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Heir hunters spend their lives tracking down the families of people who died without leaving a will.
They hand over thousands of pounds to long-lost relatives
who had no idea they were in line for a windfall.
Could they be knocking at your door?
On today's programme,
one man inherits a life-changing amount of money from someone he didn't even know existed.
Your father was married before.
So my mum was his second marriage, was she?
-Oh, I see.
-This person that's died is your half-brother.
And we revisit the story of two brothers separated at birth
and expose the secret double life one of them led for over 40 years.
I just could not believe that they were talking about my dad on the TV, a man I hadn't seen for 50 years.
It was utter shock.
Plus, the unclaimed estate sitting dormant at the Treasury.
Are you about to inherit a fortune?
Every year in Britain, over two thirds of people die without leaving a will.
When no heir can be found, their money goes to the government.
Last year, it made a whopping £18 million from unclaimed assets.
Of that, only £6.5 million was ever claimed back by heirs.
Hoping to earn a share of the payout,
more than 30 probate research companies compete to track down and sign up long-lost relatives.
Fraser and Fraser is one of the oldest firms of heir hunters in Britain
and is run by Andrew, Charles and Neil Fraser.
You see the smile on the beneficiary's face as they receive sometimes tens,
possibly even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In its 30-year history, the company has clawed back over £100 million
from the government and handed it back to more than 50,000 fortunate heirs.
It's early Thursday morning.
The Treasury have just released a list of people who have died without leaving a will
and partner, Charles Fraser, is checking it thoroughly.
It's still only 7.00am but the office isn't usually this quiet.
Gareth's come and joined me, which is nice.
We'll see if anybody else turns up this morning.
For now, they have to crack on alone.
But at this point it's too early to say which case they're going to work.
Harlow in Essex.
Harlow. Harlow. It's got to be Dave, hasn't it?
They're looking for people who may have left property.
But it soon becomes clear why they're so down on staff.
The team have been struck down with a bout of flu.
Morning, Dave. How are you?
Not so great. Better than I was.
-There's a lot of people off sick this morning.
-Oh man, I feel rough.
But they need to set to work regardless and Gareth's itching to get started.
Go on, give me a job.
William Douglas Harman, it looks like he left about £80,000 in his flat
So we'll just get Dave Mansell up into the area and start working on that one.
Bachelor William Douglas Harman died in August 2008.
The 75-year-old had spent almost 30 years of his adult life
living with his father in Sculcoates, Yorkshire.
Whilst he was a quiet sort, life-long friends like Ian Shand remember him fondly.
As a person, Bill was a very likeable guy.
I have never known him do a wrong thing for anybody.
A genuine person, a generous person.
A private individual.
He was a godfather to the children. We always brought him in.
Every party we had here, Bill was always there.
Every time he had a party at his house, we were there.
I mean, we always used to pull his leg about his moustache,
but he was a happy looking, roguish looking guy, a strong lad.
He got a boat from the Norfolk Broads which he kept on the River Hull.
He spent a lot of time on there. He got a lot of pleasure out of fishing.
The people around there on the boats were all similar types.
They used to meet up and discuss the boats and such. It was great fun.
Though William Harman's life wasn't lacking in fun and friends,
he doesn't appear to have had any family.
His next of kin would be entitled to his house in Sculcoates
which Frasers believe to be worth £80,000 to £90,000.
I'm just trying to get hold of Dave Mansell to go to Sculcoates.
It looks like it's got a bit of value.
Can we get you over to Sculcoates?
See you later, bye.
Frasers employ a team of travelling heir hunters based all over the country
who await the call to be sent wherever the search takes them.
They follow up leads and hunches and glean as much information as they can about the deceased
-by knocking on doors.
-Thanks very much.
Hoping to track down an heir before the competition beats them to it.
With only a last-known address in Hull to go on,
Manchester-based senior researcher, Dave Mansell, hits the road for some door-to-door investigations.
Yeah. I hope they get it up to date before we get there
and we can go straight to addresses and see possible heirs.
