Series following the work of probate researchers. The heir hunters reveal a family's historical link to the very beginnings of professional sport.
Browse content similar to Lennon/Hartley. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Roger Lennon lived in the naval city of Portsmouth
for over half a century.
The heir hunters are now facing an uphill struggle to
trace his family members...
Everyone's taking a branch
and we're splitting it up between the entire office.
..and find themselves in a race to sign up
beneficiaries before the competition.
And we want to get this done fairly quickly
because obviously other people will be sniffing around.
It's all in a day's work for the heir hunters.
Coming up, we take a look at
the arm's race leading up to the First World War...
The dreadnoughts were the most powerful ships ever built,
with the most powerful guns and the most powerful engine.
..and the story of how one town was transformed by co-operative spirit.
All of those things really changed the face
and the fabric of this town and have made it what it is today.
And we'll be giving you the details of the hundreds of thousands
of pounds -worth of estates that are still to be claimed.
Could the heir hunters be knocking at your door?
It's Monday afternoon at London heir-hunting company Finders
and the team are hard at work on a case that is an immediate priority.
Well, we're working on a case. We've partially resolved it
but then it's...
all of a sudden been made public, so it's entered the public domain
which means it could be competitive and probably is competitive now.
The case of Roger Stuart Lennon was privately referred to the
company over a month ago and they've already made some headway,
but suddenly the pressure is on to crack the case - and fast.
-Make sure it's right.
-Doesn't necessarily look great...
We've done the maternal side of the family
but we've just had some information to say that
it's actually a higher-value estate than we thought previously, so
we're just trying to push through on the paternal side.
Market trader, Roger Stuart Lennon was born in 1944 and spent
his life in the naval city of Portsmouth on the Hampshire coast.
Since childhood, he'd lived in this block of flats
with his mother Irene and the two were very close.
Local shop-owner, Brian Futcher, knew the pair well.
Roger, we first came to know through his mother
and our friendship with Irene.
In those days, I used to have
an eight-door street market behind my premises here.
That was where Irene first hired one of our tables.
Roger was there selling his bin-liners and his tissues, and...
Very, very basic, limited items but he was still somebody that
people related to as being a street market man that was always there.
They liked his honesty and the fact that he wasn't pushy.
That market in those days was very much, I would say...
had so many characters and Roger was one of them.
Roger's mother passed away in 1970
and Roger often cut a lonely figure after her death.
No photographs of him as an adult survive
but Roger was a well-known character in Portsmouth's markets,
where life has changed very little since he gave up his stall.
People have been here a few years, like,
some of these have been here generations.
I mean, I've been here, what, since 2002.
I'm a newbie compared to some of these people.
We're always having a laugh and a joke.
Always messing around with each other. Erm...
-The comradery is second to none.
-There you go, sweetheart.
-Enjoy it tomorrow.
-Yeah, I will.
-...Going for, then?
-I'll go for that one.
I think you've got to have a strong personality to
work on a market stall
but it's just talking to people.
Being friendly, being open and being honest.
Sadly, Roger passed away on the 5th of September 2009,
without leaving a will. Since his death,
Portsmouth's markets have lost a popular trader and personality.
18 for that...
I miss Roger because, erm, yeah, there was only...
There was nobody like him. He was an original one-off.
A character that I was pleased to say that I knew,
and I was one of his friends.
Before the case was made public,
the team established that Roger was adopted in 1960.
I just want to check in the census.
Research also told them that he was an only child
and had never married or had children of his own.
As a result, they've tracked down two heirs on his mother's
side of the family
but the urgency in solving the case has suddenly increased,
with the news that Roger's estate is now thought to be worth £130,000.
As soon as we find out a case is of higher value,
it becomes more competitive.
The intensity is just going to increase a bit
and you've just got to try and find people before everybody else.
Roger's adoptive parents were Thomas Patrick Lennon and Irene Kinshot,
and it's Roger's father's family that the search now turns to.
Using the 1911 census,
the team have traced what looks like the right family
and it seems Thomas' parents, Thomas Patrick Lennon
and Rose Anne Duffy, had another eight children.
What's the occupation?
But there's a concern that on the census
the births for the family appear to be all over the country.
And as they look deeper into the case, they find a vital clue.
-Chatham? Is it the navy again?
-Could be navy.
-That's his death.
-Oh, OK. They merged his document.
-Shipwright. So that's why.
