Lennon/Hartley Heir Hunters


Lennon/Hartley

Series following the work of probate researchers. The heir hunters reveal a family's historical link to the very beginnings of professional sport.


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Transcript


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Roger Lennon lived in the naval city of Portsmouth

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for over half a century.

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The heir hunters are now facing an uphill struggle to

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trace his family members...

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Everyone's taking a branch

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and we're splitting it up between the entire office.

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..and find themselves in a race to sign up

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beneficiaries before the competition.

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And we want to get this done fairly quickly

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because obviously other people will be sniffing around.

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It's all in a day's work for the heir hunters.

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Coming up, we take a look at

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the arm's race leading up to the First World War...

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The dreadnoughts were the most powerful ships ever built,

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with the most powerful guns and the most powerful engine.

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..and the story of how one town was transformed by co-operative spirit.

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All of those things really changed the face

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and the fabric of this town and have made it what it is today.

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And we'll be giving you the details of the hundreds of thousands

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of pounds -worth of estates that are still to be claimed.

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Could the heir hunters be knocking at your door?

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It's Monday afternoon at London heir-hunting company Finders

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and the team are hard at work on a case that is an immediate priority.

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Well, we're working on a case. We've partially resolved it

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but then it's...

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all of a sudden been made public, so it's entered the public domain

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which means it could be competitive and probably is competitive now.

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The case of Roger Stuart Lennon was privately referred to the

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company over a month ago and they've already made some headway,

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but suddenly the pressure is on to crack the case - and fast.

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-Make sure it's right.

-Doesn't necessarily look great...

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We've done the maternal side of the family

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but we've just had some information to say that

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it's actually a higher-value estate than we thought previously, so

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we're just trying to push through on the paternal side.

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Market trader, Roger Stuart Lennon was born in 1944 and spent

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his life in the naval city of Portsmouth on the Hampshire coast.

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Since childhood, he'd lived in this block of flats

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with his mother Irene and the two were very close.

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Local shop-owner, Brian Futcher, knew the pair well.

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Roger, we first came to know through his mother

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and our friendship with Irene.

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In those days, I used to have

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an eight-door street market behind my premises here.

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That was where Irene first hired one of our tables.

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Roger was there selling his bin-liners and his tissues, and...

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Very, very basic, limited items but he was still somebody that

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people related to as being a street market man that was always there.

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They liked his honesty and the fact that he wasn't pushy.

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That market in those days was very much, I would say...

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had so many characters and Roger was one of them.

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Roger's mother passed away in 1970

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and Roger often cut a lonely figure after her death.

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No photographs of him as an adult survive

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but Roger was a well-known character in Portsmouth's markets,

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where life has changed very little since he gave up his stall.

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People have been here a few years, like,

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some of these have been here generations.

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I mean, I've been here, what, since 2002.

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I'm a newbie compared to some of these people.

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Yeah. Nasty.

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We're always having a laugh and a joke.

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Always messing around with each other. Erm...

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-The comradery is second to none.

-There you go, sweetheart.

-Thank you.

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-Enjoy it tomorrow.

-Yeah, I will.

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-...Going for, then?

-I'll go for that one.

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I think you've got to have a strong personality to

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work on a market stall

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but it's just talking to people.

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Being friendly, being open and being honest.

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Sadly, Roger passed away on the 5th of September 2009,

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without leaving a will. Since his death,

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Portsmouth's markets have lost a popular trader and personality.

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18 for that...

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I miss Roger because, erm, yeah, there was only...

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There was nobody like him. He was an original one-off.

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A character that I was pleased to say that I knew,

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and I was one of his friends.

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Before the case was made public,

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the team established that Roger was adopted in 1960.

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I just want to check in the census.

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Research also told them that he was an only child

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and had never married or had children of his own.

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As a result, they've tracked down two heirs on his mother's

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side of the family

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but the urgency in solving the case has suddenly increased,

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with the news that Roger's estate is now thought to be worth £130,000.

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As soon as we find out a case is of higher value,

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it becomes more competitive.

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The intensity is just going to increase a bit

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and you've just got to try and find people before everybody else.

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Roger's adoptive parents were Thomas Patrick Lennon and Irene Kinshot,

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and it's Roger's father's family that the search now turns to.

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-Patrick...

-This guy.

-..of Portsmouth.

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Using the 1911 census,

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the team have traced what looks like the right family

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and it seems Thomas' parents, Thomas Patrick Lennon

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and Rose Anne Duffy, had another eight children.

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What's the occupation?

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But there's a concern that on the census

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the births for the family appear to be all over the country.

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Medway, Portsmouth...

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And as they look deeper into the case, they find a vital clue.

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-Chatham? Is it the navy again?

-Could be navy.

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-That's his death.

-Oh, OK. They merged his document.

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-Shipwright. So that's why.

-Yes, so they're shipbuilders.

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The father is a shipbuilder so that's why.

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When you look on the 1911 census, the children are born all over.

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You've got births in Durham, births in Yorkshire, Kent,

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and they settle in Hampshire, which,

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as you can imagine, Hampshire is one of the main dockyard areas.

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Roger's father, John Patrick Lennon, moved his wife and

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young family to Portsmouth when he took a job in the town's dockyard.

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It was during a crucial period in shipbuilding.

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By 1905 there had been an enormous investment

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in new technology in order to make the Royal Navy

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the most powerful navy in Europe.

