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Every year thousands of people die with no will and with no apparent relatives.
Tracking down their long-lost families is a job for the heir hunters.
On today's programme, the heir hunters come up against a mystery they can't seem to solve.
We've got a sister, Doreen, we cannot kill off.
And an heir unearths a family secret that has been kept hidden for a generation.
I think I can 100% say that my father didn't know he had a half-brother.
And we'll have details of some of the hundreds of unclaimed estates.
Could you be in line for a windfall?
More than two-thirds of people die without leaving a will.
If they have no obvious relatives, their money goes to the Government.
Last year, they made a staggering £18 million from unclaimed estates.
That's where the heir hunters step in.
-Yes. David Hadley. Hello.
There are more than 30 heir hunting companies who make it their business to track down the rightful kin.
Last year alone they claimed back £6.5 million
for unsuspecting heirs who would have otherwise gone empty-handed.
Our job is incredibly exciting.
We're tracing family trees, delving back into people's history
and looking at the hidden mysteries around people's families.
It's 7am at Fraser & Fraser, one of the oldest heir hunting companies in London.
The Government list of people who have died without a will has been announced.
Heir hunters work on commission, so the first priority is to quickly work out which cases are of value.
We can't find an address for this in Worthing, West Sussex, so get Bob Smith to get that one.
One of the cases had caught their attention,
that of Roy Read, whose estate is worth an estimated £200,000.
We started this morning looking at eight cases. The main case we're concentrating on is Read.
We're making sure we've got the majority of our staff on him now.
The hard bit's to make sure we don't spread our resources too thin,
so we'll see where it goes in an hour or two.
Roy Read spent his semi-retirement working as a driver for Age Concern.
Despite the years spent giving his time to others,
he died alone in his home aged 76, apparently without any family.
Two of the last people to see him on a regular basis were fellow charity workers Janice and Louise.
He was very young at heart and he was quite an active man.
He also had quite an interest around gardening.
Whenever we took the groups out to the garden centres,
he'd often be involved with them, helping them to choose their plants.
Everybody adores Roy. He was such a nice person, really nice.
Roy worked at the charity for 11 years, but he didn't give much away about his home life.
He had a very good rapport with old people,
but he was also a very private man and that's how he chose to live.
We never heard him talk very much about family.
Roy died without leaving a will.
Because he owned his house, Roy's estate could be as valuable
as £200,000, so definitely a case worth investigating.
The first stage in tracing his family is for the researchers
to check for his birth details and then look for parents and siblings.
They have already reported to case manager David Pacifico some early news.
He had a sister, Doreen, who we're trying to track down. She's probably deceased.
Who knows? We're trying to find what happened to her.
As Roy's closest kin, Doreen would be entitled to his £200,000 estate, if they can find her.
We're doing a marriage search for Doreen and Roy.
But she may have died young.
While the search goes on in the office, David Pacifico knows a face-to-face conversation with
any of Roy's neighbours might provide information about him.
That could save hours of scrolling through records.
He has people on the road he can call on for just this purpose.
The office employ a squadron of travelling heir hunters
who are ready to go wherever the hunt takes them.
Based up and down the country, their job is to sniff out clues to identify potential heirs.
Once heirs are found, these senior researchers
hotfoot it to meet them before the other companies.
The first senior researcher to get a call is Watford-based Ewart Lindsay.
I've just been rung up by the office and I've got a new case out this morning.
The deceased used to live at 199 Hewitt Avenue, so I'm going to head over to that address now.
Just do a brief inquiry, speaking to neighbours and try and find out a bit more about the deceased.
It's crunch time on the case.
Will Ewart's enquiries help to leapfrog the team's research forward?
With Roy Read's £200,000 property at stake,
the office aren't wasting any time while they wait for Ewart's news.
They've now got more information on Roy's family.
The parents are William J Read and Violet Rosie Maylin.
This finding has allowed them to add another layer to the family tree.
As well as Roy's Sister Doreen, they now know he was the son of Violet and William Read.
They still think Doreen might be the sole heir, but they'll need
to verify this information by getting relevant certificates.
