: “Do you angels feel like helping find people again?”

Collins, a genetic genealogist in the San Francisco Bay area, didn’t hesitate: “Of course.”

Two years ago, the pair, along with several others with expertise in genealogy and digital sleuthing, came together to help locate some of the many people who had gone missing following the catastrophic wildfires in Paradise, California. Collins and her fellow genealogical experts are known as “search angels” and, along with the support of several administrators, they have ultimately helped to connect nearly 250 people with their family and friends.

In the months that followed, there were times when it seemed they would need to join forces once again, such as after fires in Australia, but the group has largely remained on hiatus.

Until now, that is.

With a new series of devastating fires that have burned millions of acres and killed more than 30 people in Oregon, California and Washington, including a firefighter, the search angels had been resurrected to help reunite families and friends and bring closure to those desperately in need of it.

You can read the full story at

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