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For men like John, their shipwright skills were in high demand

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and one ship manufactured in Portsmouth at the time was to

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change the face of marine warfare.

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In 1906 they started building the first dreadnought.

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The dreadnoughts were the most powerful ships ever built,

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with the most powerful guns and the most powerful engines.

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Meaning, as a shipwright, Patrick had a vital job.

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Well, the dreadnought, at this time, it signalled that

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Britain was leading the world in technology.

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Patrick Lennon would have been proud to have been

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working in Portsmouth dockyard, building up the Navy in this

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really crucial time, leading up to the First World War.

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It was a busy time for Britain's dockyards

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and relocating regularly was common for shipwrights.

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The probability is that Patrick would have followed wherever

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there were jobs, so if there was a boom in the north-east

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he would have gone for work there

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but when there was a boom within

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naval shipbuilding in the dockyards then he would have gone there

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because that probably offered him more long-term employment.

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Now the team know Roger's paternal grandfather's profession,

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it has a direct impact on their search.

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The fact that Patrick would have worked in many different ports

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means that Rose would have given birth to the couple's

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children wherever he was working.

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-Got anything?

-We are probably focusing on Hampshire,

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where they were born in Kent.

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Confident that they now have the right family,

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the team continue to investigate Roger's eight uncles and aunts.

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-We're just trying to work out, make sure it's right.

-It doesn't...

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Under pressure to solve the case fast, boss Daniel has to take action

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in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition.

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This is quite late in the day now.

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What we're going to do is spread out the work amongst

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a few people here.

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So, everyone's taking a branch

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and we're splitting it up between the entire office,

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to see how fast we can start descending the paternal side.

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Can we do a quick check to make sure there aren't any born after 1911?

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With any luck,

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any competition is still trying to look at the maternal side

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because the surname is much easier and if we're lucky we'll have

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time to catch up on the paternal side before anybody else gets there.

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Cox, can I give you a...?

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And Daniel's plan seems to be coming to fruition,

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as the various stems begin to unravel.

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Kathleen I, surname Lennon.

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Father - Thomas Patrick.

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With plenty of leads to follow.

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I have the stem of Margaret Lennon to try and descend.

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The name I'm looking at is James Lennon, born 1905.

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I have Rose Mary Lennon.

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She's got a middle name, so it's better than some of the others

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-that we've got to work with.

-Disappeared off somewhere else.

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The team's research has led them to believe

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that the family moved to Hampshire in the early 1900s

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and possibly ended up in Portsmouth,

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but one of Roger's aunts may have gone a little further.

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I'm looking at the stem of Kathleen.

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We had a look to see if we could find any marriages or deaths

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and I couldn't find anything so I had a look at passenger lists

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and it looks like there's one born in 1917 in Portsmouth who

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then goes to New York in 1939.

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So at the moment that looks like that's what happened to her.

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And finally Daniel makes an important breakthrough.

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There is a paternal and called Annie Lennon

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and I think I've established when she was born,

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and her marriage and her death and some possible children.

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It all seems to match up.

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The team are quick to follow up on Daniel's lead.

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It was 1923, Portsmouth. That's...

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The investigation into Roger's Aunt Annie opens up the search

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and the team manage to trace some of her descendants.

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This is a huge step forward

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and results in the first heirs being contacted.

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-Receive this message...

-Is he a relation to

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a relative that we believe might have passed away?

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But tracking down Annie's sister Margaret

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is proving more challenging.

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We're not having too much luck to be honest.

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The family seems to have been moved around quite a lot

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and unfortunately she doesn't have a middle name so it kind of

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limits the ways in which we can narrow down our search.

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She could, in theory, marry and die anywhere in the country,

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really, so it's not the easiest one.

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Having initially planned to have the case sewn up by the end of the day,

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the team still have eight of the nine paternal stems to unravel.

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It's looking like an uphill struggle.

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-And we've... when we've done what we can.

-We've done it.

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We've descended one stem but for all of the others,

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the names are too plain.

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We need to order some birth certificates locally, first thing.

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And they know that the competition won't be far behind.

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The following morning, the team are up against it

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and Ryan is still struggling without vital paperwork.

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We are really waiting to get some of the birth certificates

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back today, hopefully. It will just help us

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confirm some of the speculative research that we did yesterday.

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Up to this point, most of the information that the team has

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gathered has been by crosschecking online indexes, but now that

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they are speaking to beneficiaries, things are looking up.

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Yeah, a couple of people have said

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-that they called Margaret "Babs".

-Oh, OK.

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-That's strange.

-Yeah.

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In every search, speaking to family members is key,

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as they can confirm research and bring new information to light.

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You may think you have everything from the indexes

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or from the research, then you may speak to somebody

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and there could be some additional bits of info.

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We are tracing some heirs to the estate of someone who's passed away.

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And Daniel makes the most of the information that has been

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given to them by Annie's descendants.

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So, did your mum remarry then, or...? Oh, I see. OK.

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The phone call reveals that Margaret had married twice

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and whilst her son from her second marriage had passed away,

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he had three children who could now inherit his share.

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Is she in the local area?

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It's a significant development, as the team are now in contact

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with some of the heirs.

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Who's in Portsmouth, at the moment?

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Hi, sir, it's Ryan. Hi.

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And as time is of the essence,

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Ryan sends a travelling researcher to Gosport,

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where a meeting has been arranged with one of the beneficiaries -

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Margaret's granddaughter, Claire.

