Applying Recently Acquired Education to Purple Hearts Reunited Research

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Back in January, I shared with you guys my desire to become involved with military repatriation cases. Even though I personally pursue genealogy as both a hobby and a career, I absolutely wanted to find a way to use genealogy to “give back” by volunteering my expertise to an effort in which I believed strongly. Shortly after composing that post, I again made some inquiries, which, unfortunately again went unanswered.

Then, just a short time ago, I received an email through the Chicago Genealogical Society about an opportunity to become involved with a special project launched by Purple Hearts Reunited. Purple Hearts Reunited is not a military repatriation organization, but their mission follows a similar vein. They attempt to recover lost or stolen military medals and reunite them with their recipients or recipients’ families. You can read more about who they are and what they do at their website: .

The specific opportunity to which I refer called for volunteers for a “WWI 100th Anniversary Tribute” project. The goal of this project is to reunite 100 World War I Purple Hearts with their recipients’ families in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Wow. I had hardly finished reading the email before I was sending my own email to project organizers asking them to “please count me in!”

After receiving further details about the project, a short time later I was assigned a WWI Vet to research. I have just started delving into the records (in a city previously unfamiliar to me), finding out more about this soldier and his family. It has already been a bit of a tricky case at turns, but I’m having a blast! And gaining valuable research experience to boot!

You know what’s really cool about all this? At Rootstech, I won free course registration to NGS’s new “Tracing Your World War I Ancestors” course. So I’m simultaneously learning World War I research techniques and applying them to an actual World War I case. It has been amazing.

If you are an experienced researcher and would like to be involved in this project, I believe they are still taking volunteers for a short time. I imagine you can find out more through their website, but feel free to contact me as well and I can put you in touch with project organizers.


Besides my involvement with Purple Hearts Reunited, life has been keeping me extra busy these days. Document retrievals for clients have been picking up, and the movers come in less than two weeks (yikes!). We also announced some big family news during our recent family vacation (See picture below). So, a lot of different things  are vying for my energy and attention!

4th and 5th Generation Cubs Fans!!

I have a few tutorial posts I am working on that I hope to post before too long. However, I want to apologize in advance if this blog is neglected somewhat in the coming weeks. Once we are settled in our new location, I hope to get back to more scheduled and educational posts for readers. Thanks for understanding.


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