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Demystifying the DMF

by CAFG on 04/18/14

Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy has published a special edition of its newsletter Forensic Genealogy News.  This edition contains an article "Demystifying the DMF."  This addresses a brief history of the Death Master File, the recent controversy surrounding it, my experience in applying to be certified for the new Limited Access Death Master File, and what I discovered once access was gained and I actually started using the new DMF.  

Some myths have been debunked and new information about the DMF is discussed that is not currently available elsewhere.  Please feel free to share the link to the newsletter with others in the genealogical community.  The article is copyrighted and may not be reproduced without advance permission.  A source citation is included for those who wish to quote the article.  

Go to the Resources page
and click the link for Vol 4 #3 Special DMF Edition.   

Forensic Genealogy News Vol 4 #2

by CAFG on 04/18/14

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy - Forensic Genealogy News is now available online at Please click on the link Vol 4 #2. 

This edition features Michael Ramage's "A Practical Approach to Genealogy Standards" and bios for our newest members. 

Introducing Vera Shpolyansky, Advanced Member

by CAFG on 04/02/14

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy is pleased to announce their newest advanced member, Vera Shpolyansky. She is a full time, professional genealogist. Vera has been a researcher since 1996, and is a current member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the English language and literature, and a Master of Arts Degree in the English language. She is fluent in Russian and understands many Slav languages. From time to time, Vera conducts lectures in local libraries for amateur genealogists.

Vera serves provincial government agencies, law offices and banks in probate matters specializing in locating missing beneficiaries and unknown heirs in Western and Eastern Europe. She is extremely passionate about her work and dreams of writing a novel based on the material that she works on a daily basis.

Vera operates VS Probate and Overseas Research. Her website can be found at

We look forward to getting to know Vera better. 

Introducing Claire B. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS AG®

by CAFG on 03/19/14

We would like to introduce one of our newest Associate Members of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. 

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS, MLIS AG®, is a Rhode Island native and 2010 graduate of San Jose State University, accredited in England and Mountain States Research, and writer. She is the author of "The Social Media Guide for Ancestral Research: Using Web 2.0 Strategies". Areas of expertise are Technological Advances in Family History and Genealogy, US, England, Canada, Brick Wall Solutions and Involving Youth in Family History and Genealogy. She is a past RI Family History Director who has researched and lectured onsite in the US, UK and Australia. She was previously a British Research Consultant and Technology Specialist at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. She has her own business, Timeless Genealogies, does private research and sells personal history books on CD's at She writes for multiple publications and is currently the 2nd V.P. for ICAPGen and a Board Member for ISBGFH and belongs to many organizations. When not doing Family History, she is a member of the choral group, Sterling Singers and loves spending time with her family, reading and writing or enjoying a good movie. We look forward to getting to know Claire better!

2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute

by CAFG on 03/03/14

Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) has set the dates for the 2015 Forensic Genealogy Institute.  Foundations in Forensic Genealogy will be March 23-25.  The advanced track will be March 26-28.  The annual Institute is held at the Dallas Wyndham Love Field.  More details will be announced soon.

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