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The details, yeah.

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While it's looking like a long night for the team,

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Stuart is on his way, aware that every second counts.

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Can be big competition on this job and we certainly don't want anybody

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to nip in and pinch it under our noses.

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That's why I've, I've... I've come down here very quickly.

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There's a tense time ahead,

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as the team waits for news of Stuart's visit.

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In the course of their research,

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heir hunters often uncover fascinating family stories

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that shine a light on forgotten local histories.

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The next case does just that.

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David Lancaster Hartley passed away on the 29th of December 2013,

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in Southport, Merseyside.

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He was 81 years old.

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Shaquila Ajaru and her family lived opposite him.

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We first met David about five or six years ago

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and we met him on our local corner.

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The corner is somewhere that we used to go quite regularly,

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take the children for a walk.

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For Jake, especially because he's in a wheelchair,

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really enjoys local interaction with local people

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and traffic-watching, which was something that he did with David,

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which was lovely. Lovely to see.

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How did you know that?

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It wasn't only Shaquila and her family that enjoyed David's company.

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David was quite an outgoing person, would strike up a conversation with

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anybody that had the time for him which, to be fair, everybody did.

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David never mentioned any relatives.

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We did wonder about family because we did always see him

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on his own, generally in the car he'd be on his own and...

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Just used to think he was a nice, retired gentleman.

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We didn't, we didn't know any other personal details.

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But Shaquila, Jake and their family

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did share many happy times with David.

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My lasting memory of David would have been probably,

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maybe last summer...

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We were sat on the corner, all three of us, in the sunshine,

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just chatting and giggling, which was lovely.

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We're going to miss that little space of time where we shared

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the little catch-ups on the corner.

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David passed away with no known family and without making a will.

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When his case got referred to

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London heir-hunting firm Fraser & Fraser,

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it was up to case manager Dave Slee

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to lead the search for his heirs.

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Mr Hartley's estate came to our attention just prior to New Year,

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Mr Hartley having died between the Christmas and the New Year period.

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Like any fresh case, very little was known about David, and Dave

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was quick to use the resources at his disposal to get things moving.

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Hi, Charlie. How's it going?

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I was fortunate that even though it was over the Christmas period,

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my agent based in the North West, Charlie,

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was able to go straight away over to Southport

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and talk with neighbours and friends of the deceased.

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Dave had discovered that David owned his own property,

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making the case worth taking on, but one other

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piece of information from David's neighbours didn't bode well.

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And they were convinced that the very nature of the deceased,

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this very methodical man, that he would have left a will.

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Dave made some enquiries with the local council,

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who told him that there had been documentation from a firm

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of local solicitors found in David's house.

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There looked every likelihood that these solicitors would be

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holding a valid will.

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A valid will would have meant no case and Dave wasn't

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confident as he waited to hear back from his contact at the council.

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Bearing in mind that the deceased appeared to be

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a really fastidious chap, I was really surprised

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when I got the news from the environmental health team

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that the solicitors had no record of a valid will lodged with them.

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This was just the green light he'd been waiting for.

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Dave and the team could finally throw themselves

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fully into the search for heirs, and travelling researcher

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Charlie's work on the ground gave them a lot to go on.

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The information gathered from the inquiry suggested that Mr Hartley had

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lived in a common-law relationship with a lady by the name of Audrey.

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The information also suggested that there were no children born to

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that relationship and our research proved that was the case.

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Dave discovered that Audrey had passed away in 1994

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and the couple were not legally married.

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Over the years I've noticed there are far more relationships

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that are common-law than actual marriages taking place.

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It's a bit of a myth that people think as common-law partners,

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that they have a claim against the other partner's estate.

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That's not the case in law.

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As David and Audrey were not officially married,

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her family had no claim on his estate

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but that didn't stop case manager Dave getting in touch.

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And when he did, an old worry came back to haunt him.

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The family of Audrey's informed me that

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Audrey had made a will during her lifetime at the same

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firm of solicitors that paperwork was found in the deceased's possessions.

0:18:500:18:55

So not only have I got the neighbours telling me that the

0:18:550:18:58

deceased left a will,

0:18:580:18:59

the environmental health officer telling me

0:18:590:19:01

that there's paperwork in the home to suggest he may have left a will,

0:19:010:19:05

Audrey's family were also telling me

0:19:050:19:07

that they were sure there was a valid will.

0:19:070:19:11

Despite this nagging concern, Dave and the team ploughed ahead

0:19:110:19:14

with their research into David's immediate family.

0:19:140:19:18

David was born in 1932 in the Todmorden registration district

0:19:190:19:23

and his parents married also in the same area.

0:19:230:19:27

David's father Walter Hartley was also born in Todmorden.

0:19:270:19:32

David's parents were Walter and Florence Hartley.

0:19:340:19:37

At the time of David's birth in 1932, his father was working as a

0:19:370:19:42

grocer for the Co-operative Society in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

0:19:420:19:46

He was part of a movement that

0:19:460:19:47

changed the face of local business forever.

0:19:470:19:51

The modern co-operative movement began here in Rochdale,

0:19:510:19:54

in this very building.

0:19:540:19:56

In the 19th century, co-operators got together to form businesses,

0:20:000:20:05

to really change their lives.

0:20:050:20:07

They wanted to improve things financially and their domestic

0:20:070:20:11

conditions, and they saw working together as the way to do that.

