A Puzzle with a Missing Piece
A Connecticut-based attorney approached HeirSearch to conduct an overseas search to facilitate an estate settlement.
The decedent, Sylvia Davison, had many siblings; a situation we’re well-equipped to handle. However, the attorney representing the decedent’s niece, the estate’s administratrix, retained HeirSearch to locate only one of Silvia’s brothers – a man who was missing and last known to be living in St. Kitts & Nevis.
This brother was likely deceased because based on the available information, he would have been roughly 110 years old at the time we were retained. The attorney informed us that the brother may have worked as a professor at one point in his life. Most important was the fact that identifying this estranged brother was the final linchpin holding up the estate’s closure.
We knew that Sylvia’s brother, John Plant, had lived in several countries throughout his life and was believed to have retired and returned to his birthplace of St. Kitts & Nevis. However, no extended family members had up-to-date information and he was absent from local census records. He was presumed dead, and we now needed to prove this and identify his next of kin.
There was the option of submitting a death certificate application, but we needed to provide the date and place of death, and we only had very vague information with which to work. As expected, an estate file search from St. Kitts & Nevis’ court provided nothing of consequence for our search.
The case saw a breakthrough when we confirmed the attorney’s claim that John used to be a professor. Through rigorous online research, we located scholarly papers written by a small group of British historians who had done some work on St. Kitts & Nevis – the papers referenced one of their sources as a local resident named “John Plant.” Further research identified the contact for their work as Rebecca Williams and provided Rebecca’s email address.
To determine if this John Plant of Nevis was the one we were looking for, we reached out to Rebecca. It turned out that Rebecca and her husband not only remembered John from interviewing him in the 1990s but recalled a few key details about his life, including that:
- He had lived in Connecticut
- He had children
- He had died several years ago
Rebecca and her husband were unsure where the children were or how to get a hold of them, but they held plenty of contacts in Nevis – a significant development for our search.
With their help, we got in touch with John’s daughter. She provided copies of her birth certificate and her father’s death certificate, proving he did die in Nevis. We also obtained contact information for the daughter’s brother, who currently lives in Australia.
Right then and there, the case was solved! Thanks to our researchers’ expertise, we were able to provide the attorney with a detailed report and supporting documentation to satisfy the court and close the estate.
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