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Heir hunters spend their lives tracking down 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?
Today on Heir Hunters, the Frasers' team get a lead
on a case worth a fortune, but is there tragedy waiting in the wings?
We understand that the deceased had one sister, who was murdered aged 21.
And could you be in for a windfall, how an insurance scheme set up to cover the cost of child burials...
The parents would have received a payout of £5 5s,
which would have covered a burial in those days.
..has paid unexpected benefits to thousands of people.
I was very surprised that they found me at all because not being a blood relative of Joyce,
it would seem very hard for them to even trace me.
Plus we'll have details of the hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of unclaimed estates
held by the Treasury. Could you be a rightful heir?
In the UK, two-thirds of people don't have a valid will.
If they die with no obvious relatives
their money goes to the Government.
Last year, a staggering £18 million of unclaimed estates was on the Treasury books.
A whopping £12 million of that was never claimed.
Around the UK, more than 30 probate research companies
compete to find missing heirs and help them claim the cash.
Fraser & Fraser are a London-based company with over 40 years' experience in probate research.
Partner Neil Fraser relishes every project.
Every job, every little piece of research
is just another challenge and it's just what makes it interesting.
It's a Thursday morning and the team are very excited about a special case.
A lady's phoned up to ask for our help.
A neighbour of hers, Glenys, has passed away.
All our indication is that she hasn't left a will.
She owns the property she lives in, a very valuable case for us.
Very valuable not just because there's property and value in it
but very valuable because it's come to us at the same time as going towards the Treasury solicitor.
It's a mammoth coup for the heir hunters to get a lead on a case
before it's passed over to the Treasury.
It will put them one step ahead of the competition.
Originally from Wales, Glenys Murdoch had travelled extensively in her life
but for the last two decades, she lived in this semi-detached house in Canterbury,
which could be worth £180,000.
The neighbour who informed the heir hunters, Paulina Manfredini, was a good friend.
Glenys was a teacher and she taught French, German, Italian,
and she was a very good teacher.
She was quite forthright, you know, she'd tell people off if she didn't agree.
She knew what she wanted and what she believed was right.
You know, she wouldn't let anybody park across her driveway.
I know that Glenys lived in Italy because she taught there.
I know that she was in Cyprus and she had a house there,
and she had to leave quickly when the Turks invaded.
Not only had Glenys lived an exciting and varied life, but she was exceptional in other ways.
She was very attractive, even at 84, really.
She had perfect skin, no lines, nothing, these very bright blue eyes that stared at you, no glasses.
This attractive woman married twice and had a third long-term relationship.
But in her later years, thoughts of the past preyed on her.
Glenys talked about her sister, who was murdered
I think in the early 1950s, and that was a terrific shock for her, I think they were very close.
But was Glenys's sister Evelyn the last of her family?
Glenys actually never mentioned any of her relatives, cousins,
parents, or anything like that.
With a value of at least £180,000, this case will take a high priority.
David Slee and Frances Brett will be managing the case together.
That birth is on the 19th of April 1925.
Between them they have 53 years' of experience in heir hunting.
Initially what we need to do is take it back to the bare bones,
obtain the death certificate, and let's see if we can tie
in the information from the friend with real facts.
I'm just phoning our agent Dave Hadley,
I need him to pick up a death certificate in Canterbury.
Dave is one of team of travelling heir hunters based across the UK.
Trained probate researchers, their job is to collect certificates and sniff out clues on the ground.
I'm from Fraser & Fraser, thank you for seeing me.
Before becoming an heir hunter, Dave was a policeman for over 30 years.
He'll have to use the softly-softly approach on this one.
I might have to do a bit of sweet-talking at Tonbridge.
Hopefully they'll be able to produce a certificate for me today.
I know they do a 24-hour service
but that's not going to be a lot of good to me because I need the certificate as soon as possible.
Death certificates contain vital pieces of information, like date of birth and maiden name,
which will help the heir hunters in the office narrow the search for Glenys's first marriage.
Let's find what the deceased's maiden name is, let's hope it's Griffiths,
which would tie in with all the marriages that we expect there to be found.