But I've not heard anything yet so I don't know what's going on.
Marcus is one step ahead.
It's only 7.50am and he's already speaking to a neighbour to try and find out what he can.
Thanks ever so much for your time.
She didn't know very much about the deceased.
She knew that he owned his house. It definitely wasn't council, they're all privately owned.
So they've confirmed William owned a house.
But in order to find more about him they need his date of birth.
From this, their office records will give them his parents' names,
helping them to map out the family tree, generation by generation, until they find his heirs.
We've done a quick heir search.
He's certainly the only one born in the area.
Harman, mother's maiden name is Harrison, there are other people
with that combination, but they're all out of the area.
Harrison's not a very good name.
Not looking forward to Harrison.
Gareth, it's right.
Common names are problematic but William's father has an intriguing one, John William Wordsworth Harman.
It doesn't take long to make their first breakthrough on this case
and unfurl the paternal side of the family tree.
We found the grandparents' marriage.
The deceased father, we think his name is John William Wordsworth,
and we found a marriage of potential grandparents,
John William Harman and he married a Sarah Lily Wordsworth.
The William Wordsworth middle name is a real godsend for the team and Marcus wastes no time
in cross referencing the name with the company's greatest asset,
Frasers' library of historical directories.
So it looks like we might have found
the name of the paternal grandfather in the directories, speculatively. And going based on the fact that
if it's right his name is virtually identical to the father of the deceased, who would be his son.
The directories are brilliant.
When they work for us they're really good.
William Harman was born to Gertrude Harrison and John William Wordsworth Harman.
His paternal grandparents were John Harman and Sarah Wordsworth.
The team will hope that descended from them will be
further children and grandchildren, who will lead them to cousins and heirs of the deceased William.
You write it in. You have much neater writing than I have.
Having found William's paternal family, they're now trying to get rid of them again.
At the moment, I'm trying to kill the paternal grandparents off on Harman.
Hopefully, if we kill the grandparents off, one or another will have left a will
and it will get us on to the next generation.
A will could hold key personal information that may lead them to more relatives.
I'm looking to see if the grandmother, Sarah Lily Harman, left a will.
And she did leave a will.
Look at that. Brilliant.
In the calendar book,
it shows that the person who was executor for her estate was her husband.
The paternal grandfather of the deceased.
We need to see this will
because we don't know what children there are going to be on that side of the family,
whether they'll be mentioned, it might mention the deceased. It's definitely right.
It may be some time before they can get a copy from the Probate Office,
but luckily the paternal branch of William's family tree is falling into place.
However, it's not so straightforward on the mother's side.
I'm still trying to work out what's happened to the mother of the deceased, Gertrude.
Her maiden name was Harrison, so without her death or an idea of when she's born
it's almost impossible to get to the Harrison side.
Do you want to look at Gertrude Harrisons just in Sculcoates, around that time,
and check the deaths again?
While the curse of the common name is causing its problems on the mother's side, they're buoyed up
by the fact that his father's side has been so easy so trace but suddenly...
Who's working Harman?
-Stop what you're doing for now, we've got the wrong date of birth.
The unthinkable has happened, there's been a mix-up over birth dates
and an hour's worth of work has been wasted.
I was nearly up to date. Just a matter of minutes and I was going to have this case cracked.
It's a potentially costly mistake.
Frasers are right back at square one.
Will it mean they've already lost the race to find heirs to the £90,000 house?
Heir hunting doesn't just take the form of fast-pace searches and heavy competition.
Deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside in the town of Burgess Hill
are heir hunting duo Lord and Lady Teviot.
Charles Kerr, the Lord Teviot, is a hereditary peer and works alongside his wife, Mary,
under their individual company names of Censors Searches and Elliot and Whitney.
You've got it.
-You've found the thing?
-I've found it.
Charles and Mary prefer to work the less competitive cases, thought too small to take on by other companies.
One is almost doing a service, because you will probably find
that genealogists won't go after the smaller cases but quite a lot of them, you do get letters from them.