What we need to get is the birth of the sister, the parents' marriage and the birth of Mum.
We won't know much else until the information comes back.
Birth, death and marriage certificates are the tools of the heir hunters' trade.
They verify details needed to build up a family tree
and to make a case to the Government on an heir's behalf.
The quickest way to get the information is to send someone
to collect it from the register office but even this takes time.
Roy's mother's death certificate is at the top of the list.
The mother's death certificate may give us who knows? The sister might be the informant on it.
I'm hoping she will be because at least we'll have a name, and address, albeit in 1982.
It's a job for another of the travelling heir hunters.
Will they be able to track down a clue to solve the case?
-Morning, Dave it's David here.
-Can you go into Enfield and pick up a death for me, please?
And it's the death of the deceased mother, Violet Rosie Read. I've got two people on the road.
I've got Ewart Lindsay and I've got Dave Hadley.
The mother died in Enfield, so I'm sending Dave Hadley.
Ewart is going to do an inquiry and then go to Westminster where the parents were married.
Because everything is coming out of different registry offices, we're using somebody
from here to go to Islington to pick up the deceased's birth and hopefully the sister's birth,
which would give her full name and date of birth, which is what we want.
It's now 9am and researcher Debbie is making
her way to Islington Town Hall for Roy and Doreen's birth certificates.
Even the most experienced heir hunters are struggling.
There you go.
Debbie should be phoning through shortly. All right?
We're a bit up in the air on this one.
If it's not easy for us, hopefully, it's not easy for other companies.
At Roy's house in north London, Ewart is hoping to move the case on
by obtaining information from the neighbours.
A neighbour of yours a few doors down at 199, Mr Read, I don't know if you knew him.
I've spoken to him, but I didn't know his name.
He's died without leaving a will.
And you've got nobody at all?
I have to trace his family and I'm trying to speak to neighbours to see if anyone knows more.
-Was he ever married at all?
-No, he was on his own.
I don't think he had any family.
-Do you know how long he's been living there?
-He was living here for years, like a recluse.
An elderly man, yes.
While they wait for news that can push the case forward,
Gareth is still trying to get ahead with Roy's sister, Doreen.
He hasn't discovered the record for her death and now he's struggling to find her marriage record.
At the moment we're completely stuck.
I've got one marriage for Doreen C Read.
I don't think it's going to be right, though.
That leaves me wondering what has happened to her.
She hasn't died, we can't find her death file as Read and I don't think she's married,
so where has she gone? I'm not sure.
With the researchers struggling, will Ewart's report back from the neighbours help?
I've managed to speak to a lady a few doors down.
She just mentioned that the deceased was a recluse.
No mention about her sister?
No mention about her sister at all, no.
We've got a sister, Doreen, we can't kill off.
It's now 10.00am and the case is still deadlocked.
Worried they might be falling behind the other heir hunting companies, David's patience is wearing thin.
I'm going to phone Dave Hadley again. This is driving me mad.
It's good timing for David's call because Dave Hadley has just arrived at the register office.
Dave, David here. You've got it.
Dave has got the mother's death certificate, but what will it reveal?
The informant is the son,
Roy Charles Walter Read.
The certificate doesn't solve the mystery of Roy's sister. In fact, it throws up a new one.
I don't think they actually know the full name of the husband.
-It looks like, "Widow of - Read."
-So he doesn't know the name of his father?
Well, yeah. Strange.
It doesn't make sense.
Dave Hadley's information isn't what David was looking for.
The informant is the son, the deceased, but the son doesn't even know who his father's name was.
The news hasn't helped the case move forward.
The informant is the son, so the son doesn't even know the name of his father.
That's a good start.
With this question mark over Roy's father, and still no news on
Roy's sister, will the team be able to find their way out of this dead end?
The annoying thing is that we know the deceased had a sister
and not knowing what happened to her is very frustrating.
She could be floating around somewhere, she could be
within a whisker of finding her, but we don't know what has happened to her.
From that point of view, it's very frustrating. But we will get her eventually.
They may find her sooner than they think with one crucial phone call from researcher Debbie.