0:20:110:20:16

Unhappy with the quality of the goods available to them

0:20:160:20:19

and the way that they were sold,

0:20:190:20:21

co-operative societies involved residents of towns and villages

0:20:210:20:25

pulling together to run shops

0:20:250:20:26

and businesses for the good of the local community.

0:20:260:20:30

The first of these was known as the Rochdale Pioneers.

0:20:300:20:33

In 1844, for the working classes, it was a really difficult time.

0:20:360:20:40

There was a lot of unemployment

0:20:400:20:42

and there was also an awful lot of adulteration of food,

0:20:420:20:47

so, if you went shopping you were likely to find that the goods

0:20:470:20:49

that you bought were not of very good quality.

0:20:490:20:52

If you bought flour, for example,

0:20:520:20:54

it was likely to be about half chalk, and the weights and measures

0:20:540:20:57

-were very rarely honest.

-One penny ha'penny.

0:20:570:21:00

What's good enough for customers is good enough for thee.

0:21:000:21:03

But the Rochdale Pioneers got together to change that

0:21:030:21:07

and by setting up their first store they helped to make sure that

0:21:070:21:12

working class people had access

0:21:120:21:14

to good quality materials at good prices.

0:21:140:21:17

All over Britain, co-operative societies grew

0:21:170:21:20

and flourished on the lines that had proved so successful in Rochdale.

0:21:200:21:24

-Co-operation...

-Todmorden soon followed Rochdale's lead.

0:21:240:21:30

When Todmorden Co-operative Society formed in 1846,

0:21:300:21:33

it was just a handful of people who'd come together.

0:21:330:21:36

But it grew very quickly

0:21:360:21:37

and by the end of the 19th century,

0:21:370:21:40

about one in five people were members of the Co-operative,

0:21:400:21:43

and it had a turnover that would be equivalent to

0:21:430:21:45

14 million pounds today.

0:21:450:21:48

And Walter and his family would have benefited from the changes

0:21:480:21:52

that the town went through, as the Todmorden Co-operative grew.

0:21:520:21:56

For someone living in Todmorden in the 1930s, the Co-operative

0:21:560:21:59

would have just meant all the difference in the world to them.

0:21:590:22:02

Because of the Co-operative,

0:22:020:22:03

they'd have been able to access groceries, foodstuffs, clothing,

0:22:030:22:07

at prices that were reasonable and not exploitative.

0:22:070:22:10

It meant they could have access to education.

0:22:100:22:12

It meant they could socialise with people.

0:22:120:22:15

It meant they could get access to new ideas because the Co-operative

0:22:150:22:18

brought people into the area from outside of the town

0:22:180:22:20

as lecturers, as speakers.

0:22:200:22:23

Walter Hartley was an integral part of the Co-operative Society,

0:22:230:22:26

which has evolved into something still going strong to this day.

0:22:260:22:30

We're here in Mary's garden, as it's known in the town.

0:22:320:22:35

Part of the legacy of Todmorden Co-operative Society were its

0:22:350:22:38

values and principles - embedding that sense of a community spirit.

0:22:380:22:42

Part of all these growing initiatives around the town,

0:22:420:22:45

they're very much here for you to help yourself. If they're in

0:22:450:22:47

someone's front garden, come along and pick it. Here in Mary's garden

0:22:470:22:50

she has hundreds of stories of people who've come and picked it,

0:22:500:22:53

made soups and stews with it

0:22:530:22:54

and shared those around with their neighbours.

0:22:540:22:57

As well as leaving behind this thriving legacy,

0:22:570:23:00

the work done by Walter and his fellow members

0:23:000:23:02

of the Co-op Society has made a permanent mark on the town.

0:23:020:23:06

There are scores of old industrial mill towns across the Pennines.

0:23:060:23:10

None of them have the sense of vibrancy,

0:23:100:23:12

of a community pulling together, supporting itself,

0:23:120:23:16

either through growing vegetables like this or other ideas

0:23:160:23:19

that Todmorden seems to have.

0:23:190:23:20

Having traced the Hartleys to Todmorden, Dave began to

0:23:220:23:25

look into David's immediate family.

0:23:250:23:29

Our research showed that he was an only child, so there's no near kin.

0:23:290:23:33

That means we then have to look to try and trace

0:23:330:23:36

any potential cousins on both his father and mother's family.

0:23:360:23:40

With no idea how big the tree could be,

0:23:400:23:43

there was still a long way to go.

0:23:430:23:45

Every year in Britain, thousands of people get a surprise

0:23:530:23:57

knock on the door from the heir hunters.

0:23:570:23:59

It just seems a big miracle, so...

0:23:590:24:02

You know, nobody thinks this sort of thing happens.

0:24:020:24:06

But there are still thousands of unsolved cases on the

0:24:060:24:09

Treasury Solicitor's Bona Vacantia list, where heirs need to be found.

0:24:090:24:14

Could you be one of them?

0:24:140:24:16

Today we've got details of two estates on the list

0:24:160:24:19

that are yet to be claimed.

0:24:190:24:22

The first case is Jacob Radinowicz,

0:24:220:24:24

who died on the fourth of October 2010, aged 86.

0:24:240:24:29

Jacob was born in Vienna in 1934

0:24:300:24:33

but passed away in Enfield, North London.

0:24:330:24:36

It's not known when Jacob moved to England,

0:24:360:24:38

or if he had any children, as he died a bachelor.