-Yes, so they're shipbuilders.
The father is a shipbuilder so that's why.
When you look on the 1911 census, the children are born all over.
You've got births in Durham, births in Yorkshire, Kent,
and they settle in Hampshire, which,
as you can imagine, Hampshire is one of the main dockyard areas.
Roger's father, John Patrick Lennon, moved his wife and
young family to Portsmouth when he took a job in the town's dockyard.
It was during a crucial period in shipbuilding.
By 1905 there had been an enormous investment
in new technology in order to make the Royal Navy
the most powerful navy in Europe.
For men like John, their shipwright skills were in high demand
and one ship manufactured in Portsmouth at the time was to
change the face of marine warfare.
In 1906 they started building the first dreadnought.
The dreadnoughts were the most powerful ships ever built,
with the most powerful guns and the most powerful engines.
Meaning, as a shipwright, Patrick had a vital job.
Well, the dreadnought, at this time, it signalled that
Britain was leading the world in technology.
Patrick Lennon would have been proud to have been
working in Portsmouth dockyard, building up the Navy in this
really crucial time, leading up to the First World War.
It was a busy time for Britain's dockyards
and relocating regularly was common for shipwrights.
The probability is that Patrick would have followed wherever
there were jobs, so if there was a boom in the north-east
he would have gone for work there
but when there was a boom within
naval shipbuilding in the dockyards then he would have gone there
because that probably offered him more long-term employment.
Now the team know Roger's paternal grandfather's profession,
it has a direct impact on their search.
The fact that Patrick would have worked in many different ports
means that Rose would have given birth to the couple's
children wherever he was working.
-We are probably focusing on Hampshire,
where they were born in Kent.
Confident that they now have the right family,
the team continue to investigate Roger's eight uncles and aunts.
-We're just trying to work out, make sure it's right.
Under pressure to solve the case fast, boss Daniel has to take action
in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition.
This is quite late in the day now.
What we're going to do is spread out the work amongst
a few people here.
So, everyone's taking a branch
and we're splitting it up between the entire office,
to see how fast we can start descending the paternal side.
Can we do a quick check to make sure there aren't any born after 1911?
With any luck,
any competition is still trying to look at the maternal side
because the surname is much easier and if we're lucky we'll have
time to catch up on the paternal side before anybody else gets there.
Cox, can I give you a...?
And Daniel's plan seems to be coming to fruition,
as the various stems begin to unravel.
Kathleen I, surname Lennon.
Father - Thomas Patrick.
With plenty of leads to follow.
I have the stem of Margaret Lennon to try and descend.
The name I'm looking at is James Lennon, born 1905.
I have Rose Mary Lennon.
She's got a middle name, so it's better than some of the others
-that we've got to work with.
-Disappeared off somewhere else.
The team's research has led them to believe
that the family moved to Hampshire in the early 1900s
and possibly ended up in Portsmouth,
but one of Roger's aunts may have gone a little further.
I'm looking at the stem of Kathleen.
We had a look to see if we could find any marriages or deaths
and I couldn't find anything so I had a look at passenger lists
and it looks like there's one born in 1917 in Portsmouth who
then goes to New York in 1939.
So at the moment that looks like that's what happened to her.
And finally Daniel makes an important breakthrough.
There is a paternal and called Annie Lennon
and I think I've established when she was born,
and her marriage and her death and some possible children.
It all seems to match up.
The team are quick to follow up on Daniel's lead.
It was 1923, Portsmouth. That's...
The investigation into Roger's Aunt Annie opens up the search
and the team manage to trace some of her descendants.
This is a huge step forward
and results in the first heirs being contacted.
-Receive this message...
-Is he a relation to
a relative that we believe might have passed away?
But tracking down Annie's sister Margaret
is proving more challenging.
We're not having too much luck to be honest.
The family seems to have been moved around quite a lot
and unfortunately she doesn't have a middle name so it kind of
limits the ways in which we can narrow down our search.
She could, in theory, marry and die anywhere in the country,
really, so it's not the easiest one.
Having initially planned to have the case sewn up by the end of the day,
the team still have eight of the nine paternal stems to unravel.
It's looking like an uphill struggle.
-And we've... when we've done what we can.
-We've done it.
We've descended one stem but for all of the others,
the names are too plain.
We need to order some birth certificates locally, first thing.
And they know that the competition won't be far behind.
