Like looking for a needle in a haystack – was the doom-laden prediction by a solicitor from a leading London-based firm when he contacted Ancestry by Heir Line, the Yorkshire-based probate and genealogical research company.
The solicitor had been ordered by the Court of Protection to hire the services of a genealogy company to try to find the missing male heir to a large estate. But to tenacious married couple, Michael and Caroline Rochford, owners of Heir Line, this was typical of the requests they receive every week.
And within days they had found the heir.
Director Michael, of Wakefield, says: ‘To begin with, the solicitors weren’t even sure that the heir existed. The only information they could give us was his father’s name and a possible first name of the potential heir, who they said might have been born in Leeds between 1956 and 1963.
‘But within hours, we had found the heir’s birth record and discovered that his father was married to the heir’s mother when he was born. The parents subsequently divorced – all of which was news to the solicitors’ client, the heir’s younger half-sister, who shares the same father as the heir.’
The challenge then facing Heir Line was to find the heir. Caroline, also a director, reveals: `It was likely that the heir’s mother had remarried and possibly moved to a new city, or even a different country, in the mid 60s or early 70s, meaning that the heir could have one of 3 surnames – his father’s surname, his mother’s married name or his mother’s maiden name.’
Through painstaking research, Heir Line discovered a nickname for the heir and was able to build up a profile of him. They discovered that the man had used the same nickname when posting on an internet forum about rescue dogs. This led to Heir Line discovering an up-to-date email address for him.
Subsequently a profile page on a popular social networking site was discovered for a man with the same first name and a surname which matched the heir’s mother’s maiden name. Heir Line then found a postal address for the heir.
‘The solicitors were delighted to be put in touch with the heir. It was a very satisfying result, made all the better when the heir rang and thanked us for our hard work. Amazingly, he had only just decided three days earlier to try to discover what happened to his father. So he was especially pleased that our information meant he finally knew his father’s whereabouts for the first time since he was a small child. The heir is now planning to make contact with his newly discovered half-siblings,’ says Michael.
Michael and Caroline have six years of experience between them and work for people and companies all across the globe, specializing in probate research and solving genealogical mysteries.
For a legal company, Heir Line Ltd can make life easier by tracing those elusive individuals, perhaps missing beneficiaries, or business associates who a client has lost touch with.
Individuals contact Heir Line for a variety of reasons, often wishing to trace their family tree or a long lost relative or school friend.
If you think Heir Line can help you then please contact:
Michael or Caroline Rochford at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.heir-line.co.uk