A life history in one house

9 July 2015

Recently, we have been appointed as administrators in an estate which includes a property in London. It’s not – in its current state – a very salubrious residence but the location of the property gives it a high market value. In sorting through the documentation within the house (of which there is a vast amount), I have made some amazing historical finds including a 1969 Prudential Insurance policy document, £5 notes which are no longer legal tender (along with some half penny pieces) and assorted television licences, letters, cards, DWP letters, bank statements, photographs and more.

Many things have fascinated me and also made me chuckle whilst sorting through the three large boxes of paperwork I brought back to the office after Visit 1. The shredding and recycling piles are simply overflowing with unnecessary items from yesteryear. However, having sorted through these initial piles, I have managed to locate all sorts of extraneous funds in various names of deceased family members (father died in 1975, mother in 1989 and sister in 2008). I was amused to note that Mr V was still paying for the television licence in 1993 (eighteen years after he died) and that Mrs V still has money in the Cooperative Group despite having been six foot under for nearly twenty-six years. Miss V died intestate and, whilst I have requested a thorough Will Check with Certainty, if it transpires that she did leave a Will, I will eat my hat.

There are several more drawers, boxes and cabinets to sort through on Visit 2 (in a few weeks time) before putting the house on the market and this is just one of several interesting cases we are working on at the moment….

Anyone out there involved in family history and/or tracing work, able to pick up a telephone and talk to people, and want to have one of the most diverse jobs around? You know what to do.

Source image: Musings of a Corporate Consigliere

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