Case manager Ryan Gregory took on the investigation into the family tree of bachelor Alistair Richards, who had died in May 2012 without leaving a will. The case had been referred to Finders by a local solicitors film, which had in turn been contacted by Alistair’s cousin on his mother’s side, Douglas.
Alistair had spent most of his life in the clay mining village of St Dennis in Cornwall, and his relatives had worked in this industry which had been so crucial to the local and national economy. Alistair’s friends and neighbours remembered him as a very kind and sociable man, who had enjoyed all the aspects of close, village community life. Douglas remembered him as a very talented baker, who had taught Douglas’s daughters to cook and had made his youngest daughter’s wedding cake for her.
Ryan and his team quickly established that Alistair had never married, nor had children so the investigation turned to his parents. The Finders team had been given a lot of information by Douglas, but when it comes to professional probate genealogy every piece of information must be independently checked and verified, which the team proceeded to do.
Their investigations took them to the maternal side of the family and his mother Marjorie nee Watters. Research identified Alistair’s aunts and uncles and a number of living descendants. But then the team’s investigations threw up a spanner in the work – the existence of a half-sister Angela Joan Watters, whose claim (if she was still alive, or if she had children) would take precedence over the other claimants.
Working quickly, Ryan and his team found that Angela had died in 2004 and she had never married, nor had children so the Finders team continued with their work to identify heirs through Alistair’s aunts and uncles.
Some 14 beneficiaries were identified in total, including Douglas and Karen Armstrong. Karen had lost touch with her uncles and cousins over the years and she expressed her gratitude for the bitter-sweet turn of events which had led to the family reunion.