We have been filming for Series 10 of the popular day-time BBC programme Heir Hunters and we promise Series 10 promises to be as good, (if not better) than the last.
It’s hard to believe that we are now at Series 10, having been involved with the series for so long. The programme has certainly raised awareness of heir hunting and what we do, and it seems to strike a chord with viewers. People like good news stories – although often the “good news” isn’t so much that they might be in line to inherit money, but that we can give them additional information about their families or provide them with the information to plug gaps in family tree knowledge.
Of course, a huge amount of time and filming goes into Heir Hunters – and the TV programme cannot show just how much time we spend working on every case. And certain cases don’t get filmed because they might not have the same interesting hook – Heir Hunters looks for points of interest, such as people who led fascinating lives or who had illustrious relations, or strange co-incidences.
Episode 16 looked at the case of Vera Barron, who died in 2012 at the age of 91. She left behind no immediate family and our case manager David Moakes discovered Vera had been born blind.
Vera had a sister Sylvie, who was also dead and who had also never married or had children, so David’s search turned to Vera’s parents – revealing a fascinating family history. Her grandfather had worked as a shipwright diver, a well-paid and well-respected occupation in those days, while a cousin (A lieutenant Ronald Glue) had been part of the army’s psychological division during World War Two, distributing leaflets and pamphlets which were aimed at encouraging the Germans to surrender.
David traced a total of six heirs to Vera’s estate (through her mother’s sisters) and we were able to provide one of those heirs with further information about his family tree.
Series 9 episode 19 looked at the case of Stephen Beazer, a man who had loved surfing. Stephen had travelled all over the word in pursuit of his passion. When he died in 2013, his friend Julie had turned to Finders International for help because Stephen hadn’t left a valid will.
Finders’ case manager Katie Watson discovered that Stephen had come from a large and very close family, but he had drifted apart from them after childhood. His cousins hadn’t realised that he’d been ill, but they were very grateful to the Finders team as they were able to attend his funeral.
Stephen had been married, but his wife had died at a very young age. Travelling to the Welsh town he had lived in, his cousins Anne and Rita visited his flat and discovered large stocks of family photos and mementos to his wife.
Katie’s research uncovered some 18 heirs to Stephen’s £100,000 estate, but for Anne and Rita, Finders’ work had other value because they were able to meet up with Stephen’s friends Julie and Natalie, and find out about the last years of Stephen’s life. Julie and Natalie were able to tell Anne and Rita that Stephen had plenty of friends and he’d been a welcome member of the local community.
Series 10 of Heir Hunters is scheduled to be broadcast early next year.