She's at Islington Town Hall where she's been looking up Roy and his sister's birth certificates.
Birth of Doreen Cambridge Read.
Read. Yes, no father.
Roy's sister's birth certificate provides two key pieces of information.
Firstly, there's no named father, so Doreen's father was not Mr Read.
Secondly, she was given up for adoption at birth.
Doreen is adopted out. Yes.
Anyone who's working with Doreen, drop it.
She's adopted out.
This is a turning point because Doreen isn't entitled to any of Roy's £200,000 estate.
The team will have to change the way they look at the case.
Now we've picked up Doreen's birth certificate, it says across that that she's been adopted out of the family.
That takes away all of the legal ties back into the estate, so we don't need to worry about her at all.
We've now got to go on to the parents and the cousins and see where we go from there.
With Doreen out of the picture, the heir hunters now need to find the next nearest kin.
This could send them into more distant relatives.
But Debbie has another bombshell to drop.
This time about Roy's birth.
"Birth of Roy Charles Walter, his father is Charles William Larter."
The father is a milk roundsman.
The father is Charles William Larter, milk roundsman.
We have to find Charles William Larter.
The case has been turned upside down.
Now the team have found out that Roy was an illegitimate son of a milkman.
If his real father, Charles Larter, had other children, there could be any number of half blood heirs.
This is really how much we can change in five minutes.
We've picked up the births of the sister of the deceased and of the deceased.
The main thing is that the sister is adopted out and the deceased,
although the mother is married, the father of the deceased isn't who she's married to.
The father's name has totally changed, it's now a Mr Larter.
We need to start working on him and we're still working on the mother.
It's complicated to say at least at this time.
The case has had a breakthrough but having lost nearly a whole morning to get to this stage,
it's all hands to the pump to track down the newly-discovered side of Roy Read's family.
Coming up later - the team are on to a family but is it the right one?
I want to know from him if he knows the occupation of his grandfather.
If he can say his grandfather was a milkman, then we're spot-on.
For every case that is solved, there are still those that remain a mystery.
Currently, over 3,000 names drawn from across the country are on the Treasury's unsolved case list.
Their assets will be kept for up to 30 years in the hope that
someone will remember and come forward to claim their inheritance.
With estates valued at anything from £5,000 to millions of pounds,
the rightful heirs are out there somewhere.
John Adler died in London in March 2008.
So far, all efforts to trace his next of kin have drawn a blank.
Maybe you hold the key to who should inherit his estate.
Lucy Stepanski died in Holloway in London in November 2002.
Her unusual surname should make her heirs easier to find.
Could you be related to her?
Sometimes a single clue can unlock a family secret. But some cases can prove incredibly complex.
While bigger heir hunting companies have the resources to cope, also working the Government's list
are many smaller firms.
Hector Birchwood of Celtic Research specialises in trying to
solve difficult cases that other are companies won't necessarily tackle.
Hector also relies on certificates to move his research on, as happened with the case of Kenneth Yale.
Kenneth Yale died in a Glasgow hospital aged 79 leaving no will and an estate of £12,000.
The search to try and find his heirs led to the discovery of a skeleton in the Yale family closet.
Patricia Fleming is a staff nurse at the Orchards Hospital in Glasgow where Kenneth Yale spent
the last five years of his life.
Kenny was very much an old school gent, would speak quite fondly of his time in the services.
He came from a family of servicemen.
I believe his father and his grandfather also. Quite a few close relationships with patients that
have already been in the services, equally for long periods of time.
Liked the old familiar.
-Kenneth never married and had no apparent family.
-Kenny never had any visitors as such.
There's a befriending service and also the chaplain, the hospital chaplain.
Those were the only people other than ward staff that Kenny had contact with.
Hector took up Kenneth's case. With only a name and a hospital address to go on,
Hector's starting point was to find Kenneth's birth certificate to get his parents' details.
The first hurdle we had was not being able to find a birth certificate for the deceased in Scotland.
Yale isn't really a particularly Scottish name. There are people with the name Yale in Scotland,
but it's not something that I would think is necessarily a Scottish name.
