Forensic Genealogy & Heir Search Services

Ethical…  Thorough…  Efficient…  Reliable

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Mark A. Wentling, MLS

My name is Mark A. Wentling, MLS, and I am a Boston-based forensic genealogist with more than 20 years of professional genealogy experience and education.

Since 2017, I have offered forensic research services to attorneys and agencies in Massachusetts and beyond.  My experience ranges from identifying heirs for probate of estates, to quiet title actions on real estate, to finding the correct next-of-kin and DNA donors for military repatriation cases.

In all cases, I maintain the highest ethical standards, working strictly on an hourly fee, plus costs, basis — never on contingency — so that you, your client, and the court can have complete confidence in my research as a disinterested third party.

My forensic services include:

  • Identifying beneficiaries, legatees, missing and unknown heirs, and next-of-kin
  • Affidavits of kinship and due diligence, always fully source-cited and with supporting exhibits
  • Family tree charts, accurately and clearly organized
  • Court testimony
  • Review of other heir search firms’ reports

Whether you’re a probate, real estate, elder law, or intellectual property attorney, or the representative of a local, state, military or law enforcement agency, or title insurance company, there are many ways I can support your work, for example:

  • Probate — I conduct thorough genealogical research of the decedent’s family, so that you can contact family members and provide an accurate accounting of legal next-of-kin to the court.
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship — I identify next-of-kin who can help care for your client and their estate, as well as identify parents for completing death certificates, and other research related to establishing identity and family as needed.
  • Quiet title and adverse possession of property I search probate, title and other records to trace inheritance over time, in order to identify those with a current legal interest.
  • Abandoned property — I perform genealogical research to identify who the rightful owners are today, so that property can be returned.
  • Copyright — I trace the deceased copyright holder’s descendants, to help you contact those who have inherited active rights.
  • Unclaimed persons and unidentified persons — I perform genealogical research, including interpreting DNA profiles, to assist in identification of remains and their return to appropriate next-of-kin.

I am an active member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and have signed its Code of Ethics.  I work according to the Genealogical Proof Standard and the genealogy standards published by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

My relevant education includes a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University (2016), the Fundamentals of Forensic Genealogy program at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (2018), and a Master of Library Science with archives concentration from the University of Maryland at College Park.  I recently served as Course Facilitator for the “Genealogy Principles” course at Boston University.

Please contact me to inquire about your project.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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