The following morning, the team are up against it
and Ryan is still struggling without vital paperwork.
We are really waiting to get some of the birth certificates
back today, hopefully. It will just help us
confirm some of the speculative research that we did yesterday.
Up to this point, most of the information that the team has
gathered has been by crosschecking online indexes, but now that
they are speaking to beneficiaries, things are looking up.
Yeah, a couple of people have said
-that they called Margaret "Babs".
In every search, speaking to family members is key,
as they can confirm research and bring new information to light.
You may think you have everything from the indexes
or from the research, then you may speak to somebody
and there could be some additional bits of info.
We are tracing some heirs to the estate of someone who's passed away.
And Daniel makes the most of the information that has been
given to them by Annie's descendants.
So, did your mum remarry then, or...? Oh, I see. OK.
The phone call reveals that Margaret had married twice
and whilst her son from her second marriage had passed away,
he had three children who could now inherit his share.
Is she in the local area?
It's a significant development, as the team are now in contact
with some of the heirs.
Who's in Portsmouth, at the moment?
Hi, sir, it's Ryan. Hi.
And as time is of the essence,
Ryan sends a travelling researcher to Gosport,
where a meeting has been arranged with one of the beneficiaries -
Margaret's granddaughter, Claire.
The details, yeah.
While it's looking like a long night for the team,
Stuart is on his way, aware that every second counts.
Can be big competition on this job and we certainly don't want anybody
to nip in and pinch it under our noses.
That's why I've, I've... I've come down here very quickly.
There's a tense time ahead,
as the team waits for news of Stuart's visit.
In the course of their research,
heir hunters often uncover fascinating family stories
that shine a light on forgotten local histories.
The next case does just that.
David Lancaster Hartley passed away on the 29th of December 2013,
in Southport, Merseyside.
He was 81 years old.
Shaquila Ajaru and her family lived opposite him.
We first met David about five or six years ago
and we met him on our local corner.
The corner is somewhere that we used to go quite regularly,
take the children for a walk.
For Jake, especially because he's in a wheelchair,
really enjoys local interaction with local people
and traffic-watching, which was something that he did with David,
which was lovely. Lovely to see.
How did you know that?
It wasn't only Shaquila and her family that enjoyed David's company.
David was quite an outgoing person, would strike up a conversation with
anybody that had the time for him which, to be fair, everybody did.
David never mentioned any relatives.
We did wonder about family because we did always see him
on his own, generally in the car he'd be on his own and...
Just used to think he was a nice, retired gentleman.
We didn't, we didn't know any other personal details.
But Shaquila, Jake and their family
did share many happy times with David.
My lasting memory of David would have been probably,
maybe last summer...
We were sat on the corner, all three of us, in the sunshine,
just chatting and giggling, which was lovely.
We're going to miss that little space of time where we shared
the little catch-ups on the corner.
David passed away with no known family and without making a will.
When his case got referred to
London heir-hunting firm Fraser & Fraser,
it was up to case manager Dave Slee
to lead the search for his heirs.
Mr Hartley's estate came to our attention just prior to New Year,
Mr Hartley having died between the Christmas and the New Year period.
Like any fresh case, very little was known about David, and Dave
was quick to use the resources at his disposal to get things moving.
Hi, Charlie. How's it going?
I was fortunate that even though it was over the Christmas period,
my agent based in the North West, Charlie,
was able to go straight away over to Southport
and talk with neighbours and friends of the deceased.
Dave had discovered that David owned his own property,
making the case worth taking on, but one other
piece of information from David's neighbours didn't bode well.
And they were convinced that the very nature of the deceased,
this very methodical man, that he would have left a will.
Dave made some enquiries with the local council,
who told him that there had been documentation from a firm
of local solicitors found in David's house.
There looked every likelihood that these solicitors would be
holding a valid will.
A valid will would have meant no case and Dave wasn't
confident as he waited to hear back from his contact at the council.
Bearing in mind that the deceased appeared to be
a really fastidious chap, I was really surprised
when I got the news from the environmental health team
that the solicitors had no record of a valid will lodged with them.
This was just the green light he'd been waiting for.
Dave and the team could finally throw themselves
fully into the search for heirs, and travelling researcher
Charlie's work on the ground gave them a lot to go on.
The information gathered from the inquiry suggested that Mr Hartley had
lived in a common-law relationship with a lady by the name of Audrey.
The information also suggested that there were no children born to
that relationship and our research proved that was the case.