0:24:380:24:43

His surname is of Eastern European origin

0:24:430:24:45

but suggests he may have had Polish roots.

0:24:450:24:49

Do you know anything that could lead to locating Jacob's family?

0:24:490:24:54

Our second case is Patrick Joseph Kavanagh,

0:24:540:24:57

who passed away on the 9th of September 2007, in Orpington, Kent.

0:24:570:25:04

Patrick was 69 when he died

0:25:040:25:05

and was also a bachelor with no known children.

0:25:050:25:09

He was born in Gorey County in the Irish province of Wexford, in 1938.

0:25:090:25:16

Patrick's surname Kavanagh was first used

0:25:160:25:18

by the son of a 12th century king of Leinster,

0:25:180:25:21

who sent his son to study in Wexford

0:25:210:25:23

and is a well-known and widely-used Irish name.

0:25:230:25:28

Can you help to trace Patrick's relatives?

0:25:280:25:31

If you think you could be related to either of these people,

0:25:310:25:34

you would need to make a claim on their estate by contacting

0:25:340:25:37

the Treasury Solicitor's Office.

0:25:370:25:40

Do you know anything about Jacob Radinowicz

0:25:400:25:42

or Patrick Joseph Kavanagh, or where their families may be?

0:25:420:25:47

Could you provide the clue that cracks these unsolved cases,

0:25:470:25:52

or are you the beneficiary that stands to inherit

0:25:520:25:54

Jacob or Patrick's estates?

0:25:540:25:57

If so, thousands of pounds could be heading to you, or someone you know.

0:25:570:26:02

On the hunt for heirs to David Hartley's estate,

0:26:100:26:13

case manager Dave Slee, of Fraser & Fraser,

0:26:130:26:15

was looking for any aunts and uncles

0:26:150:26:17

on both David's mother and father's side of the tree.

0:26:170:26:21

David's mother was born Florence Hollinrake

0:26:210:26:24

and she was one of 13 children.

0:26:240:26:29

Hollinrake, though it sounds very unusual,

0:26:290:26:33

is a fairly common surname in the area in Todmorden,

0:26:330:26:39

where the deceased's mother was born,

0:26:390:26:42

so the research wasn't as easy as it would look on paper.

0:26:420:26:47

Knowing they might have a mammoth task ahead,

0:26:470:26:50

the team began wading through the records.

0:26:500:26:53

Surprisingly, of the 13 children,

0:26:550:26:57

only two of her siblings have descendants alive

0:26:570:27:02

and we've located 14 beneficiaries who we believe would be entitled

0:27:020:27:07

to share in David's estate, related to David on his mother's family.

0:27:070:27:12

With the maternal side sewn up, it was time to look into

0:27:120:27:15

David's father, Walter Hartley, and his family.

0:27:150:27:19

Dave turned to a dependable source of information.

0:27:190:27:22

The 1911 census is a really useful tool to us

0:27:220:27:27

because it indicates not only who the children are living at home at the

0:27:270:27:32

time, but it also indicates when the parents married

0:27:320:27:35

and how many children they had, both living and deceased.

0:27:350:27:40

Dave was able to establish from the census that Walter was

0:27:400:27:44

the fourth of five children born to Betsey and James Hartley.

0:27:440:27:49

When the couple gave birth to their first son in 1897, records

0:27:490:27:53

show that David's grandfather, James, had an intriguing job title.

0:27:530:27:58

James worked as a billiard marker and a billiard marker in those days

0:27:590:28:03

was a job that you did round a billiard table.

0:28:030:28:06

You would mark the scores on either a board or some sort of

0:28:060:28:11

more commercial device. You would be expected to be reliable.

0:28:110:28:17

You would expect to be able to handle money.

0:28:170:28:19

And... but it wasn't a well-paid job.

0:28:190:28:21

But James' work would have had to accommodate his passion,

0:28:230:28:26

as he was a talented cricketer,

0:28:260:28:28

playing for his local team in the Lancashire League.

0:28:280:28:31

Todmorden Cricket Club is one of the top sides of the time.

0:28:320:28:35

It's a very competitive club. It achieves some success.

0:28:350:28:40

It has very good amateur players

0:28:400:28:42

and it's very highly-regarded in the local community as well.

0:28:420:28:46

With all sport played on Saturdays,

0:28:460:28:48

it would have been hard to juggle the two.

0:28:480:28:52

It's difficult for anyone to play sport in the late 19th century.

0:28:520:28:56

Most workers, at least five and a half days,

0:28:560:28:58

some have to work six days.

0:28:580:29:00

To play sport anywhere outside your own community, it means

0:29:000:29:04

you're going to have to sacrifice not just time, but money too.

0:29:040:29:09

This meant that the idea of making money from playing sport

0:29:090:29:12

became more common.

0:29:120:29:14

And by the 19th century you start to see many more

0:29:140:29:17

professionals in sports like rowing, in boxing, in running.

0:29:170:29:23

And team sports were not far behind.

0:29:230:29:26

By the late 19th century, cricket sides throughout

0:29:260:29:29

the North are starting to recruit one professional for their side.

0:29:290:29:34

Somebody who can probably bowl very well.

0:29:340:29:37

Occasionally you get someone who can bat very well.

0:29:370:29:41

Even more occasionally

0:29:410:29:42

you have someone who's good at, really good at both.

