The Life of Hilary Nott: Estrangements and taboo arrangements

22 February 2019

Alistair died in challenging circumstances a year or two ago. A life that had not been easy from the beginning had come to a tragic end when he was only in his forties. And yet to those who knew him, this was perhaps inevitable, and not such a big surprise.

Alistair was born (female) as Hilary Nott in the early 1970s. During Hilary’s early years, her parents divorced, and her father disappeared from her life. It was a few years later that Hilary began to become very difficult to control. Her mother was quite a bit older, and the situation escalated with an altercation taking place at a bus stop when Hilary was in her mid-teens. It seems Hilary was the aggressor, and this marked a turning point in her life.

Various relatives stepped in to manage Hilary’s financial affairs. It was ironic, that Hilary had money for the first time in her life, from family members she had never met. What was really needed was time to heal. Hilary now had this time, and opportunity to reflect. A big decision to come from this was to become ‘Alistair King’: identifying as male and taking his father’s surname. Ironically, Alistair’s father’s few relatives lived a huge distance away and were elderly, so could not offer support.

Alistair’s mother’s family did their best to keep in touch and had heard that he’d moved away. When Alistair’s name and birth-name appeared on the unclaimed estate’s list, the challenge was on to locate his family. We were able to locate the sole beneficiary on the mother’s side and gather some of the story, which helped to explain his life.

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