The neighbour has already told the team that Glenys was born in Wales,
the office need to get another travelling heir hunter, Ewart Lindsey,
on the ground to investigate further.
-'You're still at home, aren't you?'
'Can you start going towards South Wales?'
I'm sure we'll speak to you well before you get to the bridge.
OK, Dave. Yeah, OK. Bye.
So, that's a surprise, isn't it?
North London-based Ewart doesn't seem too excited at the prospect of a three-hour journey.
In the meantime in the office, the team are trying to find
a record of someone who could be Glenys's sister.
There are two female Griffiths born in South Wales in the 1920s,
one is a Corinne V born in Cardiff in the September quarter of 1923
and the other is an Evelyn M
born in the March quarter of 1923 in Pontypridd.
And Dave is just going to have a look to see if we can find either of them dying aged 21.
And because the neighbour told them that Glenys's sister was murdered, David is doing some cybersleuthing.
Horrible. You don't realise how many murders there are.
While Dave Slee looks through the horrific stories, Dave Hadley is in Tonbridge and it's not good news.
We've got the death certificate for Glenys Murdoch, as it turns out.
It's not really taken us any further forward.
It shows her date of birth as the 19th of April 1925
but it doesn't give us a location, which is something that we really wanted to know.
So I'll pass that information back to the office and see what they want to do from here.
So Dave's had a wasted trip.
Go home for now and wait for a phone call.
There's nothing else in the office that's come up at all?
Not yet, but if something comes up in the London area, you are it.
I am the man.
That means fellow travelling heir hunter Ewart's mad dash to Wales is all the more important.
Well, hopefully the traffic... is good to me.
I should make it by 11:45, the latest 12 o'clock.
In the office there's been a breakthrough on the hunt for information about Glenys's sister.
Owen has found the death of an Evelyn M Griffiths
in 1945 in Bath, aged 22.
I can't find a corresponding birth for her in the Bath area
so this could potentially be the Evelyn M Griffiths born in Pontypridd in 1923,
and the sister of the deceased that was supposed to have been murdered.
It seems highly likely that this is Glenys's sister.
Evelyn Griffiths was 22 years old when she was killed in a tragic hit-and-run incident.
She was hit by a Ministry of Works' van on a lonely road late at night.
The driver ran away and the case was never solved.
Perhaps this is the reason that Glenys thought it was murder.
Glenys was only two years younger than her sister Evelyn and it must have been a terrible shock for her.
She always talked about it. Whenever she came in and had a cup of tea and a piece of cake or whatever.
She'd always come out with the story of her sister.
She didn't tell me anything really about it except that she,
you know, obviously missed her a lot and they were very close.
With Glenys's sister found, Frances has also made progress on finding Glenys's parents.
Well, fortunately the Register Office in Pontypridd helped me out
today, and they found the entry for a Glenys Margaret Griffiths
who WAS born on the 19th of April 1925,
who was the daughter of a Thomas Griffiths
and an Ethel Margaret Dunn.
Now that the team know who Glenys's parents were, Ewart can do some digging.
I'm now heading to Newport Register Office
to try and pick up the parents' marriage.
As far as they know neither Glenys nor her sister had any children,
so they need to look for cousins as potential heirs.
But researcher Alan has come across a common heir-hunting problem.
We know her parent's names but the problem is
because she was born in Wales and her maiden name is Griffiths, which is a very Welsh name,
it's very common, her father's name being Thomas Griffiths without an age...
and even with an age it would be incredibly hard to identify a death.
The mother is a little bit better, Ethel Margaret, we can do a few more things with her.
Because the name Dunn is not so common,
Alan will concentrate his search on finding family for Glenys's mother, Ethel Dunn.
He's planning to look at the 1901 census.
The census is a national survey conducted every 10 years.
It lists the names, ages, and genders of all the people living at every address in the UK
and provides a snapshot of each family.
He thinks he's found something.
On the 1901 Census, there's the deceased's mother, Ethel.
She's got a sister May, the grandparents of the deceased are an Alfred and a Jane Dunn.
From the census, the team can see that Glenys's mother, Ethel,
had four siblings - two brothers that died early in life,
a sister May, and another brother, Walter.
The grandfather is described as a coachman.