So they are grateful you have taken the trouble to discover them after all this time.
Last year, Charles unravelled the case of Cecil Higham, a man who had tragically been
separated from his brother at birth and died with no known relatives.
Charles successfully found Cecil's nephews and nieces and reunited the two brothers' families.
He was in the forces there, wasn't he?
-Which seemed a fitting ending to Cecil's sad start in life.
It's been so lovely to meet you.
Thank you so much. It's a real pleasure.
We're ever so pleased to see you all.
But after the programme was broadcast, shocking new secrets about Cecil's life came to light
which would turn the case on its head and even bring his very name into question.
Cecil Ellis Higham died in 2000 aged 88,
leaving an estate of over £10,000.
Charles initially found it difficult to make progress due to the sad events surrounding Cecil's birth.
His mother died
when he was born.
One doesn't quite know what happened then.
It must have been very difficult for the father
in those days, because I don't think his own relations were anywhere near.
So presumably, the local authorities were brought in.
There seems to be no surviving records.
Following the death of their mother, Cecil and his older brother Herbert were fostered out.
Sadly, the two lived completely separate lives, miles away from one another.
I don't think they were aware as far as one knows, aware of each other's existence.
Cecil joined the Royal West Kents in Orpington during the war.
He preferred to go by the name of Tony and married Alice Joyce Ruskin in 1941.
But they never had children.
The only family they were close to was Alice's twin sister, Daisy.
You could tell he had gone through, you know, a hard life because Cecil never spoke about his family at all.
It was a closed shop. We didn't know whether he was the only child or what.
It seemed such a shame.
After Cecil was demobbed from the Army, he wanted to go back to London.
But wife Alice chose to stay in Nottingham.
Cecil eventually found a job in Leeds and they were reunited again until Alice died in 1998.
This is the last letter I wrote to Tony when my sister died.
I wrote, "I'm so very sorry you have lost Joyce.
"What a dreadful shock to you and all concerned who knew her."
Charles Teviot took up the case eight years on and needed to trace blood relatives.
He started digging into the family tree of Cecil's long-lost brother, Herbert,
and found four children from Herbert's marriage.
Edward, Elizabeth, Peter and Margaret.
As Cecil's nephews and nieces, they were entitled to his £10,000 estate.
Well, it was a surprise.
We never knew of Cecil and we never knew
that we would inherit anything from Cecil.
I didn't know I had an uncle at all.
Much like his brother, Herbert had been secretive about his early years.
My dad was very reticent about his background.
Very intriguing, isn't it?
You suddenly find the relatives that you never knew anything about.
The Highams then went to meet Cecil's sister-in-law, Daisy,
to piece together their family stories.
-You've got lots of photographs.
-He was a grand lad.
Was your sister an identical twin?
She's there on wedding photograph.
-He was in the forces there, wasn't he?
Little did Charles know that watching the programme was another of Cecil's long-lost relatives.
I just could not believe that they were talking about my dad on the TV, a man I hadn't seen for 50 years,
and why were they saying he had no children? I'm sat here.
I am his daughter!
Cecil had been concealing a double life with another wife and a secret daughter.
He'd committed bigamy. But where had he been hiding the second family?
And how had he got away with it?
Research into Cecil Higham had to start again.
For every case that is solved, there are still thousands that stubbornly 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 eventually
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.
Edward S Benson from Liverpool died on the 27th January, 2008.
Was he a friend, colleague or neighbour of yours?
Could you even be related to him and entitled to his legacy?
Betty Hutchins, a spinster from Edmonton in London, passed away in December 2007.
So far, every attempt to find her rightful heir has failed.
If no relatives can be found, her money will go to the Government, but could it be meant for you?
Back in London, the Fraser and Fraser team are working the case of William Harman,
who died in Sculcoates, Hull, leaving a property worth an estimated £90,000.
But just as the family tree was coming together, the inconceivable happened.
Stop what you're doing for now.
We got the wrong date of birth.
The search for beneficiaries to William Harman's estate has been halted.