0:29:420:29:46

In February 1892,

0:29:460:29:47

James Hartley was recruited to play for Springhead Cricket Club as

0:29:470:29:51

their one professional player, known then as a Saturday professional.

0:29:510:29:56

The Saturday professional is always

0:29:560:29:58

a man who has a full-time job elsewhere.

0:29:580:30:01

It will be a legitimate job, but always these men will have

0:30:010:30:05

another job because they're only playing for that single day a week.

0:30:050:30:09

And this explains why James might have chosen to

0:30:090:30:11

work as a billiard marker during this time.

0:30:110:30:14

He could earn money right the way through the week,

0:30:140:30:17

and then on the Saturday he could come back to his job in the evening.

0:30:170:30:21

Success and extra pay would have been very good indeed.

0:30:230:30:27

After his cricketing career,

0:30:300:30:32

James was listed on the 1911 census as a pub landlord.

0:30:320:30:36

The census also revealed that James and Betsey Hartley

0:30:360:30:39

had five children, including David's father Walter.

0:30:390:30:43

The team now had to trace the descendants of Walter's four

0:30:430:30:46

brothers and sisters.

0:30:460:30:48

Our research leads us to believe

0:30:480:30:50

that there is only one paternal beneficiary entitled.

0:30:500:30:55

This lady will be entitled to what I believe will be

0:30:550:30:59

one third of the overall estate of the deceased.

0:30:590:31:02

Jennifer Cann, David's first cousin once-removed,

0:31:030:31:07

is the sole paternal heir to his estate.

0:31:070:31:10

When the envelope arrived it was a total surprise

0:31:100:31:15

because I had never expected anybody

0:31:150:31:21

to leave me anything

0:31:210:31:24

and once I'd established that it was genuine,

0:31:240:31:28

then the surprise was even greater.

0:31:280:31:32

As she began to digest the details on the paperwork,

0:31:320:31:35

Jennifer was able to turn to a family heirloom

0:31:350:31:38

passed down by her father.

0:31:380:31:40

I recognised the name David Hartley because I'd read it in a book.

0:31:400:31:46

My father kept a little red birthday book and he was meticulous.

0:31:460:31:51

He had put all the dates of birth in and it rang a bell,

0:31:510:31:58

so I went straight up to the birthday book to confirm that

0:31:580:32:04

David Hartley was in fact one and the same.

0:32:040:32:07

22nd of August, 1932.

0:32:070:32:11

But this was the only information Jennifer had.

0:32:110:32:16

David's life has been a total mystery to me

0:32:160:32:18

because other than a name in a... in a birthday book,

0:32:180:32:22

I wasn't aware that he was a close relation to me.

0:32:220:32:29

So, yes, I'm intrigued to know about what his life was like.

0:32:290:32:36

The news of her inheritance is still sinking in.

0:32:360:32:39

I feel I am very, very lucky

0:32:390:32:44

to be a beneficiary of somebody

0:32:440:32:48

who I didn't know.

0:32:480:32:51

And Jennifer can only speculate as to why David never made a will.

0:32:510:32:55

I suppose he must have thought that, as he had no children,

0:32:550:33:00

that making a will didn't matter.

0:33:000:33:05

To date, no will has ever come to light having been made by David

0:33:050:33:09

and we don't think there's a likelihood that there ever will be.

0:33:090:33:13

Which means another solved case for Dave.

0:33:130:33:17

There was a lot of research but it's all concluded

0:33:170:33:21

and interesting to learn different occupations I didn't know existed.

0:33:210:33:25

Billiard hall markers, that's a new one.

0:33:250:33:27

In London, heir-hunting firm Finders are desperately trying

0:33:330:33:36

to trace heirs to market trader Roger Lennon's £130,000 estate.

0:33:360:33:42

There's a birth for him and he's on the census with parents, but...

0:33:420:33:45

The team have traced the two heirs on the maternal side

0:33:450:33:48

but so far they've only had success with one of the nine paternal stems.

0:33:480:33:53

As the case has suddenly been made public, they're likely to be

0:33:530:33:56

up against rival firms, but the team have made some progress.

0:33:560:34:00

Travelling researcher Stuart is on the way to meet

0:34:000:34:03

Roger's first cousin once-removed, Claire,

0:34:030:34:05

who stands to inherit a share of his estate.

0:34:050:34:09

We've travelled to Gosport in Hampshire

0:34:090:34:12

and we're going to see a beneficiary on the paternal side.

0:34:120:34:17

The team are hoping that no other firms have been in contact

0:34:180:34:22

with Claire, but won't know for sure until Stuart meets her in person.

0:34:220:34:27

-DOG BARKS

-Hello there, Claire.

-Hello!

0:34:270:34:30

-Stuart.

-Nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

-Come on in.

0:34:300:34:32

As Stuart explains about Roger's life and estate,

0:34:320:34:35

there's plenty for Claire to take in.

0:34:350:34:38

-Quite...

-Yeah, it's quite involved.

-Yeah.

-It is quite involved.

0:34:380:34:42

But his hurry to get to Gosport has paid off,

0:34:420:34:45

as Claire signs the paperwork as the news sinks in.

0:34:450:34:48

Totally out of the blue. I...

0:34:500:34:52

It doesn't happen to people like, like...

0:34:520:34:54

Everybody says, "It doesn't happen to people like me."

0:34:540:34:57

It's always somebody else, isn't it, that this sort of thing happens to.

