Did a relative suddenly disappear, never to be heard from again? The Unclaimed Persons Online service may have the answer for you.
The web site sounded humorous at first, but as I read about it, I realized that it has a very serious intent. The information it provides could be valuable to anyone seeking a long lost loved one.
Quoting from the Unclaimed Persons web site:
The purpose of this web site is to provide information to the public regarding a deceased loved one for whom next of kin has never been located. Coroner's Departments, Medical Examiner's offices and Sheriff's departments throughout the United States oftentimes conduct an investigation for which a deceased persons identity is known, however due to various reasons, family member(s) could not be located. The respective investigative agency may utilize resources such as a local newspaper to attempt to locate family. When all effort to find family is exhausted, the deceased loved one is generally buried or cremated at the expense of the respective governmental agency. It is our sincere hope that this web site will assist family and friends in locating a lost loved one providing information and closure.
The function of this web site is quite simple. You may search by the person's last name and first name, by county, or you may view all names in the database. If you locate the name of a person in which you would like additional information, simply click on the person's underlined name and another screen will appear with full information including the responsible governmental agency. Simply call the phone number on that screen and refer to their case number.
This web site is maintained by the San Bernardino County Coroner's Department is provided free as a public service to all Coroner's Departments, Medical Examiners Offices and Sheriff's Departments responsible for such related duties.
Unfortunately, the site only lists recent deaths. It won't help with relatives who disappeared 100 years ago.
The Unclaimed Persons Online site may be found at: http://www.unclaimedpersons.com