Being a probate genealogy company, we are regularly breaking sad news to relatives about their next of kin passing away. But at times, our work facilitates the reuniting of long-lost relatives, or even reveals details of family members that were previously not even known about. This can certainly be a welcome by-product of our genealogical research.
This is undeniably a hugely enjoyable part of the job, and as our Private Client Manager Carolyn Felgate wrote in her own social media post, instances like this make coming to work that much brighter.
Our story starts with a local press appeal from Medals Going Home on behalf of a lady looking for her long-lost brother. The brother was born in Ipswich where our head office is based. Given the local angle, this was something that we just had to offer our help with, even though finding people for non-probate or non-legal reasons is not something we usually do.
Whilst previous investigations had been made into the brother’s whereabouts, nothing confirmed or positive had come of it – the dreaded and much despised “brick wall” often encountered by family historians and genealogists.
The lack of progress led to a final appeal to the brother’s birthplace local newspaper, the Ipswich Star. Following this, we made contact with Adam at Medals Going Home and offered our services.
Carolyn Felgate picked up the baton and was soon able to establish that the brother in question had changed his surname over the intervening years. She also established that he was now located many hundreds of miles away from his birthplace. Contact was made and Carolyn was able to validate that she had the right person.
But would the brother be willing to hear from his long-lost family? He was availed of the details that precipitated the contact and given a few days to think it over. A follow-up call was made and he was happy to proceed, and an exchange of telephone numbers between the siblings took place. We were delighted to hear that not long after, brother and sister had spoken to each other a number of times over the phone and are even planning to meet up.
Whilst this isn’t normally the type of work we undertake, we were more than happy to use our probate genealogical skills on this case to bring together the lost siblings. After all, Who doesn’t love a reunited family story?