We've done really well, basically. The research has gone excellently.
But unfortunately we've been doing the wrong family.
This calamity was only discovered when a researcher double-checked birth dates
and realised they'd been tracing the wrong William Harman.
Their senior researcher, Dave Mansell, is stuck on the road between Manchester and Hull
and the team are now way behind the competition.
It makes me feel slightly annoyed!
But it happens. You know, we took a chance on the wrong birth.
So I shall go and find out when the right birth is.
It's only 8.45am but with speed of the essence, there's no time for head scratching.
So, William Douglas Harman.
We've got a William D in Hull.
The team need to check and recheck dates and get back on track fast.
But could the panic be unnecessary?
-Right, it is 33.
-Thanks for that.
We've now double-checked the double-check and it turns out that the 1933 birth
we had in the first place is right, so I can go and have a lay down in a dark room now!
So they've been tracing the right family all along.
This mix-up may be behind them but there's no time for lying down.
Right, what I was actually in the middle of doing was having a look at Gertrude Harrisons in Sculcoates.
Do you want to do that?
Gertrude, William's mother, is proving difficult to find due to her common surname.
Conversely, William's father, John William Wordsworth Harman, has been no trouble at all.
His unusual name has enabled them to trace his paternal grandparents
and an uncle Thomas, which they hope will lead them to a cousin pretty quickly.
We think we might have just picked up on Thomas going to South Africa,
with a family as well. He's got a couple of kids that were born in the '50s.
We might be able to track them down if they're still in South Africa.
We're not sure yet.
Despite the distance, the South African connection is no disadvantage to the team,
who have an agent out there.
Freda who was married to Thomas Harman, we're trying to see if we can do anything with her family.
If we can get them up to date easily, then we can ask them what happened to Thomas. That's the plan.
While the search for paternal heirs moves abroad there's a relation much closer to home niggling the team.
I'm starting to get a bit worried about the deceased mother.
We need to work out what's happened to her.
It could be that she remarried and had children with somebody else.
In which case we'd be looking at half-blood.
If I find her death then I'll be happy.
But at the moment, I haven't found it.
If William's mother has married again and had other children, as half-blood siblings they would
be entitled to William's estate, ahead of any cousin he may have in South Africa.
They need a breakthrough on the maternal side, but Gertrude's surname is hampering their search.
Gertrude Harrison is very common but even in that area,
we've got a lot more than just one or two.
So what we're trying to do now, we've got a list of births for Gertrude Harrison in those areas.
So we're now looking again to see if we can find deaths for any of them, died in infancy,
that way we can eliminate those ones and we're hoping to narrow down to get to whichever one is right.
It's a time consuming process
that could be resolved more quickly with a marriage certificate.
The marriage of the parents would give us the age of the mother. We could get right birth from that.
But Dave Mansell is still 68 miles from the register office in Hull.
We're currently on the M62 at Brighouse in Yorkshire,
in first gear, doing about two miles an hour trying to get Hull,
but we're not making much progress at the moment.
The traffic is just chock-a-block.
Certificates are the absolute proof to a person's identity and they will need them.
But for now, they're forced to fall back on their own records.
It's time consuming but after much whittling down and trawling of the indexes
they eventually strike lucky.
They find only one likely death for a Gertrude Harrison.
It must be William's mother. But it's a gloomy discovery.
The deceased was born in 1933.
We think his mother died in December of '33, so he would be less than six months old.
Like we think, at that sort of time in the 1930s, it's quite rare
for an infant child to be brought up by a single man, a single father.
In 1933, a widowed man would not have been expected to bring up a baby alone.
It would have been quite acceptable to give his child up for adoption or
to relations or friends for fostering.
This may have been fate of William Harman and could explain why he's died with no known family.
Gertrude's premature death at just 24 is a breakthrough
and means they're no longer looking for children or a second marriage on the maternal side.
But they have found evidence William's widowed father did marry again.
Died 6, 2002.
It's actually before the marriage.
