Locating the missing root

Locating the missing root: working with specialist genealogists to conduct family tree research

Nov 13, 2019 10:55:18 AM

The public’s growing interest in ancestry and genealogy has seen a rise in new genealogist firms coming into the market, providing services for the curious to uncover more about their lineage. In fact, in early 2019, it was reported that over 26 million people took an at-home ancestry test1. These tests help an individual understand their genetic make-up and are one small element of the broader genealogy piece. This data also indicates that the demand to understand one’s heritage doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon and new genealogist firms could continue to appear. The challenge for professionals is knowing who is best to turn to when seeking support for researching a family tree or intestacy matters. As leading family tree researchers, UK solicitors and their clients are in good hands with Title Research. In this blog post, we discuss the benefits of working with an established genealogist firm and some of the intriguing personal stories we’ve uncovered along the way.

Title Research has been operating for more than 50 years and during this time, we have assisted thousands of solicitors by resolving their complex estate administration matters with our specialist services. Our research isn’t limited to UK matters; we can locate missing or unknown people in over 60 jurisdictions. Putting this into perspective, we were asked to locate an Australian man who had disappeared without a trace more than a decade ago. He was logged as a missing person with the Police and Ministry of Defence in Australia and his sister appealed for him to come forward through national media, but their efforts were left unanswered.

We were instructed to locate him after his Grandmother left a legacy in her Will. We uncovered that he moved to Beijing, China in 2004 to work on the Olympics but his phone, laptop and possessions were stolen upon his arrival. Due to the strict internet controls in China, he was unable to look up any information and was completely cut off from his family as a result. Our Technical Manager, Simon Barber, commented on this case: “This particular case was quite a unique one, even for our team of experienced genealogists. We were pleased to be able to find the man in question and reunite him with his family”.

Another example that highlights our years of experience and specialist services is when we were instructed to locate the rightful heirs for a USD $19 million Nazi-stolen art masterpiece from World War II. The artwork was tied up in litigation for years but once the dispute was resolved, we were instructed. We conducted UK and global family tree research to locate and distribute the funds to the rightful beneficiaries.

This was certainly not the first time we’ve assisted on an estate that has felt the effects of World War II. We were asked to create the family tree for a lady who died intestate. The Deceased was born in eastern Poland in 1911 and the family were of the Jewish faith. Ultimately, research was required in Australia, Austria, France, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK and USA with seven potential heirs located. Of these seven, two had avoided transport to Auschwitz Concentration Camp with the help of Oskar Schindler, and I am sure many of you will have seen the film Schindler’s List which tells this story.

In all of these cases, we never worked on a commission or contingency basis. Our role is simple, to prove entitlement – no matter how complex or lengthy the process may be – and assist in the distribution of the estate. We are proud to offer transparent and fair pricing to our clients.

To find out more about our specialist genealogical services, contact a member of our Client Services Team by calling 0345 87 27 600 or email info@titleresearch.com.

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1 https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612880/more-than-26-million-people-have-taken-an-at-home-ancestry-test/

Topics: Genealogical research, Family tree reconstruction, Family tree verification, Locating missing heirs