In the course of decades of genealogical research for family, friends, clients, and, occasionally, complete strangers, Renee Steinig has uncovered many a "skeleton in the closet" -- cases of mental illness, illegitimate birth, infidelity, abandonment, and even murder, all hushed up for decades. A Viennese refugee whose baby was born in a New York State psychiatric hospital; a suburban businessman who led two lives; a Romanian immigrant hanged -- or so his family thought -- for "stealing horses;" a Jewish GI's love affair in Belgium during World War II; a young woman who married, had a baby, then vanished.... Renee will talk to us about these family secrets and others, the research tools that uncovered them, and the reunions and reconciliations that followed many of her discoveries.
Renee Steinig began to do genealogical research in the 1970s, inspired by a cousin who made it look easy. Many family trees and some 18 years later, she began to accept client work. Her specialties include New York research, locating lost family, and due diligence for probate cases. She is member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has testified as an expert witness in several New York City Surrogate's Courts. A past president and longtime trustee of the JGS of Long Island, Renee is also a director of Gesher Galicia and its discussion group moderator and Family Finder editor.