0:34:570:35:01

It's... It's quite surreal.

0:35:010:35:03

Claire now has all the information about Roger

0:35:030:35:06

that Stuart has passed on.

0:35:060:35:09

But usually...

0:35:090:35:11

It does feel strange that he's only across the water

0:35:110:35:13

and the majority of my family live in Portsmouth

0:35:130:35:16

and that...I could have walked past him and not known it was...

0:35:160:35:19

him.

0:35:190:35:21

But there are still plenty of unanswered questions.

0:35:210:35:24

It'd be nice to find out more about him and...

0:35:240:35:27

and what...what kind of life he had. Yes...

0:35:270:35:31

Made me very interested in my father's side of the family now

0:35:310:35:34

and to find out more about my grandmother's brothers and sisters.

0:35:340:35:39

However, Roger's estate is now heading to the rightful heirs.

0:35:390:35:43

I've got two boys in their early twenties that

0:35:430:35:46

certainly could do with some help, so...or a nice holiday.

0:35:460:35:49

-Thank you very much. Lovely to meet you.

-Thank you.

0:35:490:35:51

-Thanks, Mark.

-Thank you.

-Great. Nice to see you.

-Bye-bye.

0:35:510:35:53

-Thank you...

-And Stuart can finally call it a night.

0:35:530:35:56

It's been a very successful evening. Tomorrow is another day.

0:35:560:36:00

It's frightening at my age, being out so late. I should be in bed.

0:36:000:36:03

I should be tucked up in bed with a scarf on.

0:36:030:36:06

Thanks to Stuart, the team end the day on a high

0:36:070:36:10

but there's still a great deal left to do

0:36:100:36:12

if they're to keep the competition at arm's length.

0:36:120:36:15

The following morning, Stuart is straight back on the road,

0:36:180:36:21

after his late night.

0:36:210:36:23

We're in sunny Gosport but the sun's not out.

0:36:230:36:26

But it's a lovely place. We're in

0:36:260:36:29

Alverstoke, I think it's called, this neighbourhood. Very nice.

0:36:290:36:32

Very nice, indeed.

0:36:320:36:34

To the sea. Lovely.

0:36:340:36:36

Excellent.

0:36:360:36:39

We're now just waiting for the office to call

0:36:390:36:41

and I have a notepad at the ready, and we're just going to

0:36:410:36:44

hopefully see some beneficiaries of this big job.

0:36:440:36:48

And we want to get this done fairly quickly because

0:36:480:36:51

obviously other people will be sniffing around.

0:36:510:36:55

For the team in the office,

0:36:550:36:56

their search now moves onto the remaining unsolved stems of

0:36:560:36:59

the family tree, and in particular that of Roger's uncle, James Lennon.

0:36:590:37:05

James had two children, including a daughter.

0:37:050:37:08

Our main focus of work today is going to

0:37:080:37:11

be on the stem of Patricia Exton, nee Lennon.

0:37:110:37:15

She was a cousin of the deceased and she passed away in 2003

0:37:150:37:18

but she had nine children. We've got addresses.

0:37:180:37:22

One of those is based in Scotland

0:37:220:37:24

but the majority of children are based in the Portsmouth area.

0:37:240:37:27

-PHONE RINGS

-Ryan calls on Stuart,

0:37:270:37:31

who's in place and ready to go.

0:37:310:37:33

Really just got seven heirs that we're dealing with today.

0:37:330:37:37

Only seven?

0:37:370:37:39

Only seven, yeah. So if anybody...

0:37:390:37:41

Ryan has not been able to contact some of Patricia's nine

0:37:410:37:45

children and enlists Stuart's help.

0:37:450:37:47

-OK!

-Thank you, Stuart.

-I'll get on with these three.

0:37:470:37:50

Let us know. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

0:37:500:37:52

Bye. Thanks.

0:37:520:37:54

The low-down is that we have seven heirs to see,

0:37:540:38:00

so I should be back in bed about four in the morning, I should think.

0:38:000:38:04

Stuart's on the move with a full schedule.

0:38:050:38:09

We're on our way now to cold-call on some of these beneficiaries.

0:38:090:38:15

Hopefully, they'll be in.

0:38:150:38:18

It's a situation that has to be handled with great sensitivity,

0:38:180:38:21

-as the visit can go either way.

-He's a beneficiary...

0:38:210:38:24

But every visit has the potential to move the case on and this

0:38:240:38:28

conversation with another first cousin once-removed is no different.

0:38:280:38:33

Well, that was...absolutely great because he's given us

0:38:330:38:37

so much information about his brothers and his sisters

0:38:370:38:42

and he signed, obviously, the contract.

0:38:420:38:46

I've left him all the brochures.

0:38:460:38:47

So it's been a really good, brilliant morning.

0:38:470:38:50

-Stuart's on the phone for you.

-Thank you. Hi, Stuart.

0:38:500:38:52

As Stuart updates Ryan on the outcome of his visit

0:38:520:38:55

and passes on the information he's gathered,

0:38:550:38:58

the pair coordinate the next part of their search.

0:38:580:39:01

-Yes.

-Because obviously, I mean,

0:39:010:39:03

they're all going to talk to one another today, I think.

0:39:030:39:06

Sadly, further cold-calls prove fruitless

0:39:060:39:09

and Stuart has to post the paperwork.

0:39:090:39:14

However, back at the office, things may be looking up.