We think we have a remarriage for the father of the deceased on Harman.
We have a possible birth of a child from that marriage.
In which case there will be a half-brother of the deceased.
Eight years after he lost his wife,
William's father John met Myrtle Brooks and had a son called Barry.
Unusually for the times, he didn't make Barry's birth legitimate until he married Myrtle three years later.
Nevertheless, it means Barry is William's half-brother
and the team start tracing his branch of the family tree.
We are trying to track down Barry's old address.
Hopefully he's married. I don't think he's going to be.
I think he was living with his mother and then when he died she went into a home.
But if he was married and had children,
then obviously there would be half-blood nephews and nieces to the deceased.
So we need to check that out quite quickly.
No marriage or children are found.
It becomes clear that half-brother Barry Harman was a bachelor who has already died.
But during their search that unusual family name crops up again, Basil Montague Wordsworth Harman.
Neil has found a second brother.
-Same address. Phone number.
We found the birth of a Basil Harman.
Born in 1949.
It looks like he could be a child of the second marriage of the father of the deceased,
therefore a half-brother to the deceased.
And still alive.
William's father, John, had two more sons,
Barry and Basil, with his second wife Myrtle,
but Basil was born 16 years after William.
The deceased was born in 1933. We think his mother died in December of '33.
So he would be less than six months old.
It's possible that the brother Basil knows nothing about the deceased William.
Good stuff. Cheers, mate.
It's only taken three hours but the team think they've found their heir.
With only one beneficiary to the £90,000 estate it's crucial Frasers make contact first and sign him up
before the competition beat them to it.
It's the only way they'll get their commission and ensure they get paid for the work they've already put in.
Not a good sign. No answer. No answer.
Unable to get through on the phone, Marcus calls travelling heir hunter Dave Mansell.
Hello, mate. It's me. Whereabouts are you at the moment, mate?
I'm about 20 minutes from the register office. It's just been a nightmare this morning.
Can you go to Scarborough instead? It looks like we've got a half-brother of the deceased.
I'll need to look on the map. I'm almost in the middle of Hull.
Everything now rests on Dave being able to get to Basil Harman before any other heir hunters.
It means the office researchers have no choice but to sit and wait.
It's probably quite sad in a lot of ways.
The deceased, it's unlikely that he was brought up by his father.
His mother died two quarters after he was born.
His father, he would have been widowed at that point
and he didn't marry until 11 years after the death of his first wife.
So it would be quite unusual for him to bring up his son.
We won't know until we've spoken to someone.
Hopefully Basil will fill in these details.
As long as all of the certificates are correct, we're home and dry, I think.
After a lengthy four-and a half hour journey, Dave Mansell arrives at Basil Harman's house at midday.
He's hoping to sign him as the sole heir.
Have you any other brothers and sisters?
-That you're aware of?
No other brothers or sisters, only Barry that died before my mother.
How many times was your father married?
That's very vague.
I don't really know my father.
My mother didn't talk about him much, really.
Well, I've got some news for you. Your father was married before he married your mum.
-That child has died and has no relatives other than you.
Because he's died intestate, without leaving a will,
you benefit from the estate.
It was worth the journey. We've done nearly 200 miles to come and see you today.
So my mum was his second marriage, was she?
-Oh, I see.
-So this person that's died is your half-brother.
William Harman's legacy of £90,000 will go to the sole heir, his half-brother.
But more movingly, Basil's discovered a little too late that he had a sibling he never knew about.
Yeah, I'm just trying to take it in that there was somebody else.
I knew about Barry, my brother and myself.
And I knew about my father.
I did not know he was married before my mother.
I did not know that there was somebody else.
Although Basil didn't know William existed, his father never forgot him.
He returned to live with William for the last 30 years of his life, as his friend Ian remembers.
Bill's relationship with his father was quite mixed actually. They were two very different people.
Bill was a real person's person, whereas his dad was more or less
would go through and do anything and bulldoze anything.
But they were very close in a way that blood's thicker than water.