And that's one of the reasons why I thought that the research should continue in England.
Hector traced Kenneth's birth certificate to London.
The certificate showed that Kenneth's father, James St Clair Madryn Yale,
was a solicitor and had married a Grace Turbutt. But this wasn't his first marriage.
When we discovered that James St Clair Yale had been previously married,
we then went through the next stage, which is trying to see if he had any children from that marriage.
He had one son, also called James.
He died very young but we did find that he had children and that developed into us finding an heir.
Kenneth's father, James, had a son from a previous marriage, Kenneth's half-brother.
Hector's research showed that Kenneth's half-brother had a daughter.
As his the only living heir, she was entitled to his £12,000 estate.
It was quite a surprise.
And it was very, very strange to know there was
somebody that had obviously been relatively close, genetically, to me that I'd never known existed.
So it was a very strange feeling.
Nice to be inheriting something, but very sad to have not ever known the person that had left it for me.
I think I can 100% say that my father did not know he had a half-brother.
He'd known that his father was a solicitor or a barrister in London,
And obviously that they had divorced when my father was very, very young.
There was no contact between my father and his father following that.
Hector is on his way over to Sonia's with the results of his latest research.
I managed to get the divorce papers
relating to the grandparents of our heir.
I think she will probably find some of the information that we've uncovered rather surprising.
HE KNOCKS ON DOOR
As well as her grandparents' divorce papers, Hector has brought all the birth,
marriage and death certificates used to connect Sonia to her half uncle, Kenneth.
-That's the marriage of your grandparents.
So here we have James St Clair with Louise Parsons, only a year apart.
-They were quite young, weren't they?
-They were quite young, 22 and 21 years old.
This is relating to the divorce papers for your grandparents.
There are a few surprising facts here, from what you already know.
The petition was filed on 14th May 1926.
Six months later, the decree nisi was awarded.
The second marriage of James St Clair indicates that
maybe he was the party who divorced your grandmother.
But if you look at the divorce proceedings and who is actually
putting together the petition,
is Louise Yale.
Before the 1920s, it was uncommon for wives to petition for divorce
because women had to prove more grounds than men.
However, after a change in law in 1923, divorce for women was more accessible.
There was an important change in the law in 1923.
Prior to that, a wife couldn't divorce her husband
on the basis of his adultery alone.
She had to also prove cruelty, desertion for two years or incest, bigamy, sodomy, bestiality or rape.
After 1923, she could petition on the basis of adultery alone.
At this time, you had to find a fault, a reason to divorce somebody.
There was no such thing as a no-fault divorce. And normally adultery was the reason.
The impression I got was that perhaps my grandfather wasn't the best husband in the world.
And I think possibly adultery might have been in there,
just from recollection of conversations I overheard.
Well, you are right. Adultery does play a part in this.
-Maybe not just adultery with one person.
-Possibly with many.
I'll just turn your attention quite quickly to
paragraph five of the affidavit, where,
"the respondent has frequently committed adultery with women
-"whose names are unknown to your petitioner."
While Sonia's grandparents were waiting for the divorce to come through,
her grandfather quickly moved on to a new relationship.
He did marry again quite quickly, then, didn't he?
Yeah, he didn't waste time.
Very quickly, because Kenneth was born in '27.
He didn't hang about.
1927, so that's June 1927, less than a year after the divorce was granted.
Kenneth's mother was not married to Sonia's grandfather when she conceived
and there was still considerable social stigma attached to being an illegitimate child.
Well, the timing of the divorce would have been quite crucial.
The law had changed in 1927 to allow a child to be legitimated by a subsequent marriage.
However, that only applied
if neither of the parents was married to a third party at the time of the child's birth.
The divorce timing worked out for Kenneth and his parents were married just 16 days before he was born.
Because Sonia's grandfather successfully managed to keep
his two children apart for their entire lives,
Sonia knows very few details about her half uncle, Kenneth.
There are no surviving photos of him so she doesn't even know what he looks like.
-Today, she's travelling to the hospital where he died.
-I'd love to find out more about Kenneth.
