Kinship Research Services for Legal Professionals

We provide genealogical research to document kinship and locate missing or unknown heirs and beneficiaries for probate, unclaimed property, and other related legal matters.

Professional Research

As the research services division of Ancestry®, we have satisfied the objectives of thousands of clients, including many law firms, attorneys, executors, court-appointed administrators, and fiduciary agents.

  • We have thousands of combined years of expertise in a wide variety of geographic or ethnic research specialties, including many certified and accredited genealogists on staff.
  • We are disinterested third parties who have no stake in the outcome of our research. We charge reasonable hourly fees and do not take cases on a contingency basis.
  • We reconstruct family trees and can verify or complete the research begun by others, especially for a difficult branch in the line of succession.

Heir Research Interest Form

Professional and Personal. No Obligation.

If you would like to speak with an associate right away, please call 1-800-596-3230.

AncestryProGenealogists® is not a law firm or licensed private investigation firm, and we do not provice legal advice in any form.

Customized Deliverables

We offer our clients a variety of deliverables to satisfy the specific needs of the legal matter at hand. These work products range from formal court-ready deliverables to informal informational reports.

  • Sworn Affidavit – A concise report containing the research findings for the individuals and relationships in the families we research, progressing from the closest class of next-of-kin to more distant classes. If no individuals are found who meet the relationship criteria defined in the objective, the report summarizes the diligent searches conducted that produced no evidence for living next-of-kin. A summary report can be provided if a notarized affidavit is not required.
  • Supporting Record Exhibits – Numbered exhibits of historical or public records images, including source citations, that are cross-referenced in the affidavit or summary report narrative. Each exhibit provides documentary evidence to support our conclusions, and an index list of all exhibits is provided. Original copies of certified records can be procured if requested.
  • Family Charts – Charts depicting the paternal and/or maternal relationships among the decedent’s family, clearly identifying the next-of-kin. Charts are number-keyed to the affidavit exhibits for easy cross-reference.
  • Private/Unsearchable Ancestry® Online Family Tree – Optional means to view large families or complex family relationships (in addition to or in lieu of printable family charts).
  • Research Journal – A document containing a log of the searches conducted, research findings, source citations to records viewed, and any necessary analysis commentary, demonstrating the depth and breadth of the research conducted. The research journal establishes that a diligent search was conducted in cases where no living individuals meet the relationship class defined in the research objective.
  • People-Finding Reports – An informational listing of contact information for missing beneficiaries or next-of-kin known to an estate.

Our Heir Research Leads

Deena Darst

Deena Darst is passionate about connecting the past, present and future generations by uncovering those relatives who were previously lost to history. She specializes in forensic genealogy, locating living persons through both DNA analysis and traditional genealogical...

Alicia Palmer

Alicia Palmer has worked in the genealogy industry for her entire professional career, namely at FamilySearch and within the heir research industry. Combining her love for genealogy and the legal field, she has worked on hundreds of probate cases that have spanned...

Michael L. Strauss

Michael L. Strauss, AG has worked as a forensic investigator for thirty years. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and a resident of Utah, in addition to being a veteran of the United States Coast Guard. Michael is a court qualified expert witness in New York, New Jersey,...

Get Started Today.


Take it from our customers

  • DNA Unknown Parentage Research

    "You have no idea how much I appreciate what you and your team have done for me. I've been on the phone almost every day with my sister and both of my cousins. Carol and I are traveling to Tennessee to see my cousins and their families and friends. I can't thank you all enough!"

    - Wayne

  • Family History Book Ancestral Travel

    "We all enjoyed very much our ancestral home visit with Gabriele this morning. It gave us exactly what I wanted it to do, to put some ‘flesh on the bones’ of the vital records, and put my wife’s ancestors in the context of what they did and where they lived and what their world was like when they were in Palermo. Gabriele himself was a pleasure to spend time with and I was impressed by the work he did preparing for our tour."

    - Mark

  • Genealogy Research Genealogy Research

    "Our sincere thanks for the expertise of your team. The extent of their research shows why professionals are needed when lay persons reach the end of readily available resources or miss what is or should be obvious."

    - Ronald

  • Family History Book Family History Book

    "The writing and editing of my book went better than expected. Your entire team made the process very enjoyable. Your patience, cheerfulness, and professionalism helped create a beautiful legacy for me and my family."

    - Greg

  • Genealogy Research Genealogy Research

    "I want to thank all of you for your time, effort, and focus on our ancestry project. We have reviewed the summary, journal and supporting documentation and I wanted to write to you to express how very happy we are with the end product that the team has produced for us. AncestryProGenealogists truly went above and beyond to make our project come out right, and in the end, you far exceeded our expectations - thank you!"

    - Amy