There is an aspect of genealogy research beyond the traditional building of one’s family tree that many people might not be aware of. It’s not always about finding ancestors; sometimes it’s about finding descendants.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a nationally-known and well-respected genealogist here in New Jersey,  works with the Defense Department to confirm identities of servicemen killed in action by locating living family members. In many cases, the remains are returned home more than 50 years later. The latest case involved Staff Sgt Zoltan Dobovich, who died November 1, 1946 in the French-Italian Alps. Through the use of genealogical sleuthing and DNA testing, his remains were positively confirmed and current family members were identified. He will be laid to rest at a veteran’s cemetery in South Jersey later this week.

Noble work, Megan.