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Meet Forensic Genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick


Mon 20 Apr 2015, 3:30pm–8:00pm

Where: Central City Library, 44-46 Lorne St, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: seonaid2

Join us for an afternoon of family history insight and expertise with renowned forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick.

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, is the author of three best-selling books in genealogy, and has been recognised for her innovative forensic science approach to genealogical research.

Colleen will speak on three different subjects:
- Forensic genealogy: CSI meets Roots, 3.30pm - 4.30pm
- Adoption searches: How to find someone if you don’t know his name, 5pm - 6pm
- The "Unknown Child" of the Titanic – identified? 6.30pm - 7.30pm

Colleen's books will be available for purchase and signing.

Forensic genealogy: "CSI" meets "Roots"
Forensic genealogy has established itself as the modern approach to family research. Reference materials such as photographs, databases, and DNA can provide much more information than you ever dreamed, if only you keep your eyes open and use a little imagination. But are you really using your genealogical materials to your best advantage?

The goal of this lecture is to spark your imagination to discover new ways of looking at your family mysteries.

"Roots" is a classic ancestry book by Alex Haley. Find it in the Auckland Libraries catalogue.

Adoption searches: How to find someone if you don’t know his name
Your name is the psychological point of contact you have with the world and the world has with you. You are indexed in countless ways by it, but what if you are searching for someone and do not know his name?

The “non-identifying information” often provided to an adoptee by his adoption agency often contains more information about his birth family than noticed at first glance.

Taking a DNA test can also benefit an adoptee. These tests can give you insights into your ethnic background and family geography, and indicate relationships to others who might have the “other half” of the story.

This talk will give you insight into adoption searches – how to use explicit and implicit information in conjunction with DNA to locate someone even if don’t know his name.

The "Unknown Child" of the Titanic – identified?
Of the 328 bodies recovered by the salvage operation of the SS Titanic, just one was that of a child. His identity was unknown for nearly a century until 2002, when Dr. Alan Ruffman and Dr. Ryan Parr announced that they had identified the remains of the “Unknown Child”. But was this identification correct?

Hear how we resolved the controversy so that the Unknown Child of the Titanic was unknown no longer.

Speaker bio
Colleen Fitzpatrick is the author of three best-selling books in genealogy, "Forensic genealogy", "DNA and genealogy" and "The dead horse investigation: forensic analysis for everyone".

Her work as the forensic genealogist on the identification of the frozen human arm and hand found in the wreck of Northwest Flight 4422 (The hand in the snow) was mentioned in hundreds of news articles around the world.

In addition to lecturing widely to genealogical and historical societies, Colleen has been a forensic consultant. She has helped exposed two Holocaust literary frauds, one of which was a bestseller in Europe, and is now nearing the end of her third.

Colleen earned a PhD in nuclear physics from Duke University, after which she worked in the field of high resolution optical measurement techniques for 25 years. She has many years’ experience working for NASA, the US Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation.

When: Monday 20 April, 3.30pm - 8pm
Where: Central City Library, Whare Wananga Level 2
Booking: To secure your place, please contact the Central Auckland Research Centre on 09 307 7771 or book online:

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