Dave discovered that Audrey had passed away in 1994
and the couple were not legally married.
Over the years I've noticed there are far more relationships
that are common-law than actual marriages taking place.
It's a bit of a myth that people think as common-law partners,
that they have a claim against the other partner's estate.
That's not the case in law.
As David and Audrey were not officially married,
her family had no claim on his estate
but that didn't stop case manager Dave getting in touch.
And when he did, an old worry came back to haunt him.
The family of Audrey's informed me that
Audrey had made a will during her lifetime at the same
firm of solicitors that paperwork was found in the deceased's possessions.
So not only have I got the neighbours telling me that the
deceased left a will,
the environmental health officer telling me
that there's paperwork in the home to suggest he may have left a will,
Audrey's family were also telling me
that they were sure there was a valid will.
Despite this nagging concern, Dave and the team ploughed ahead
with their research into David's immediate family.
David was born in 1932 in the Todmorden registration district
and his parents married also in the same area.
David's father Walter Hartley was also born in Todmorden.
David's parents were Walter and Florence Hartley.
At the time of David's birth in 1932, his father was working as a
grocer for the Co-operative Society in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
He was part of a movement that
changed the face of local business forever.
The modern co-operative movement began here in Rochdale,
in this very building.
In the 19th century, co-operators got together to form businesses,
to really change their lives.
They wanted to improve things financially and their domestic
conditions, and they saw working together as the way to do that.
Unhappy with the quality of the goods available to them
and the way that they were sold,
co-operative societies involved residents of towns and villages
pulling together to run shops
and businesses for the good of the local community.
The first of these was known as the Rochdale Pioneers.
In 1844, for the working classes, it was a really difficult time.
There was a lot of unemployment
and there was also an awful lot of adulteration of food,
so, if you went shopping you were likely to find that the goods
that you bought were not of very good quality.
If you bought flour, for example,
it was likely to be about half chalk, and the weights and measures
-were very rarely honest.
-One penny ha'penny.
What's good enough for customers is good enough for thee.
But the Rochdale Pioneers got together to change that
and by setting up their first store they helped to make sure that
working class people had access
to good quality materials at good prices.
All over Britain, co-operative societies grew
and flourished on the lines that had proved so successful in Rochdale.
-Todmorden soon followed Rochdale's lead.
When Todmorden Co-operative Society formed in 1846,
it was just a handful of people who'd come together.
But it grew very quickly
and by the end of the 19th century,
about one in five people were members of the Co-operative,
and it had a turnover that would be equivalent to
14 million pounds today.
And Walter and his family would have benefited from the changes
that the town went through, as the Todmorden Co-operative grew.
For someone living in Todmorden in the 1930s, the Co-operative
would have just meant all the difference in the world to them.
Because of the Co-operative,
they'd have been able to access groceries, foodstuffs, clothing,
at prices that were reasonable and not exploitative.
It meant they could have access to education.
It meant they could socialise with people.
It meant they could get access to new ideas because the Co-operative
brought people into the area from outside of the town
as lecturers, as speakers.
Walter Hartley was an integral part of the Co-operative Society,
which has evolved into something still going strong to this day.
We're here in Mary's garden, as it's known in the town.
Part of the legacy of Todmorden Co-operative Society were its
values and principles - embedding that sense of a community spirit.
Part of all these growing initiatives around the town,
they're very much here for you to help yourself. If they're in
someone's front garden, come along and pick it. Here in Mary's garden
she has hundreds of stories of people who've come and picked it,
made soups and stews with it
and shared those around with their neighbours.
As well as leaving behind this thriving legacy,
the work done by Walter and his fellow members
of the Co-op Society has made a permanent mark on the town.
There are scores of old industrial mill towns across the Pennines.
None of them have the sense of vibrancy,
of a community pulling together, supporting itself,
either through growing vegetables like this or other ideas
that Todmorden seems to have.
Having traced the Hartleys to Todmorden, Dave began to
look into David's immediate family.
Our research showed that he was an only child, so there's no near kin.
That means we then have to look to try and trace
any potential cousins on both his father and mother's family.
With no idea how big the tree could be,
there was still a long way to go.
Every year in Britain, thousands of people get a surprise
knock on the door from the heir hunters.
It just seems a big miracle, so...
You know, nobody thinks this sort of thing happens.