Basil and William's father was buried with his first wife,
who died when William was only six months old and William's ashes were scattered on their grave.
I really miss him because I can no longer just knock on the door and he answers the door
and I have a cup of tea with him and just talk about things in general.
Back on the case of widower Cecil Higham.
Heir hunter Lord Teviot thought he'd closed the door on the story when last year
he found nieces and nephews with a claim to Cecil's £10,000 estate.
It was a surprise, we never knew of Cecil and we never knew
that we would inherit anything from Cecil.
I didn't know I had an uncle at all.
But Charles was shocked to receive information claiming that Cecil had been leading a double life.
If a person, which in this case of Cecil Ellis Higham,
he chose two other names, Charles instead of Cecil,
and Edward instead of Ellis.
Without having been told, the chance of finding it was...
While Cecil's wife Alice thought he was working in London, he was actually going by another name,
concealing another wife and had a daughter, Jennifer, in Canterbury.
Though Jennifer hadn't seen her father since she was ten,
replaying the programme over and over on BBC iPlayer
she was under no illusion about what she was watching.
Obviously he'd aged a few years, more than a few.
His hair was not brushed back any more, it was sort of coming forward on to his head.
But he hadn't really changed at all.
There was just that little bit of age.
Jennifer was understandably distressed by what she was hearing.
It was utter shock. I was in utter shock.
I just could not believe that they were talking about my dad on the TV,
a man I hadn't seen for 50 years, and I just needed to find out more.
And why were they saying he had no issue, no children? I'm sat here.
I am his daughter.
I was screaming that the silly computer, that was taking no notice of me!
Hardly knowing what to do next, Jennifer tried to take on board the information.
She'd grown up with a man she and her mother knew as "Tony".
But officially he was called Charles Edward, not Cecil Ellis.
Jennifer has little more than a couple of photos and documents
to remind her of her father.
I have their marriage certificate.
I mean, his name's changed.
He's a bachelor, his age is wrong.
I think the only thing that's true on here are my mother's details
and that his father's name is Herbert.
It's about the only thing that's...
The rest of what's down about him is total nonsense.
As well as going by a pseudonym, Cecil often disappeared.
I think the first time he left I was a toddler.
I knew he was back in my life by the time I was four.
During the next sort of five or six years he used to vanish occasionally.
He used to be gone two or three weeks.
Then he was working, he used to work away.
He used to go away for two or three days,
two days a week. He wouldn't be at home two nights a week.
Mum used to say, "He'll turn up, he'll come back."
And he did.
But in 1958, the lies finally caught up with Cecil.
His first wife, Alice, was very ill.
And the National Assistance,
forerunner to the social services of today, was asked to track down her husband.
There was a knock on the door and there was a man at the door, wanted to speak to my dad.
He wasn't in. My mum went to the door.
She sort of said, "What do you want?"
He said he'd come to see Tony about maintenance for his wife.
As far as my mother was concerned, she was his wife.
It turned out he'd been married before and he was married at the time he married my mother.
It was a shock.
But I don't think the man at the door knew that my parents were married.
I think he thought they were just living together.
If he thought they were married he would have had to call the police. Because it's against the law.
In the 1950s, bigamy cases were a scandal and some even made the national news.
Of course, bigamy was a felony and desperate to avoid prosecution and being stigmatised for years,
Jennifer's mother understandably kept it very quiet.
It was one hot topic of gossip she was desperate to avoid.
I don't think she talked about it.
I think she kept it to herself for a long time.
I was virtually shipped off to be with my grandparents.
I don't think a lot of the family knew what had happened, other than my father had gone.
And they never spoke about him.
He was a taboo subject.
Jennifer's family successfully dodged humiliation by not declaring the marriage as bigamous.
Cecil stayed with Jennifer and her mother for two more months
before finally returning to his first wife, Alice.
She never got over losing her father.
Later on in the '70s, I think about 1973,
I first tried to find him.
So I wrote to the Army pensions people.
They told me if I wrote a letter to him, if they could
find them from their records, they would send the letter on.