It appears that the whole family were in service at one time or another.
I think the late 19th century and the early 20th century
certainly can be thought of as the golden age of domestic service.
It was larger, as a single sector of workers, than industrial workers or even agricultural labourers.
It was a job that meant travel and aspiration.
I think it was very common for people in service to try and advance the careers
of their children or their nephews and nieces
within service, by giving them introductions, pointing them towards openings and giving them tips
about the skills they would need.
You find a large number of domestic servants would be connected, by family or
marriage, to other domestic servants at most points through the late 19th century and early 20th century.
And it looks like Glenys's mother's family moved for work too.
Of Ethel's surviving siblings, they traced Walter to London where he worked as a butler
but they can't find if he was married or had any children.
But they're having better luck with Ethel's sister, May Dunn.
Our potential mother of the deceased had a sister called May born in 1894
in the same place that she was born.
If May had any children, they would be cousins
and heirs to Glenys's estate.
Researcher Alan's detective work has already started to pay off.
I've found a marriage in Newport, Monmouthshire from the Williams/Dunn marriage,
and I'm hoping that Donald B Williams might be their child.
The good thing is although it's a Donald Williams, that B
is going to make it a better name to search,
so punch a few keys and see what happens.
It's exciting news.
If Donald IS the son of Glenys's Aunty May,
then he could be the first heir to her estimated £180,000 estate.
In Newport, Ewart's come up against a problem.
Unfortunately not good news.
The Register Office has done an extensive search
to try and find this marriage of the parents,
and there's no trace.
Back in the office, Frances has found a number for Donald Williams.
What a shame he's not home, so...
hopefully he'll be in a bit later on and I'll find out whether or not he is part of our family.
Until they speak to Donald, a big question mark is hanging over the maternal side of the family.
Is he a rightful heir, and can he tell the team what has happened to Uncle Walter?
Still to come:
the full story of Glenys's family emerges.
So really it was three of you,
went down to two, and then there was just yourself and Glenys.
And the Treasury has billions of pounds of unclaimed cash,
could some of it belong to you?
Not many of us are going to inherit £180,000 from a long lost relative,
but what's much more common is to benefit from a long forgotten insurance policy.
Even if someone does leave a will, it doesn't mean all their assets
have been traced and included in that will.
There are currently £15 billion worth of unclaimed assets in the UK,
and that includes old insurance policies, dormant bank accounts, and unclaimed shares.
Today we are looking at two stories of families
that have benefitted from a special kind of insurance policy.
The sums that we've received are very, very welcome.
It's going to go to no end of helping with home improvements.
Joyce was very prudent and I think it's typical of her era
that being frugal and careful with money.
Penny policies were set up in the mid-19th century
as affordable life insurance for workers and low-income families.
These policies were very large round about the turn of the century.
Back in 1880 we had over a million customers
paying in to these policies and about a thousand collection agents
who would go door to door every few weeks, collecting a penny from the people paying in to the policies.
In the 19th century, infant mortality was very high.
Already stretched families were worried about having to pay for a funeral which they couldn't afford.
People paid a penny a week in to penny policies.
In the case of death or after a certain time period had passed, they would pay out.
The parents would have received a payout of £5 5s,
which would have covered a burial in those days.
Here is one of the original ledgers from the 1890s.
If we open it up we can see the original accounts,
which show the monies held and also invested.
Interestingly, we can also see the large amount set aside for death benefits.
We're looking at sums of about £800,000, that's for 1894.
So the people paying in their pennies every few weeks
get accumulated into a main fund, which is there to pay out to people on their death.
But if the policies weren't called on, they were often forgotten.
The parents who had set the insurance up would die
and their children wouldn't know anything about the policies.
Now, years later, the insurance has matured and no records exist of who to pay it out to
so the insurance companies have called the heir hunters in.
If the original policyholders had left a will, the money would go to their named beneficiaries,
and if they didn't, it would go to blood relatives.
The type of work that we do is different to that of other
heir hunting companies
as we work directly for the financial institutions,
whilst our ultimate goal would be the same,
in that we're looking to find the correct heir.
In March 2009, Heirtrace began looking into the case of Joyce Ashley.
