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Follow Finders team of researchers along the exciting trail of discovery that leads through a family history that covers the First World War and shines a light on the old world of domestic service. Meet family members and hear their recollections as the Finders team trace Pub Landlord Michael Naish’s heirs in this episode of the new series of Heir Hunters..


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Series 11 Ep 12 – Maud Osborne

2016 Overview

A connection to one of the notorious Great Train Robbers marked the case of Maud Osborne.
Maud was 87 when she died in January 2016 at a nursing home in London. The case was referred to us by Maud’s local council.

Maud Osborne

A connection to one of the notorious Great Train Robbers marked the case of Maud Osborne.
Maud was 87 when she died in January 2016 at a nursing home in London. The case was referred to us by Maud’s local council.
Newham Council believed Maud had never married or had children, but they were aware of a possible brother. Because of how the intestacy laws work, we need to check first if someone did have a spouse or partner and/or children before we look at siblings. We found no records for marriage or births relating to Maud, but we did find a brother who had also died unmarried and without children.
Osborne can be a tricky name to research, thanks to all the spelling variations – Osbourne, Osborn, Osbourn, etc. We found a paternal uncle, John, who had been married three times and each time, he’d used a different way of spelling his name – making the research process very slow.
Another uncle, William, had two children – one of which, Patricia, married Charlie Wilson of the Great Train Robbery in 1963. Charlie Wilson had been tipped off about a train carrying bank notes and stole £2,631,784 (which would be worth around £40 million today). He was jailed for 30 years in 1964 – although he escaped four months into his sentence and made it all the way to Canada. He was found by the police in 1968 and returned to the UK to serve the rest of his conviction. He later died in Spain.
He and Patricia had three children – all of which were the heirs to Maud’s £25,000 estate.

Catch up on this episode on BBC iPlayer