It's quite sad that, obviously, it would appear as though he had
no other family other than myself and he didn't know of my existence.
I do find that very sad that somebody has gone through life without anybody close,
without any family, and has died without having access to any family.
Yeah, I feel a bit sad, really, that
he ended his life here.
I'm sure it's a very nice place, but I don't think any of us particularly want to end our lives in
a place like this.
Sonia speaks to staff nurse Patricia Fleming,
who is the only link she has to the half-uncle she never knew.
That was my father in his army days.
-He has the same jaw.
-Has he? Right.
They have the same jaw.
I don't know how old he would be, but I reckon he would be probably late teens.
And that was him when he was older, he would be in his 40s there.
The exact same jaw but kind of much thinner up here.
Her last stop is at Glasgow Crematorium, to pay her respects to her uncle.
I wanted to come see where Uncle Kenny was cremated
just for somebody to have acknowledged, really,
that he was a relative of mine, even though we didn't know each other.
I've been trying to find out a little bit about him and have found out a little bit.
Hopefully, I'll continue over time to find out more.
But it's nice to say farewell and I'm sorry I never knew you when you were here, Kenny.
Every year, thousands of people live their lives totally unaware that a long-forgotten relative
has died without leaving a will.
Most unclaimed estates are valued at a few thousand pounds but some are worth millions.
Maybe you hold the key to a mystery case?
Could your memories shed light on who should lay claim to an estate?
Stanislaus Ammer of Hereford passed away in September 2007.
A distinctive name like that could revive long-forgotten memories.
Can you recall anything about him? Do you know how to find his heirs?
Martha Corner died in Palmers Green, London, in 2008. Her maiden name was Martha du Bois.
Tracing relatives of this widow has so far proved impossible.
Perhaps you can help find the heirs to her estate?
Back in London, Fraser & Fraser are trying to track down the family
of Roy Read, who died with a £200,000 estate and no will.
They've been working on the case for five hours and have discovered
Roy was the illegitimate son of a Charles Larter.
We now have to find out something about Mr Larter, who is shown as a milkman on the birth certificate.
If he's married, if he had other children, they would be half-brothers and sisters.
Now the team are going into overdrive, trying to find out about Charles Larter, Roy's real father.
I have got a marriage for him in Paddington.
He's alive in 1931, isn't he?
What they already know is that Charles Larter owned
the milk rounds in Shepherd's Bush, west London, from the 1920s.
He worked for the Davies Bros Dairy in the days before electric milk floats and milk
was delivered by hand.
Could he have met Roy's mother on his rounds? Now the team know Charles Larter's name,
they need to find out if he had any other children.
They're under pressure to make up time after the slow start.
We're searching for a will on the basis that we know very little about Charles Larter.
If we can find a will, it will hopefully connect him in with our family.
There's also an address and things are indexed with addresses at probate so that might help.
So Neil's on his way, hopefully.
The confirmation of the name Larter means that there is a flood of new information to process.
And he's otherwise Larter?
No, No. He was born as...
-Well, I haven't...
-Both parents signed the register, right?
-Fine, so his surname's Larter.
-We can check it on the machine and see if it's comes up under Larter.
It will be registered under Larter where does it say what the surname of the child is?
Case manager David Pacifico has been given details of a Charles Larter in London.
Could this be Roy's father?
There is a marriage of a Charles W Larter in Paddington in 1912, which could be the father.
And he's got six children, I think.
What we need to do is to find out on his marriage what his occupation is.
If it's a milkman, that's it.
It looks like there could well be half-brothers and sisters. They probably haven't got a clue.
The Charles Larter the team have found in Paddington married an Elizabeth Small
and together they had seven children but one, Peter, died in infancy.
If any of the others are alive, they could be Roy's half brothers or sisters, but first they
need to confirm if this Charles William Larter is Roy's father.
So it looks like he may have fathered five or six children from a marriage and on his rounds met this woman.
I forgot that, yes, he's a milkman, isn't he? He is the milkman. Yeah.
-"Your father was a milkman."
-He got friendly with one of his...customers.
