Forensic Genealogy

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) defines forensic genealogy as “genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications.” A forensic genealogist performs genealogical research as an unbiased, disinterested third party, having no personal or professional interest in the outcome of their cases. Forensic genealogists work on an hourly fee basis, not on a contingent fee basis, as heir searchers often do.

Melissa Johnson is a Certified Genealogist® and experienced forensic genealogist. She maintains memberships with the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) and the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). Melissa holds a certificate from the Forensic Genealogy Institute, and is an instructor in the institute’s advanced track. Melissa has experience locating missing and unknown heirs, determining and evaluating kinship, and providing due diligence on cases with legal implications. Melissa is also an experienced project manager, and is skilled in managing large genealogical projects, including complex legal cases involving research across jurisdictions and heirs located in various states and countries.

Melissa Johnson performs forensic genealogy research in accordance with the standards set forth by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is available to work for attorneys, administrators and executors of estates, prosecutors, bank and trust officers, financial institutions and other professional, and has experience working on estate, insurance, title, unclaimed property, mineral rights, citizenship, criminal, and death penalty cases. Melissa is also available to evaluate and review kinship determinations made by other researchers. Clients will receive a professionally prepared, fully source-cited affidavit of due diligence, along with the appropriate exhibits needed for court. She is also available to testify as an expert witness on kinship matters.

For more information, call 732-365-2680 or email