The daftest question you’ve ever been asked….

10 October 2013

Today, I thought I would share with you another Heir Hunting case we worked on just last year. The case was regarding a gentleman who died in Berkshire. On purchasing his death certificate, we were unable to locate a linked birth record in the GRO index. It transpired that the neighbour who was the informant of his death did not know the true age of the deceased and, although his birth date was correct, his birth year was wrong by almost a decade.

The deceased had two brothers. All three boys married and the two brothers had children. However, the deceased divorced with no issue and hence his estate was split in two halves for the descendants of his siblings, both of whom pre-deceased him. That does not make a story in itself of course, as many cases are like this. However, the classic question we were asked before the estate claim was accepted was (not verbatim): Can you provide documentary evidence to explain the difference in the birth date between the birth and death certificates?

What earthly document were we supposed to dig up which could explain this discrepancy? Whilst a rather daft question to ask, at least our response was accepted when we simply stated that the informant quite clearly thought the deceased was younger than he actually was!

It was a great pleasure to be able to hand the money back to the deceased’s family which included a young man trying to start up his own business, a lady who had just lost her husband and many other family members who were extremely grateful for a not insignificant cheque received totally out of the blue.

Happy days….

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