But there are still thousands of unsolved cases on the
Treasury Solicitor's Bona Vacantia list, where heirs need to be found.
Could you be one of them?
Today we've got details of two estates on the list
that are yet to be claimed.
The first case is Jacob Radinowicz,
who died on the fourth of October 2010, aged 86.
Jacob was born in Vienna in 1934
but passed away in Enfield, North London.
It's not known when Jacob moved to England,
or if he had any children, as he died a bachelor.
His surname is of Eastern European origin
but suggests he may have had Polish roots.
Do you know anything that could lead to locating Jacob's family?
Our second case is Patrick Joseph Kavanagh,
who passed away on the 9th of September 2007, in Orpington, Kent.
Patrick was 69 when he died
and was also a bachelor with no known children.
He was born in Gorey County in the Irish province of Wexford, in 1938.
Patrick's surname Kavanagh was first used
by the son of a 12th century king of Leinster,
who sent his son to study in Wexford
and is a well-known and widely-used Irish name.
Can you help to trace Patrick's relatives?
If you think you could be related to either of these people,
you would need to make a claim on their estate by contacting
the Treasury Solicitor's Office.
Do you know anything about Jacob Radinowicz
or Patrick Joseph Kavanagh, or where their families may be?
Could you provide the clue that cracks these unsolved cases,
or are you the beneficiary that stands to inherit
Jacob or Patrick's estates?
If so, thousands of pounds could be heading to you, or someone you know.
On the hunt for heirs to David Hartley's estate,
case manager Dave Slee, of Fraser & Fraser,
was looking for any aunts and uncles
on both David's mother and father's side of the tree.
David's mother was born Florence Hollinrake
and she was one of 13 children.
Hollinrake, though it sounds very unusual,
is a fairly common surname in the area in Todmorden,
where the deceased's mother was born,
so the research wasn't as easy as it would look on paper.
Knowing they might have a mammoth task ahead,
the team began wading through the records.
Surprisingly, of the 13 children,
only two of her siblings have descendants alive
and we've located 14 beneficiaries who we believe would be entitled
to share in David's estate, related to David on his mother's family.
With the maternal side sewn up, it was time to look into
David's father, Walter Hartley, and his family.
Dave turned to a dependable source of information.
The 1911 census is a really useful tool to us
because it indicates not only who the children are living at home at the
time, but it also indicates when the parents married
and how many children they had, both living and deceased.
Dave was able to establish from the census that Walter was
the fourth of five children born to Betsey and James Hartley.
When the couple gave birth to their first son in 1897, records
show that David's grandfather, James, had an intriguing job title.
James worked as a billiard marker and a billiard marker in those days
was a job that you did round a billiard table.
You would mark the scores on either a board or some sort of
more commercial device. You would be expected to be reliable.
You would expect to be able to handle money.
And... but it wasn't a well-paid job.
But James' work would have had to accommodate his passion,
as he was a talented cricketer,
playing for his local team in the Lancashire League.
Todmorden Cricket Club is one of the top sides of the time.
It's a very competitive club. It achieves some success.
It has very good amateur players
and it's very highly-regarded in the local community as well.
With all sport played on Saturdays,
it would have been hard to juggle the two.
It's difficult for anyone to play sport in the late 19th century.
Most workers, at least five and a half days,
some have to work six days.
To play sport anywhere outside your own community, it means
you're going to have to sacrifice not just time, but money too.
This meant that the idea of making money from playing sport
became more common.
And by the 19th century you start to see many more
professionals in sports like rowing, in boxing, in running.
And team sports were not far behind.
By the late 19th century, cricket sides throughout
the North are starting to recruit one professional for their side.
Somebody who can probably bowl very well.
Occasionally you get someone who can bat very well.
Even more occasionally
you have someone who's good at, really good at both.
In February 1892,
James Hartley was recruited to play for Springhead Cricket Club as
their one professional player, known then as a Saturday professional.
The Saturday professional is always
a man who has a full-time job elsewhere.
It will be a legitimate job, but always these men will have
another job because they're only playing for that single day a week.
And this explains why James might have chosen to
work as a billiard marker during this time.
He could earn money right the way through the week,
and then on the Saturday he could come back to his job in the evening.
Success and extra pay would have been very good indeed.
After his cricketing career,
James was listed on the 1911 census as a pub landlord.
The census also revealed that James and Betsey Hartley
had five children, including David's father Walter.