Her parents had taken out two policies on her in the 1920s
and when they died, she had continued to pay them off herself.
This kind-hearted woman had been in the Army.
In World War II she had risen to the rank of Sergeant Major,
an unusually high position for a woman.
And after that she went on to work for the Ministry of Defence.
But when Joyce died in 2001, the £1,200 in her two policies was never claimed.
As part of their drive to find the rightful owners,
insurers Liverpool Victoria have called in the heir hunters,
and their work would lead to an unexpected second inheritance for one man.
But before we hear more, could you be in line for some of the unclaimed millions sitting at the Treasury?
Today, we've got two unclaimed estates heir hunters have so far failed to solve.
Could your information hold the key to crack the case?
Robert Pullen died in Putney, South London, on 15th January 2008.
Was Robert a friend or neighbour of yours?
Could you even be entitled to his legacy?
Betty Roberts passed away on 23rd May 2008 in Worthing, West Sussex.
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?
If you know the names Robert Pullen or Betty Roberts,
you or someone you know could have a fortune coming your way.
In 2009, heir hunters Heirtrace were trying to find the heirs to Joyce Ashley's lost insurance policies.
The first step in searching for the case of Joyce Ashley was to locate her death record.
Out of the three possible death records that we found,
we decided to go with the one that was closest to the date we were given.
We received her death certificate. On this it actually confirms her date of birth,
which matches the date of birth that we were given.
Although it doesn't give us confirmation of her last known address,
it does confirm that she was born in the Surrey area,
which is where she was last known to be living.
It also confirms the name of Kenneth Charles Ashley as the stepson of the deceased.
Joyce had no children of her own but the informant on the death certificate was her stepson Kenneth.
Joyce had already left him money in her will
but it had been eight years since she died so the call came out of the blue.
I was very surprised when the man from Liverpool Victoria telephoned me to say that...
that my sister and I had inherited the money.
It was on the same day that the European Lottery winners were announced at £46 million each,
so my first question to him is was it a similar amount to that
and would I be able to retire.
But joking aside, he was really surprised at the £1,200 windfall and that he and his sister are entitled.
I was very surprised that they found me at all because not being a blood relative of Joyce,
it would seem very hard for them to even trace me.
My name is relatively common and...
I'd be very interested to know how they did it.
I can't even imagine how they could possibly get to me.
In fact it was quite simple to track him down,
it all came down to his relationship with his stepmother Joyce.
Joyce was a very kind person, gentle person,
and it's nice to think about her again after all these years.
I think my father was 65 and Joyce, I think, was 57 when they married,
about that sort of age, and sadly my father died shortly after they got married anyway.
And after that we became close because my father died and obviously
it was a very difficult time when you lose your father.
And after that I always felt sort of responsible for her.
Thinking about her makes it quite sad really because I always used to say...
She'd say, "I don't know why you look after me,"
and I'd say, "Well, you know, you were Father's choice, and if I had to choose someone
"for my father, you would have been that person,"
because we just grew to love her so much.
Kenneth and his sister cared for Joyce in her final days
and she named them both as beneficiaries in her will.
Because of this, her penny policies will be paid out in equal shares to Kenneth and his sister.
She was born in Camberley, in Surrey and lived with her parents there,
and didn't marry until she married my father, and looked after her parents
until quite late in life. I think that's why she never married.
Joyce's parents had taken out the policies when she was a child,
and after their death she kept paying it.
They were taken out, the two policies, one in 1922,
the other one in 1924, and each of those were a penny-ha'penny a week
until she was 70,
and that amounted to, in new money, of course, at 20p a year.
They thought that she'd probably paid the whole lot off in one go
rather than pay a penny-ha'penny a week till...
I suppose 1990 it would have been when she was 70.
So it's quite interesting in that respect and the sort of thing exactly Joyce would do,
all these traditional values she had, and
once a policy was started, she would want to make sure she paid it off.
It's eight years since Joyce passed away, and for Kenneth she'll always have a special place in his heart.
The most important thing was thinking about Joyce again
and remembering her because my wife and I were very fond of her, to say the least,
and it was perhaps the interest of how it all happened that was more interesting than receiving £600.
