Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, is an internationally recognised forensic genealogist, the founder of Identifinders International. She has been involved in high profile forensic cases, including the identification of the Unknown Child on the Titanic and the Amelia Earhart project; she is now the Forensic Genealogist on the Abraham Lincoln DNA Project. Colleen has also been a key member of team that have exposed three international Holocaust literary frauds. Colleen's collaborations include the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Office, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, the University of Arizona, Harvard Medical School and other noted professional organizations. She is a Fellow of the Society of Photoinstrumentation Engineers (SPIE), an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS).

As a world traveler and multi-lingual, Colleen specializes in international cases; she has researched in over 50 countries. Colleen assists nonprofits, military organizations, attorneys, and law enforcement with cold case work, forensic identification, and with locating hard-to-find individuals. She has developed innovative DNA identification techniques that have benefited Child Survivors of the Holocaust, and adoptees who otherwise would have given up hope of finding their birth parents.

Colleen's first book Forensic Genealogy has become a well-known classic, redefining the field for both amateurs and professionals. Her second book DNA & Genealogy was commissioned by Family Tree DNA for their second International Conference on Genetic Genealogy in 2005. These books were followed by The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone. Colleen lectures widely in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has taught workshops in Advanced Forensic Genealogy for both the Boston University Certificate Program in Genealogy and the Salt Lake City Institute of Genealogy.

Colleen has appeared in hundreds of domestic and international newspapers and magazines, and on international radio and television programs. These include the BBC World News Tonight, RTE Ireland Television’s Nationwide, Radio New Zealand, CNN, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, More Magazine, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Melbourne Sun, The Denver Post, The Seattle Times, and The Orange County Register.

May 6, 2017

11:00 AM - How to use Autosomal DNA

Colleen will give examples how to use autosomal DNA in your genealogy research. She will give examples on how she has used it in the past without too much technical detail.

12:30 PM - The Somerton Man?

This is a mystery she has been working on from Australia. She has used several autosomal DNA tools to get more information about this Man. It's a crazy story but also shows how to tease out information using DNA that you probably didn't realize is there.

Speaker Handouts are available to OCCGS Member's Only on the Handouts page.


Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD
18198 Aztec Ct.
Fountain Valley, Ca 92708
Cell: (714) 296-3065


General Meetings

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Contact OCCGS:

Orange County California Genealogical Society
c/o Huntington Beach Central Library
7111 Talbert Avenue
Huntington Beach, California 92648

(714) 536-5549