0:39:140:39:18

OK, so that's good. I just spoke to one of the beneficiaries.

0:39:180:39:23

She's confirmed that herself

0:39:230:39:25

and her sibling can be available to meet our rep together.

0:39:250:39:29

Going to speak to Stuart and give him a run-down of what's happening.

0:39:310:39:37

Once briefed by Ryan, Stuart heads straight to meet up with Susan

0:39:370:39:41

and Shirley Exton, Roger's first cousins once-removed.

0:39:410:39:44

A great deal is resting on this visit,

0:39:460:39:48

as it's likely to have a knock-on effect on the rest of the stem.

0:39:480:39:52

-Hello.

-Hello.

-I'm Stuart.

-Hello, I'm Brenda.

-Lovely to meet you.

0:39:540:39:57

-Come through.

-Thank you very much indeed.

0:39:570:40:00

He was 72 and he died in September last year, and there's no will.

0:40:000:40:05

-All right.

-There's lots for Stuart to explain to Susan and Shirley.

0:40:050:40:09

Unless they go through the paperwork,

0:40:090:40:11

the sisters are also happy to help contact other family members.

0:40:110:40:14

-Do you speak to him?

-Yeah, well we do, don't we?

0:40:140:40:16

-Yeah.

-Have you got his up-to-date number, Shirl?

0:40:160:40:19

-That would be great, if you'd ring your dad.

-Yeah, I will do.

-Yeah.

0:40:190:40:22

-And after an extremely long day, Stuart is on a roll.

-Hi, Chris.

-Hi.

0:40:220:40:27

-Nice to meet you. Oh, you're all alike, aren't you?

-Hello. Oh, yeah.

0:40:270:40:30

I just had to...

0:40:300:40:32

Susan and Shirley's brother Christopher is

0:40:320:40:35

one of the siblings Stuart tried to visit earlier on

0:40:350:40:38

but instead had to post paperwork through the door.

0:40:380:40:40

And...

0:40:400:40:42

-I know...

-All Gosport.

-Unbelievable, isn't it, Chris? It is unbelievable.

0:40:420:40:46

He will now be leaving with signed contracts from all

0:40:460:40:49

the siblings tonight.

0:40:490:40:51

I wish, especially knowing now that he lived so local,

0:40:510:40:54

-that we'd seen him.

-We could have been...

0:40:540:40:56

Even though it's an emotional time,

0:40:560:40:58

the family are happy to hear of Roger's estate.

0:40:580:41:02

It's good because everybody's got together, you know?

0:41:020:41:04

-What a strange way for everybody to come together.

-Yeah.

0:41:040:41:07

Because we don't get to see each other very often, so it's nice.

0:41:070:41:11

And it's led them to recall memories of their childhood.

0:41:110:41:14

We knew to Mum's dad Jim.

0:41:140:41:17

-Yeah.

-But we didn't know anything about Jim's family.

0:41:170:41:21

Because Mum was so busy bringing us up,

0:41:210:41:24

she never talked about her family.

0:41:240:41:26

You just don't think that there is anybody out there

0:41:260:41:29

apart from your immediate family.

0:41:290:41:32

So, yeah, it was amazing. It's really good.

0:41:320:41:35

As Stuart leaves the family to take in the news,

0:41:350:41:37

there's one factor that Christopher can't help but think about.

0:41:370:41:42

The person only lived in a five-mile radius of most of us

0:41:420:41:47

and we never knew.

0:41:470:41:49

And surely at that age, his seventies,

0:41:490:41:53

he could have done with some help, and we would have given him some.

0:41:530:41:56

That's the sad side of it.

0:41:560:41:59

His job done, Stuart can finally call it a night, and with the help

0:41:590:42:04

of Susan, Shirley and Christopher, the team will now be able to

0:42:040:42:07

contact the remaining heirs in the coming days.

0:42:070:42:10

Back in the office the following morning,

0:42:110:42:13

the end is in sight for case manager Ryan.

0:42:130:42:17

OK, that's fine. So, yeah,

0:42:170:42:19

last line in the UK, four heirs,

0:42:190:42:21

contact details for the four of them.

0:42:210:42:24

So I'd say probably in a week's time, case pretty much done,

0:42:240:42:28

apart from this line that we need to look into in America.

0:42:280:42:31

So far they've found 28 heirs,

0:42:310:42:34

all entitled to a share of Roger's estate,

0:42:340:42:36

valued at approximately £137,000,

0:42:360:42:41

and tracking them down has taken a monumental effort from the team.

0:42:410:42:45

We kind of spent the whole week last week and extended hours,

0:42:450:42:49

and a lot of the team trying to find people on this case.

0:42:490:42:52

So it's nice when that happens. It's really satisfying to know that

0:42:520:42:56

the effort's paid off.

0:42:560:42:58

And Roger's estate has ended up where it should be -

0:42:580:43:01

with his family.

0:43:010:43:02

Things like this don't happen just to normal, everyday folk, does it?

0:43:020:43:07

-You know?

-No.

-You know, it's just... It's brilliant.

0:43:070:43:10

As one case goes public, the heir hunters are on the road in Southampton, urgently trying to track down multiple beneficiaries to the estate of a local market trader worth over £100,000. Meanwhile, another firm's investigation reveals a family's historical link to the very beginnings of professional sport.

Plus details of unclaimed estates where heirs still need to be found.


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