This is a great result. What started out as a penny policy back in the 1920s
has now been matched to the ultimate beneficiary, Kenneth and his sister,
and we've been able to pass that benefit on to them.
The penny policies were designed to be affordable life insurance for children
but by mid-20th century, times had changed.
Fast forward through to the 1960s-70s,
what was the old penny policy became the £1 or £2 policy.
One person attracted to this clever life insurance scheme was Thomas Gatward.
He had two policies, one taken out in the 1960s, which was a £1 policy,
paid every four weeks, and one taken out in the 1980s which was a £2 policy, paid every four weeks.
By the time Thomas died in 1997 the funds amounted to £3,000
but the money was never claimed,
so the heir hunters were called in again.
For Thomas we were given slightly more information than we would normally receive.
As we'd established that Thomas's wife had also passed away,
we then began to search for children and we found that they had a daughter, Melanie,
and also a son, Bruce.
Through our searching, we then established that their son Bruce
had actually passed away in 1959 aged 20.
Thomas's son Bruce had been a celebrated boxer with a promising career.
Tragically he was killed during a fight not long after his 20th birthday.
So the spotlight was then turned to Thomas's daughter Melanie.
We carried out our usual checks to try and locate Melanie's current address
but we were finding that we couldn't actually find her listed anywhere beyond 2005.
So the last resort for us was to actually check to see if there was a death record for Melanie as well.
We actually searched for that and had found that she did actually die in 2005.
When we received Melanie's death certificate, that actually then gave us details of her son Luke.
Luke was the sole heir to his granddad Thomas's estate
when he died in 1997. And now, 13 years later, he was receiving a second inheritance.
I knew absolutely nothing about the insurance policy, absolutely nothing.
I'm very surprised, obviously, that I had a letter come through saying there were assets owing.
He may have been surprised by the windfall but Luke wasn't surprised to hear
that his granddad had saved for a rainy day.
Granddad was very upstanding man of the community, well respected.
Most of his life, he was a builder, general tradesman, worked very hard to keep things going,
generally a very loving, generous person.
Granddad never took a penny from the Government.
Obviously, whenever he went sick, that was down to him, it came out of his own pocket,
He was self-employed anyway.
But he basically tried to save as hard as he could for his retirement,
obviously knowing that he'd only get his state pension as well.
But it was when my grandmother fell ill
that we had a social worker who came round and basically said to them, look you know you are
entitled to certain benefits, and they managed to backdate the benefits all the way...
I think it was about three or four years, which obviously helped them no end.
He was born in 1914 but the policies weren't taken out until the 1960s and 1980s.
Interestingly, what used to be a penny policy in the early 1920s-30s had become £1 policy
but what goes to show is that it's never too late to save,
and that saving can lead to a significant amount.
The money's very welcome, it's going to be going towards home improvements.
This experience certainly taught me that it's worthwhile saving
for the future, you never know what's around the corner.
Obviously I need to support my family, as you never know what's coming round in the years ahead.
It's testament to the hardworking and forward-thinking generations of people
who invested in penny policies, people like Joyce Ashley.
Joyce was very prudent and I think it's typical of her era,
that being frugal and careful with money,
despite having been pretty well off, was quite common
and very typical of the way she would live her life.
Most cases the heir hunters tackle are from the Treasury's list,
but sometimes they're brought-in projects by friends and neighbours of the deceased.
In late 2009, heir hunting firm Frasers
were told about Glenys Murdoch, who died a month before in Canterbury.
Case managers Frances Brett and Dave Slee are looking after this case.
We received the phone call late yesterday evening from the neighbour of the deceased
to inform us that her very good friend has died and that her estate,
it would appear, has now been passed to the Treasury.
Glenys lived in this semi-detached house and the heir hunters have
estimated her estate to be in the region of £180,000.
Her friend and neighbour of 20 years, Paulina Manfredini,
remembers her as being a glamorous, well-travelled woman.
I know that Glenys lived in Northern Cyprus and she had to leave quickly
when the Turks invaded.
It was like something out of a film, you know.
She had to run and get into the plane just with her hand luggage.
She left everything - jewels, house, everything, to get out.
It was a real shock when Glenys passed away because she always looked so young.
