Series 11 Ep 18 – Marie Winser

reading time 2 minutes

Often, when we investigate cases we find potential heirs with a keen interest in genealogy themselves – as was the case with Marie Winser’s beneficiaries. With name changes thrown into the mix, the team quickly realise that they will need all their resources to tackle this case.

Marie Winser
Often, when we investigate cases we find potential heirs with a keen interest in genealogy themselves – as was the case with Marie Winser’s beneficiaries.
Marie died in September 2016, and her case was advertised on the Bona Vacantia. Such cases are always competitive as the list is a public document and so scrutinised on a daily basis by other heir hunting companies.
Marie had lived on a Lambeth council estate for more than 50 years and worked at the local laundrette. She lived with her parents until they died. She never married and had no siblings, so our research focused on her maternal side. Through her mother’s family (McGill) we found potential heirs.
Just to keep us on our toes, Marie’s mother had moved her first and middle names around a lot, so we had to look through all the records with both combinations of names to check we found the right family.
Through looking at the maternal grandfather, John McGill, we found a war record where he has been registered as being part of the Bengal East Indian Army at just 12 years old. Through his time in the army, he met his future wife in Gibraltar. He and his wife eventually moved to Dover in Kent and had two children.
Many of the aunts and uncles on this side of Marie’s family had middle names – normally something that is useful in genealogical research. Except when they use different names in official records… We needed to check and double check everything in various combinations.
One of the eventual heirs we found was Eileen Taylor– a keen amateur genealogist herself. When we called her to tell her about the potential inheritance, she didn’t believe she was the right person. Her own research hadn’t turned up Marie Winser. However, when she looked at the information we had, she was able to piece everything together, and she realised she was indeed related to Marie.
The research revealed a further 16 heirs.

Catch up this episode on BBC