The team now had to trace the descendants of Walter's four
brothers and sisters.
Our research leads us to believe
that there is only one paternal beneficiary entitled.
This lady will be entitled to what I believe will be
one third of the overall estate of the deceased.
Jennifer Cann, David's first cousin once-removed,
is the sole paternal heir to his estate.
When the envelope arrived it was a total surprise
because I had never expected anybody
to leave me anything
and once I'd established that it was genuine,
then the surprise was even greater.
As she began to digest the details on the paperwork,
Jennifer was able to turn to a family heirloom
passed down by her father.
I recognised the name David Hartley because I'd read it in a book.
My father kept a little red birthday book and he was meticulous.
He had put all the dates of birth in and it rang a bell,
so I went straight up to the birthday book to confirm that
David Hartley was in fact one and the same.
22nd of August, 1932.
But this was the only information Jennifer had.
David's life has been a total mystery to me
because other than a name in a... in a birthday book,
I wasn't aware that he was a close relation to me.
So, yes, I'm intrigued to know about what his life was like.
The news of her inheritance is still sinking in.
I feel I am very, very lucky
to be a beneficiary of somebody
who I didn't know.
And Jennifer can only speculate as to why David never made a will.
I suppose he must have thought that, as he had no children,
that making a will didn't matter.
To date, no will has ever come to light having been made by David
and we don't think there's a likelihood that there ever will be.
Which means another solved case for Dave.
There was a lot of research but it's all concluded
and interesting to learn different occupations I didn't know existed.
Billiard hall markers, that's a new one.
In London, heir-hunting firm Finders are desperately trying
to trace heirs to market trader Roger Lennon's £130,000 estate.
There's a birth for him and he's on the census with parents, but...
The team have traced the two heirs on the maternal side
but so far they've only had success with one of the nine paternal stems.
As the case has suddenly been made public, they're likely to be
up against rival firms, but the team have made some progress.
Travelling researcher Stuart is on the way to meet
Roger's first cousin once-removed, Claire,
who stands to inherit a share of his estate.
We've travelled to Gosport in Hampshire
and we're going to see a beneficiary on the paternal side.
The team are hoping that no other firms have been in contact
with Claire, but won't know for sure until Stuart meets her in person.
-Hello there, Claire.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Come on in.
As Stuart explains about Roger's life and estate,
there's plenty for Claire to take in.
-Yeah, it's quite involved.
-It is quite involved.
But his hurry to get to Gosport has paid off,
as Claire signs the paperwork as the news sinks in.
Totally out of the blue. I...
It doesn't happen to people like, like...
Everybody says, "It doesn't happen to people like me."
It's always somebody else, isn't it, that this sort of thing happens to.
It's... It's quite surreal.
Claire now has all the information about Roger
that Stuart has passed on.
It does feel strange that he's only across the water
and the majority of my family live in Portsmouth
and that...I could have walked past him and not known it was...
But there are still plenty of unanswered questions.
It'd be nice to find out more about him and...
and what...what kind of life he had. Yes...
Made me very interested in my father's side of the family now
and to find out more about my grandmother's brothers and sisters.
However, Roger's estate is now heading to the rightful heirs.
I've got two boys in their early twenties that
certainly could do with some help, so...or a nice holiday.
-Thank you very much. Lovely to meet you.
-Great. Nice to see you.
-And Stuart can finally call it a night.
It's been a very successful evening. Tomorrow is another day.
It's frightening at my age, being out so late. I should be in bed.
I should be tucked up in bed with a scarf on.
Thanks to Stuart, the team end the day on a high
but there's still a great deal left to do
if they're to keep the competition at arm's length.
The following morning, Stuart is straight back on the road,
after his late night.
We're in sunny Gosport but the sun's not out.
But it's a lovely place. We're in
Alverstoke, I think it's called, this neighbourhood. Very nice.
Very nice, indeed.
To the sea. Lovely.
We're now just waiting for the office to call
and I have a notepad at the ready, and we're just going to
hopefully see some beneficiaries of this big job.
And we want to get this done fairly quickly because
obviously other people will be sniffing around.
For the team in the office,
their search now moves onto the remaining unsolved stems of
the family tree, and in particular that of Roger's uncle, James Lennon.
James had two children, including a daughter.
Our main focus of work today is going to
be on the stem of Patricia Exton, nee Lennon.
She was a cousin of the deceased and she passed away in 2003
but she had nine children. We've got addresses.
