JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Intestacy lawyers/searchers {was: Fake email} #general


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

In 2001, I was sitting in the the archives in Vienna when I noticed
two Hungarian reseachers working for a week on the Jewish records.
They were not at all communicative, but one day they asked me what I
was researching. I mentioned, amongst others, my gtgt grandfather
Leopold WOTTITZ >from Pressburg [born ca 1810], whose son Gustav [my
gtgrandfather] came to Vienna.

To my utter amazement they replied "that is why we are here". They
refused to tell me more; it took me some time to find out that they
had been hired by intestacy lawyers in the USA to investigate the
genealogy of a man [descendant of Leopold] who had died in Chicago
after fleeing >from Vienna - a third cousin of my mother.

As usual I inherited nothing {Wir sind schlechte Erber, was my
grandmother's [nee Ida WOTTITZ] dictum - "we are bad inheritors"} -
but I did eventually get a huge branch of my WOTTITZ tree sorted out
and could identify my great-grandfather's siblings in a photograph
that we rescued >from Vienna which was probably taken in Pressburg in
the 1860s. The heirs were peeved I had these photographs - which are
very precious to me.

There are many people beavering away in the archives [Vienna, Prague
etc] looking for this sort of thing. They look through company
records, wills or ground books to see if there is anything worth
following up. The genealogical work then commences to look for
potential heirs.

There are many ways to make a living - and this is one of them.
It is not illegal, but some may find it distasteful especially if the
researchers take a large cut >from a holocaust victim's assets.

Celia Male [U.K.]

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