A Christmas letter from the Western Front

Posted in For Relatives, For Solicitors

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The photograph above is one of many iconic images of the Christmas truce of 1914. It shows two members of the London Rifle Brigade (left and centre) posing with a group of German soldiers. Here, researcher Cherrill Theobald presents a letter written by an eye-witness to the event – her great uncle Oswald Tilley, who was himself a member of the London Rifle Brigade.

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Why your will might be invalid

Posted in For Relatives, For Solicitors

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Historically, people instructed their solicitor to draft their will. However, in recent years more and more of us are turning to DIY wills – including template packs that can be bought in high street stationery stores. In this article, our legal and compliance executive Rosie Kelly examines why some wills fail to comply with legal requirements and are ruled invalid.

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When patience and persistence pay off

Posted in Case Histories, For Relatives, For Solicitors

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In this article, case manager Carolyn Felgate extends the definition of ‘patience’ and ‘persistence’ as she reports on her ten-year struggle to chip away at an impregnable genealogical brick wall – the case of Mary Margaret Baker.

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Celebrity intestacies should be a warning to us all

Posted in For Relatives, For Solicitors

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The multi-award winning soul singer Aretha Franklin, who died recently after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, leaves an enduring musical legacy – but no will setting out how she would like her $80 million estate to be distributed. In this article, Rosie Kelly reports on the widespread resistance to writing a will among celebrities and the general public alike, and spells out the consequences.

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Between two families

Posted in Case Histories, For Relatives, For Solicitors

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In this article, case manager Sam Watkin discusses an informal adoption arranged before the Adoption of Children Act 1926. When relevant public records are almost entirely absent, how can probate genealogists prove someone’s identity?

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