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What is Genealogy

Have you ever wondered how someone might uncover the identity of a distant family member, even if they passed away a long time ago? Or how someone could trace a person’s many descendants to administer a will? These questions are answered in trustee genealogy, sometimes also known as probate genealogy. You may have heard that a genealogist’s job is to provide valuable information about a family’s history and heritage, but what you might not have realised is that genealogy is also relied upon in important legal and regulatory settings.

What is genealogy?

Genealogy refers to the study of people’s ancestry and descendants. The word genealogy means literally ‘the study of generations.’ This research field is vast and multipurpose. It can range from giving families a greater sense of where they came from, to being a crucial step in proving kinship, tracing missing family members, or administering estates.

Genealogy is often linked with terms like “family history” and “family tree”. Although these concepts are related, there are some differences. Genealogy, for one, traces descendants using substantiated records from official sources, while family history includes, in addition to ancestral records, the cultural context of various eras, as well as family legends and stories.

How does genealogy research work?

Genealogy research is a specialist process that uses a range of sources and methods such as forensic data, administrative records, many other historical records, and genetic analysis, to obtain information about a person’s ancestry or their descendants. Genealogy goes in both directions: to those who come before, and those who come after, in a bloodline.

This is a complex exercise that requires specialist skills, which is why genealogy provides key evidence for trustee and estate matters. Specialist genalogists who are experienced in these kinds of legal requirements can find missing beneficiaries, verify relatives in a will in progress, establish entitlements to an intestate estate and identify parties relevant to estate proceedings.

Additionally, genealogy is used in a medical context where inherited conditions are investigated in clinical genetics laboratories through DNA testing and genealogy research conducted by professional genealogists.


Genealogy research services in Australia

Individuals and organisations seeking genealogy research for any purpose can make use of professional genealogists. In Australia, Worthington Clark assists executors, solicitors and trustees, corporations, companies and custodians, to locate and reconnect with lost, unknown or forgotten people, property and assets. The company does this by maintaining an established network of international institutions and genealogists who are equipped to perform a range of genealogy research services and to help successfully find people.

Worthington Clark’s professional genealogists and researchers can provide evidence for intestacy and other estate matters across all Australian jurisdictions, as well as navigate and interpret state and national unclaimed property regulations and legislation. The company’s genealogy research services can also reunite lost account holders and owners with unclaimed assets by utilising the firm’s extensive Australian and global networks.

Worthington Clark’s genealogy research processes are based on official and verifiable records that are sourced through a wide range of resources and tools and then analysed by our team of experienced genealogy researchers.

Probate genealogy and beneficiary research services are valuable to a wide range of professionals who include lawyers and trustees, estates, executors and beneficiaries as well as companies, custodians, and communities seeking historical research. Worthington Clark’s genealogy research offering is custom-designed, and will meet each client’s needs for an accurate and well-detailed research process.

Worthington Clark is a family-owned and operated professional genealogy and asset research firm in Sydney. The company has over 40 years of specialist experience in genealogy research for lawyers, trustees, companies, executors and beneficiaries. Request a quote for genealogy research services from your genealogy specialists today!

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