That created a problem.
Because I didn't know what name to write a letter to.
I wrote three, one to Tony Higham, one to Charles Edward, and one to Cecil Ellis.
He never got in touch.
They don't tell you whether they've passed the letters on.
So I don't know whether one of those letters got to him.
I tried again. I tried with the Salvation Army.
But the difficulty there is not knowing the name.
You can't ask people to look for people if you don't know what name they're using.
Whether Cecil ever received Jennifer's letters remains a mystery.
He died in a nursing home in 2000, taking his secrets with him.
Cecil's death brought mixed feelings of upset and anger.
But Jennifer felt a strong need to revisit her childhood home in Canterbury.
It just doesn't look like anywhere I know.
It's all so different.
1959 I was last here.
In the '50s, this was a smart new housing estate.
Coming here has brought back painful memories of her mother's struggle to hide their secret.
She didn't like the fact
that if the bigamy came out it would leave a slur on me.
I lost my childhood.
I don't want to carry on.
With painful memories so close to the surface, getting in touch with Lord Teviot
was the only way Jennifer could understand some of the missing pieces in her dad's puzzling jigsaw.
Today, she's come to talk to him about what happened.
-It must have been difficult for you both.
-I found it very hard.
My mother found it very difficult.
But it's so long ago that, you know, you've got to...
I just wish I could have found him before he died. That's...
Because he's the only one that can really answer the questions that I want answered.
-It's not going to happen.
Yes, I've got your father's death certificate here.
Of course, he was at that time at a home in Twickenham.
That doesn't surprise me.
-He was cremated.
-There can't have been anyone with him
because it was someone from the home who had the body cremated.
Yes, it's very sad really.
Aside from the questions surrounding Cecil's actions,
there is also the question of his £10,000 legacy.
Charles had already put in a claim on behalf of Jennifer's cousins, so what happens now?
I just think if they've started sorting out everything before
and you have to put somebody else in place, it must make it very difficult?
Well, I think so but yes, the Treasury solicitor, I've informed them
and they say all right, they granted the thing, you know, to the other people.
But you have a better claim, being a daughter rather than a nephew or niece or that sort of thing.
You've got your mother's marriage certificate?
-Yes, I have.
-And your birth?
Yes. That's their marriage certificate.
Right, yes. That will certainly hit all of the right boxes with the Treasury.
I don't think the Treasury want to come into it, but the solicitors will do it, yes, indeed.
Jennifer will become the sole heir to her father's estate, but it's not about the money.
She's at last able to face her loss.
Meeting Charles has helped me to come to terms with things that have
been said, things I remember, he's been able confirm things that I remember.
So that has helped to settle my mind,
and to come to terms with my father's death.
Finally unburdened and able to say goodbye, Jennifer has one more important visit to make.
She's come to Mortlake cemetery in West London with her daughter
and grandson to see where her father's ashes were scattered.
A nice strong tree.
I want a plaque. I want something with his name on to mark it.
I don't know what name I'm going put on the plaque!
Cecil, or Tony, as Jennifer knew him, is at last settled in one place.
..an end to all the wondering, the thoughts, whatever happened to him, I know where he is now.
It makes life easier to know.
Now able to shed the secrecy surrounding her childhood,
Jennifer and her new-found cousin, Peter are making plans to meet.
We're going up to meet in Chester.
The money wasn't important.
It would have been nice, of course.
But it's about getting the family together.
We look forward to seeing her,
a cousin we didn't know we had.
With the case of Cecil Higham finally resolved, this has been an exceptional story for Charles.
Well, because Cecil Ellis Higham had changed his name,
it was impossible to find him.
The absolute confirmation was the name of his father, which he had to give on his marriage certificate.
It was the same as his other marriage certificate.
It's been an extraordinary journey for everyone involved.
But goes to show that heir hunting is not just about legacies,
but about piecing together real lives and remarkable stories.
If you would like advice about building a family tree or making a will, go to bbc.co.uk.
E-mail [email protected]
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd