It Could Be You!

In the days before the National Lottery and the football pools, people no doubt used to dream of inheriting a fortune from some long lost relative. Tracing the heirs of deceased clients is a task which still falls to solicitors and their clerks, and which I have always assumed must explain the number of young men and women who used to appear in the search rooms at St Catherine’s House talking on their cellular telephones while frantically searching the births, marriages and deaths. Naturally I hoped that I was the lucky relative they were searching for!

I was intrigued therefore, to receive from the Family Origin Name Survey, several entries from publications which list heirs to unclaimed estates, and searches for next-of-kin. The first was published in 1878 and lists two Lindfield entries, Henry Lindfield, and Spencer Lindfield. As to Henry, we cannot tell which Henry is referred to, though it may be that a search of the original documents might help. The Index seems to have been compiled from Chambers Index to Next of Kin. Spencer Lindfield is much easier to identify, particularly as she also appears in another of the FONS references as Mrs S Lindfield of Walworth. She died in 1857 and I recounted her story in a previous article (Crime and Punishment LONGSHOT Vol 4 no 2). It would be interesting to know how much money she left and whether it represented the proceeds of the crimes with which she was charged!

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