She had this wonderful hair, wonderful skin, no lines.
She was naturally a beautiful woman and it seemed wrong that she was gone.
She was a picture of life, really.
But before she died, Glenys was haunted by the past.
Glenys talked about her sister, who was murdered, I think, in the early 1950s.
In fact, the heir hunters have found out that Glenys's sister Evelyn
had died in 1945 in a hit-and-run accident.
As it was never solved, the family believed it was murder.
The team have traced a cousin and heir on the maternal side of the family, Donald Williams,
but so far they haven't been able to contact him.
However, Frances is making progress on Glenys's father's side of the family.
Living at the address where the deceased was born in 1911
is the household of a Richard Griffiths,
who is a coalminer, hewer, just as the father of our deceased was.
Her grandparents, Richard Griffiths and Jane Jones, had at least five children -
Glenys's father Thomas, Mary, William, Collwyn, and Bronwyn.
Four potential aunts and uncles of the deceased, who could have children
and descendents and heirs.
It's the end of day one on the case of Glenys Murdoch.
The team have mapped out two family trees
but they still need the certificates to back up the research.
-'Hi, it's David.'
Have you got anything for us?
Newport, there's no trace at Newport.
-I've tried all the churches...
..and I've come up with nothing.
And most importantly, they've yet to speak to Donald,
who might be Glenys's cousin on her mother's side, and an heir to her estimated £180,000.
Luckily, Ewart packed his toothbrush.
I understand that you'll be camping down there tonight. Lovely.
All right, Dave, you're a star. Thank you very much.
While Ewart's down in Wales, we'll have as much information for him first thing in the morning.
So he's looking at deaths related to the maternal grandparents,
we found them in Cardiff.
We've also been able to establish, we think, that a maternal uncle died in Paddington,
so first thing in the morning we'll get someone, it's a bit late in the day now,
so we'll get someone to pick up that death in the morning.
It's 9:00am on day two and Frances has made contact with Glenys's cousin Donald.
I finally managed to speak with Donald Williams,
and he was able to confirm that his mother was indeed an aunt of the deceased
and from a family Bible in his possession, was able to account for all the other members of the family.
It's a real breakthrough.
With one conversation, Frances has been able
to confirm the entire family tree on Glenys's mother's side.
According to him there are only two of them left,
himself and Glenys, the deceased.
So he's the only one left on that side of the family.
Ewart spent his time well, confirming brothers and sisters on the paternal side.
I've just finished the search at Pontypridd Registry Office.
Now we've actually got,
by me picking up birth certificates,
four aunts and uncles of the deceased.
We've now got dates of birth
and all their marriages - dates when they got married and who they actually got married to.
It's looking like Glenys's father's side will have many heirs
but on her mother's side there is just one.
I'm rushing to an appointment
to see a cousin on the maternal side.
With Ewart on his way to see Donald, Frances is getting Dave Slee up to speed.
The first husband was... Bernard Derek, he was in the RAF and was killed in a flying accident.
Then she married Ewen, Ewen Murdoch.
Was he related to Rupert Murdoch?
I didn't ask, I didn't ask.
I have to leave Ewart something to do, don't I?
There's more chance of me being related than Rupert Murdoch.
And that ended in divorce.
They were divorced, no issue again.
No issue, but he had a daughter but she never adopted the girl.
So we've basically accounted for everyone on the maternal side.
He's also got a family Bible so some of the exact dates are not from his...
-Is Ewart going to see him?
WOMAN SPEAKS ON TELEPHONE SYSTEM
The Welsh know it all. They all know all their family.
Good morning, sir. How are you doing, all right?
Donald Williams was only a few years younger than his two cousins Glenys and Evelyn,
and as children they were very close.
-Any more information about any more aunts and uncles?
-Yeah, I can tell you who they were.
Walter, Alfred Dunn...
Donald's got a family Bible and everyone's recorded in it, but the Dunn family is quite small.
It was three of you,
went down to two when Evelyn was killed, and then it was just yourself and Glenys.
And she spent a lot of time with us because when she was in university in Cardiff,
she lived with us, you see.
And it seems times were hard for Glenys's family.