It really is, sometimes it can be rather funny, this job.
It's a race for the researchers to get as much information on the six Larter children as possible.
-There are five or six births including a Ronald C who dies in 2005 in the Isle of Wight.
Charles Larter had a son, Ronald, who also had a son.
One phone call to him will confirm whether they're following up the right family.
It's the most important moment of the day so far because
it could be the breakthrough they've all been hoping for.
We are possibly about to make a phone call to
a half nephew of the deceased, potentially it's a half nephew.
I want to know if he knows the occupation of his grandfather.
If he can say his grandfather was a milkman, then we're spot on.
Hello, is that a Mr Larter? We're trying to trace a family
by the name of Larter originally from the London area.
Would I be right in saying that your father might have been a Ronald C Larter?
Now, your grandfather, do you remember his occupation at all?
It's the right family and David loses no time in establishing the whereabouts of the other relatives.
I know there was a Peter, Elizabeth, Muriel, Muriel's still alive, yeah?
This is exactly the call David was hoping for.
Thank you very much indeed for your help. Thank you. Bye-bye.
He actually confirmed that his grandfather worked for a dairy
and one time left his wife and went off with another woman.
The team are certain they've contacted the right family.
For Gareth, this means scores of names to track down
and the company believe other heir hunters are working on the case.
Whoever gets to the heirs first stands more of a chance of gaining a commission.
I think they're probably neck and neck with us, because it's quite easy to do, this case, really.
Once you've got the key ingredient for it, which was the birth of the deceased,
it's relatively easy to get on to. So that means it's easy for the competition to get on to as well.
Everyone pitches in with the research to ensure that
they find all the heirs as quickly as possible.
Charles Larter had five other children, Olive, Joan, Elizabeth, Dennis and Muriel.
They would all be in their 80s so the team are also looking for grandchildren.
Could Roy Read have known who his real father was?
And did he have any inkling that he had so many brothers and sisters?
Everybody's getting married so everybody
has to have an issue search done after them and all be found alive, so...
It's just a drag race.
There's no break for David, either.
I'm trying to trace an Elizabeth Sammels, formally Larter. Hello, Mrs Andrews?
-He's busy calling possible heirs.
-Dennis was another brother of yours.
Do you remember the name at all of his son?
Paul, was it?
-You had a sister Joan, I think.
-With every new phone call, he gets more information.
Did you have a sister, Olive?
Was she married? Any idea where Sylvia lives at all?
What's Muriel's married name, if I may?
But he's thriving under the pressure.
It's good fun, this is, and what it was looking like this morning, it looked absolutely frustrating,
frustration, but it shows you what a couple of civics can do.
The family tree is now taking shape.
The team have identified seven grandchildren of Charles Larter.
Sylvia, Christine, Terence, Christopher, Raymond, Jennifer and Paul.
These would all be Roy's half nephews and nieces.
And downstairs the researchers are finally able to fill in the blanks.
Trying to get the tree up to date at the moment.
Everybody is rushing so things get missed or put in the wrong place, so I'm making sure everything
that should be on it is on it and then I'll probably rewrite it so people can actually read it.
Now that they know there are living heirs, the teams send
their senior researchers out to meet them and fill them in on their lineage.
This is the moment heir hunters work towards.
Now they need to get there before the other companies, to sign them up and earn their commission.
Ewart, hi. Listen, we're up to date and I've got
-the first appointment for you, three o'clock or just before three o'clock at Hayes in Middlesex.
'You're seeing Sylvia Andrews.'
I've also got an address in St Albans.
I'll try and phone that through and make that later on.
-'You've got some talking to do this afternoon anyway.'
-Yeah, all right.
That's where you'll be heading to, Hayes in Middlesex.
-'I'll leave that with you and good luck.'
-You need to get someone down to Devon.
-Can you see if there's any other children of that marriage.
That's what we're doing. Hopefully we'll get something else.
Then we'll get somebody down there.
Bob Smith is the next traveller to be sent to meet an heir.
He's going to Devon to meet Charles Larter's grandson and Roy Read's half nephew.
