Additional Services  >  Military Services

Military Services - Genealogy

The Department of the Army uses the services of SNA International to conduct genealogy research in an effort to identify the primary next of kin and closest DNA eligible living relatives for Soldiers who remain "unaccounted-for" from World Wars I and II, the Korean, and the Vietnam War.  These DNA eligible relative includes autosomal, Y-chromosome, and mitochondrial DNA donors.

SNA International’s role in this important program is to be the initial conduit between the Army and the families – in essence we are the researchers hired to locate family members so that, once identified and located, the Army can reach out to them and ask them to participate in the repatriation program.  Our team of certified and highly accomplished genealogists research and contact potential family members.

Our Genealogists

Catherine Desmarais, CG -
Catherine Desmarais is a full-time, professional Certified Genealogist who specializes in forensic genealogy, with experience in military, probate, trust and real estate cases; as well as early Vermont and Pennsylvania family history research. Catherine is a board member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and an active member of the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She has authored several published articles, attended numerous genealogical institutes and conferences, and researched on-site in Ireland and Germany.

Diane L. Giannini, CG -
Diane L. Giannini is a full-time, professional Certified Genealogist whose specialties include heir searching, proof of lineal descent, location of historical sites and colonial records. She writes articles for genealogical publications and lectures both locally and nationally. Ms. Giannini is a member of numerous notable organizations including the Board for the Certification of Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the National Capital Region of the Association of Professional Genealogists

Michael Hait, CG -
Michael Hait is a full-time genealogical researcher, author, and lecturer. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, as well as numerous state and local historical and genealogical societies. His specialties include the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the United States, and African American genealogy.

Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG -
Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG owns Kimmitt Genealogical Research in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Her specialization is Massachusetts, with focus on US Army repatriation, immigrant populations, dual citizenship, missing/unknown heir searching and kinship determination. Prior to working with SNA International, Polly was employed by the American History Company where she worked on US Army repatriation cases. Currently editor of the FGS Voice Newsletter at the Federation of Genealogical Societies, she also serves on the Board of Directors.

Constance Trisler Shotts, CG -
Dr. Constance Trisler Shotts is a native of Indiana, and has lived in Virginia, California and North Carolina. She earned bachelor, master and doctorate degrees from Indiana University and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Virginia and the University of California. After retiring from the principalship, where she was recognized as North Carolina’s National Distinguished Principal in 2004, she began full-time work in genealogy, a field in which she has engaged for more than 30 years.  She earned certification with the Board for the Certification of Genealogists in 2011.

Michael L. Strauss, AG -
Michael Strauss has been an Accredited Genealogist since 1995. He is a native of Pennsylvania and a resident of Virginia and has been an avid genealogist for more than 30 years. Mr. Strauss holds a BA in History and is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran. He currently serves as President of the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society and is an active member of the Connecticut Professional Genealogical Council and the Association of Professional Genealogists. Mr. Strauss has written several articles for publication and is an expert witness in forensic and kinship-estate matters in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Jenny Tonks, AG -
Jenny Tonks is an Accredited Genealogist with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists. She possesses a BA in Family History-Genealogy from Brigham Young University and an MA in English (biographical literature emphasis) from Northern Arizona University. Ms. Tonks works as an online adjunct professor of Family History-Genealogy for Brigham Young University-Idaho. She is also fluent in Italian and has lived/performed extensive on-site genealogy research in Italy and the southern Atlantic states.

Claire Ammon -
Claire Ammon is a Board Certified Genealogist specializing in forensic genealogy and Connecticut family history research. She is a member of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council, Inc., Connecticut Society of Genealogists and the Association of Professional Genealogists.



Program Links & News

DNA May Help Military End Era of Unknown Soldiers
Advancing techniques and DNA technology may help the U.S. bury its last unknown solider as teams of invetsigators and scientists continue the worldwide search for lost defenders.

Soldier Laid To Rest 60 Years After Death In Korean War
Army Corporal Henry F. Johnson was originally from Arkansas and died in 1951 in a prisoner of war camp. Johnson's death had been unconfirmed until just recently. Thanks to DNA testing, his surviving family members are finally getting closure.

Cousin in Seattle learns fate of Korean War soldier
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The red-headed, freckle-faced Glennon from Brown Street went missing in action that day and was later declared to be among the 600 soldiers thought to have died in the Battle of Unsan whose remains were buried, or rather covered, by the enemy.

Remains of Spokane soldier missing in Korean War return home by KING 5 News
The remains of a US serviceman missing in action in the Korean War have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial, over 60 years after his disappearance.

Spokane soldier, MIA during Korean War, returning home
KXLY Spokane
The Department of Defense has confirmed the body of a Spokane soldier, who was reported missing in action during the Korean War, has been found and is being returned home.

Remains of local soldier to be put to rest after 60 years
News 10NBC
Cpl. Patrick R. Glennon, was declared Missing in Action while fighting in North Korea in November 1950. His cousin, Richard, still remembers how sharp the 17-year-old soldier looked in his uniform on a Sunday dinner before he was deployed overseas.

Rochester soldier missing in action from Korean War identified
News 10NBC
The remains of a US soldier from Rochester, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Army Cpl. Patrick R. Glennon, of Rochester, will be buried on April 11.

Remains of airman missing since Vietnam to be interred at Arlington
Stars and Stripes
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The remains of an airman who went missing in action during the Vietnam War will be buried with full military honors Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, the Defense Department has announced.

Mass. airman killed in 1972 to be buried at Arlington
Worcester Telegram
After the crash, Avery and his fellow crewmen were listed as missing in action. In 1988, Vietnam turned over remains they attributed to an American serviceman, but the name they provided didn't match anyone lost or missing from the Vietnam War.

Mass. Airman Missing From Vietnam War To Be Buried
CBS Local
BOSTON (CBS) – A Massachusetts airman who went missing in action during the Vietnam War will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday. On April 6, 1972, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Allen J. Avery and five others were on a search and rescue mission.

The Robotic Search For Lost World War II Airmen
Popular Science
World War II combat pilots have been lost at the bottom of the Pacific ocean for nearly 70 years. Now autonomous robots have been deployed to find them.



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