Forensic Genealogy

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

HandsChartSmallWe 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.


Logo Board for Certification of Genealogists  Association of Professional Genealogists Member logo  Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy member logo

All our researchers are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and have signed its Code of Ethics. Catherine Desmarais, Ruy Cardoso, Sharon Hoyt, and Michael Leclerc are associates of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and have subscribed to its Code of Ethics as well. Catherine and Ami are members of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and adhere 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, and Massachusetts courts for a decade. 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 two living first cousins once removed in Switzerland
    • Located seven grandnieces/nephews and five great-grandnieces/nephews as heirs in order to quiet title for a real estate title insurance company
    • Found forty-nine nieces and nephews of a WWII soldier, for just one of more than 100 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


Catherine B. W. Desmarais, Certified Genealogist®

Catherine, the owner and founder of Stone House Historical Research, has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate’s Court of New York County, New York. She has taught forensic genealogy courses at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Forensic Genealogy Institute in Texas. A US Department of Defense qualified genealogist since 2012, Catherine has managed more than 100 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.

Catherine served the vice-president of the board (2014 – 2017) of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), an international organization with nearly 3,000 members. With well over a thousand billed forensic genealogy hours, Catherine B.W. Desmarais, CG, qualifies as a Level IV (highest) member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG). She has served on the CAFG board of directors (2012 – 2015) and coordinated their mentor program and Volunteer Initiative Program (VIP). Catherine has published her research in professional and peer-reviewed journals.


Thanks for your efforts Catherine. Everything worked out well. I’m sure to have more for you in the future.

AttorneyMassachusetts 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.

AttorneyMassachusetts 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.

AttorneyManhattan law firm

Thanks for your work. You have provided detailed information in a timely fashion, and within budget.

AttorneyTitle insurance company