It’s been a year since we launched Genealogy Investigations and then started telling you stories.
The ones here are interesting people and facts we have come across but everyday as part of our business, we hear stories that never make it public.
So we thought we would tell you a few - carefully edited to protect the privacy of those involved.
Late last year we were able to reconstruct a whole family history - from arrival in New Zealand to nearly modern day for a client whose family had been split up and children adopted into different families. They had lost all the little things we all take for granted. We were delighted to be able to tell them that some of their ancestors were world famous in New Zealand and where they could see the portraits of their family members.
We have found the father of an adopted client - who was himself adopted - which meant quite a bit of hard research to put dates, time and places together.
We have searched for people up and down the country and overseas, putting families back in touch with each other sometimes.
We tracked down a chap in Australia, during a full lockdown, who was unable to work, and were able to put him in touch with the lawyer who was looking for him as a beneficiary of a will to give him the inheritance left to him.
We hunted for the beneficiaries of a New Zealand estate in Ireland (with some help from some new Irish friends!).
We found the heirs of a long-since deceased land owner from more than 150 years ago for a lawyer to see what they might be entitled to.
We managed to find one Smith (turned out to be spelled Smyth) out of millions.
And just last week, in the midst of a new Covid panic, we found a homeless guy who had not been in contact with his family for 25 years.
And along the way we have uncovered many stories and reunited many people.
The year has taken us places we never thought about and we are always learning new things.
We love finding people!
We would love to hear your own success stories finding your own people.
A short break from our regular stories for me to say Congratulations!
I got to watch my best friend and business partner Fran Tyler graduate with her doctorate in philosophy yesterday.
It’s sort of my fault. I recommended her for the job at Massey University teaching many years ago and all these years later this is the result. (She definitely thinks it's my fault!)
Since then we have gone through all the usual stuff, job changes, family losses, weddings and trips along with writing for an academic textbook and cooking - mostly dumplings - together.
And then last year COVID and the idea to start the business that is now Genealogy Investigations.
Most nights we have a (telephone) drink together, moan about our days, talk about triumphs and question our own sanity.
We have put families in touch with each other, traced out family histories, worked out who adopted parents are, found beneficiaries of wills and had fun hunting down the stories we tell here.
A big part of that is Fran’s determination and research skills gained the hard way, through working as a journalist, doing her own family tree and now her doctorate.
So, to Dr Fran Tyler - a huge congratulations. No matter how many times you doubted or told me you didn’t want to do this anymore, I always knew you would get there.
You can read more about Fran's research here:
We were recently interviewed by the New Zealand Law Society about what we do.
We were really excited because it gave us the opportunity to explain what our business does. They wanted to talk to us because we are one of the few companies that do this sort of work.
Read more: The Will-Finders.
For the past five years, journalists Fran Tyler and Deborah Morris have used their joint talents of mystery solving, and their extensive court reporting experience, to help both families and lawyers trace lost family members and beneficiaries of wills and estates....