Well, Uncle Tom he was a miner... I think it was Uncle Tom...
apparently he got injured in a fall underground and then had to come out.
He couldn't go underground and he was what was called a lamplighter.
OK. He had a job, that's the main thing, he had a job.
Well, that was it, I mean they must have made sacrifices to put Glenys through university, you see.
Donald hasn't seen Glenys in years.
'78 or '79, I can't be absolutely sure.
That's the last time you saw Glenys?
The last time I saw her, I mean I've spoken to her since and we write to each other each Christmas.
-When was the last time you had a Christmas card from her?
Oh, last year, right.
a Christmas card and a letter, which is what we do.
Glenys and Donald were once very close
but time and distance must have taken its toll.
-Thank you, Mr Williams.
-Right, thank you.
Take care, sir. Nice meeting you and I hope you get a nice lump sum.
-All the best.
Ewart's visit has brought back lots of memories for Donald.
When she lived with us in Cardiff we were virtually like brother and sister.
She was more or less the older sister, I suppose.
But then she got married, we got married, she moved away, and things drifted apart.
Donald was also deeply affected by the loss of Evelyn.
That age, in those times,
it was difficult to take in.
They came and stayed with us and I remember
Glenys and I going for a long walk because naturally she was upset because it was her only sister.
I can remember I wasn't allowed to go to the funeral because I wasn't old enough,
and she was buried with her grandmother and grandfather in Rumney in Cardiff.
Donald has asked Frasers to help him submit his claim to the Treasury,
and in the office Fran has made great progress.
All our research over the past two days has paid off, and the family tree is coming together nicely.
Frances's research has revealed there are 16 living heirs
on the paternal side to Glenys's estate.
Ann Davey was a first cousin.
When she was contacted by Frasers, she didn't know what to think.
Well, when Fraser & Fraser first got in touch
I felt a bit disbelieving, and then I was excited and then intrigued
then, wait and see where the source of it and where it come from.
We thought it could have been Glenys because she was the only member of the family
that was unaccounted for really out of the cousins.
So we thought it was quite possibly her.
We were sad to hear that she had passed away without knowing her.
We're wondering who she had as family or anything, you know,
if she had anyone with her.
We knew very little about her.
The family lived in a small coalmining town of Tonypandy.
The town was dragged into the history books in 1910 when the miners initiated a strike.
They were paid for the coal they produced, not for the time they worked.
The dispute was over work in hard places,
work where pieceworkers were digging out for days upon days
through stone and rubble to get to the next bit of coal,
which would then pay their wages and get them their food.
Negotiations failed and there were large demonstrations in the town.
Winston Churchill, the then Home Secretary, sent in the National Army.
One miner was killed in the conflict and this caused an outcry.
It became a national issue
and the Miners Federation of Great Britain, they had determined upon a national strike
and I think we can say that it was from those Tonypandy riots that the
minimum wage first became introduced into the law of this country.
And Glenys's father's family were part of that rich history.
My father, he was about 16 at the time of the riots and he used to go
up by the Naval Colliery and gather up stones to give to the miners to throw at the troops or the police.
Glenys's life began in the Welsh Valleys and took her around Europe.
In the end, she died alone far from home.
Why did she never return?
Perhaps after her sister Evelyn's tragic death, there weren't the same ties.
The death did have a great effect on Glenys
my mother reckoned it changed her personality a bit.
But as more details of Glenys's life emerge, Dave Slee uncovers another sad secret.
The deceased had an illegitimate child between her marriage to Mr Derek and Mr Murdoch,
and the child, born in 1954, was given up for adoption.
Had the child not been given up for adoption, of course she would have been the sole heir
to her mother's estate.
By virtue of the fact that she's been adopted away from the family
means that she's not entitled, and therefore the rightful heirs are the parties that we have found,
ie the paternal and maternal cousins to the deceased.
This cultured and fascinating woman had experienced many twists and turns
in her life, and Dave will remember this case for some time to come.
This is not a typical case for us in that having been granted access to the deceased's papers,
we've been able to look back into the past of a woman
who had a really colourful and interesting life, though tinged with sadness.
If you would like to find out more about how to build a family tree or write a will,
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