One of those is based in Scotland
but the majority of children are based in the Portsmouth area.
-Ryan calls on Stuart,
who's in place and ready to go.
Really just got seven heirs that we're dealing with today.
Only seven, yeah. So if anybody...
Ryan has not been able to contact some of Patricia's nine
children and enlists Stuart's help.
-Thank you, Stuart.
-I'll get on with these three.
Let us know. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.
The low-down is that we have seven heirs to see,
so I should be back in bed about four in the morning, I should think.
Stuart's on the move with a full schedule.
We're on our way now to cold-call on some of these beneficiaries.
Hopefully, they'll be in.
It's a situation that has to be handled with great sensitivity,
-as the visit can go either way.
-He's a beneficiary...
But every visit has the potential to move the case on and this
conversation with another first cousin once-removed is no different.
Well, that was...absolutely great because he's given us
so much information about his brothers and his sisters
and he signed, obviously, the contract.
I've left him all the brochures.
So it's been a really good, brilliant morning.
-Stuart's on the phone for you.
-Thank you. Hi, Stuart.
As Stuart updates Ryan on the outcome of his visit
and passes on the information he's gathered,
the pair coordinate the next part of their search.
-Because obviously, I mean,
they're all going to talk to one another today, I think.
Sadly, further cold-calls prove fruitless
and Stuart has to post the paperwork.
However, back at the office, things may be looking up.
OK, so that's good. I just spoke to one of the beneficiaries.
She's confirmed that herself
and her sibling can be available to meet our rep together.
Going to speak to Stuart and give him a run-down of what's happening.
Once briefed by Ryan, Stuart heads straight to meet up with Susan
and Shirley Exton, Roger's first cousins once-removed.
A great deal is resting on this visit,
as it's likely to have a knock-on effect on the rest of the stem.
-Hello, I'm Brenda.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Thank you very much indeed.
He was 72 and he died in September last year, and there's no will.
-There's lots for Stuart to explain to Susan and Shirley.
Unless they go through the paperwork,
the sisters are also happy to help contact other family members.
-Do you speak to him?
-Yeah, well we do, don't we?
-Have you got his up-to-date number, Shirl?
-That would be great, if you'd ring your dad.
-Yeah, I will do.
-And after an extremely long day, Stuart is on a roll.
-Nice to meet you. Oh, you're all alike, aren't you?
-Hello. Oh, yeah.
I just had to...
Susan and Shirley's brother Christopher is
one of the siblings Stuart tried to visit earlier on
but instead had to post paperwork through the door.
-Unbelievable, isn't it, Chris? It is unbelievable.
He will now be leaving with signed contracts from all
the siblings tonight.
I wish, especially knowing now that he lived so local,
-that we'd seen him.
-We could have been...
Even though it's an emotional time,
the family are happy to hear of Roger's estate.
It's good because everybody's got together, you know?
-What a strange way for everybody to come together.
Because we don't get to see each other very often, so it's nice.
And it's led them to recall memories of their childhood.
We knew to Mum's dad Jim.
-But we didn't know anything about Jim's family.
Because Mum was so busy bringing us up,
she never talked about her family.
You just don't think that there is anybody out there
apart from your immediate family.
So, yeah, it was amazing. It's really good.
As Stuart leaves the family to take in the news,
there's one factor that Christopher can't help but think about.
The person only lived in a five-mile radius of most of us
and we never knew.
And surely at that age, his seventies,
he could have done with some help, and we would have given him some.
That's the sad side of it.
His job done, Stuart can finally call it a night, and with the help
of Susan, Shirley and Christopher, the team will now be able to
contact the remaining heirs in the coming days.
Back in the office the following morning,
the end is in sight for case manager Ryan.
OK, that's fine. So, yeah,
last line in the UK, four heirs,
contact details for the four of them.
So I'd say probably in a week's time, case pretty much done,
apart from this line that we need to look into in America.
So far they've found 28 heirs,
all entitled to a share of Roger's estate,
valued at approximately £137,000,
and tracking them down has taken a monumental effort from the team.
We kind of spent the whole week last week and extended hours,
and a lot of the team trying to find people on this case.
So it's nice when that happens. It's really satisfying to know that
the effort's paid off.
And Roger's estate has ended up where it should be -
with his family.
Things like this don't happen just to normal, everyday folk, does it?
-You know, it's just... It's brilliant.
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.