It's been quite a swings and roundabouts day today.
First contact with the office this morning they said they didn't have anything for me, just drive in.
Half-an-hour later I'm told just come into the office.
500 yards from the office, please go to Devon!
Life of a traveller.
In a final breakthrough the heir hunters have found
Christopher and Kathleen,
great-grandchildren of milkman Charles Larter
and heirs to Roy's estate.
We've just got a birth.
She's born in 1959, so we need to marry her off and find her now.
She'll be the most distant heir I think on this case.
David Hadley is sent to go out and visit them.
We're up to date with all the half blood.
'The person you're seeing is a Kathleen.
'She'd be the daughter of Christopher Larter
'and her father died about 1972-3.
'She's got a brother, Christopher, so she'll give you the information I hope.'
-All right then.
-'I'll catch up with you tomorrow then. Good luck.'
-All right, David.
We've got three travellers out, one's gone all the way down to Devon.
Another one's up in Suffolk.
Another one's in Middlesex
and then going on to hopefully St Albans later.
We shall see.
I think this has gone quite well. I'm quite pleased with it.
Research-wise, it's gone very well.
Unless we missed something, which is always a possibility.
But hopefully David's charming everybody.
It's 5pm and the office is wrapping up for the day.
But there's still a long evening ahead for David Hadley.
He's arrived at the house of Charles Larter's great-granddaughter Kathleen.
She'd be Roy Reid's great half-niece.
She's still taking in the news of her long-lost relative.
I don't know whether he explained to you what this is all about,
but basically Fraser & Fraser are a company of probate researchers.
We're working on a case at the moment and we believe that you're related
to the deceased and as such are entitled to a share of his estate.
I don't know how much you know about your family.
I actually lost touch with that side of the family
from the age of about 10 or 11.
Oh, right. Some questions about your father then.
-Do you know what his surname was?
And how about your grandfather? What do you know about him?
-Just that his name was Ron, Ronald.
And I think he had a brother, Dennis.
So far as we know at the moment there was Dennis,
there was Joan, there was Olive,
there was Ronald, which would be your grandfather,
Muriel, Elizabeth and Peter.
In fact, the deceased is half blood related to them.
The news about Roy has come as a big surprise to Kathleen.
It was quite a bombshell.
Coming home from work today and receiving a phone call...
..making me think about the past
and my family and things that I had forgotten really.
But, you know, if I stand to gain anything then that's great.
With one successful visit over, David Hadley heads over
to his second heir, Kathleen's brother, Christopher.
Your father was Christopher Larter, which you've confirmed.
-He had a brother, Terry.
-And a sister, Christine.
-They always called her Tina.
Then we've got your father's father was Ronald, Ronald Larter.
Yeah, Ron who died a couple of years ago.
Yeah. Then this is to do with a half-brother that Ron had.
Thank you very much, bye-bye.
-And you. Bye bye.
David is finally wrapping up after two good meetings.
I'm feeling quite good now.
It's been a long day but it's been worth it
and I think it's a job well done,
so I'm now going to make my way home again.
Both the heirs David met signed up with him, which means the company
will work on their behalf until they receive their inheritance money.
However, Bob and Ewart weren't so lucky.
In the end the heirs didn't give them their business, despite all of their hard work.
All in all the researchers in less than 24 hours have found
a remarkable eight heirs for Roy, a man thought to have no family.
It's been a productive day even after a slow start.
Changing from one tack to another is always a bit frustrating because you realise how much wasted work
you've done and in this case we had three or four hours of wasted work
with all of our researchers prior to switching to the right family,
and then within 20 minutes, we had found the first address
and we've got several children, all of which are now up-to-date, we found addresses for.
Indeed he still had two half sisters still alive.
I question whether they actually knew that their father
had had another son from another relationship,
but we'll find out in the long run, I suppose.
And for Roy Reid, his £200,000 estate will be going to a family
he probably never knew he had, and is his final act of generosity.
He was a very private man but he was also a very caring man
and he was a giver rather than a taker.
If you'd like to find out more
about how to build a family tree or write a will, go to...
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