The Case of Norman Hunt
Norman Hunt’s case came to the Finders team through notification on the Bona Vacantia list so the pressure was on for case manager Ryan Gregory to find potential heirs in this case, as competing probate genealogy firms would also be trying to find Norman’s beneficiaries, particularly as the estate was thought to be worth £200,000.Norman, who died in 2013, had lived in the Suffolk village of Haverhill for more than 50 years. He had been married, but the team quickly established that his wife Margaret had died in 2009. Neighbours confirmed that Norman had been a well-liked character in the village and was known for his love of gardening and cats.
Initial research hinted at the possibility of a daughter – a scenario Ryan thought unlikely, as such a close relative would surely have made a claim on the estate. Later findings proved him to be right – Norman and Margaret had had no children, and the search turned to his parents.
A brother had died in 1942, so with no other siblings Ryan looked at Norman’s aunts and uncles and their descendants, which took him back to the University of Cambridge and a grandfather, aunt and uncle who had all worked at the university.
The team found cousins Peter and Mary, who were both still alive and researcher Tom Smith was dispatched to visit them as soon as possible. Peter recalled that he had last seen in Norman in 1950, when the two of them had spent a day together in London.
After some thought, Peter and Mary signed up with Finders and both agreed that the whole experience had brought them much more than the money from the estate. “It’s been very valuable,” Mary said. “It just shows how important family is to you.” “We are all members of a big family,” Peter added, “one big family, if you like. It opens your eyes a bit.”
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