Do You Have Family Connections to Plymouth, Devon, England? If So, You Might be Able to Inherit an Unclaimed Estate

There are more than 40 estates that people in Plymouth could claim before they are permanently handed over to the Crown, latest figures reveal.

A list of thousands of unclaimed estates are available online – and you could make a claim to one of them if you’ve got the right surname. The details are on a Government spreadsheet that can be accessed by anyone. In Plymouth they include ‘widows’, ‘spinsters’, ‘bachelors’ and ‘unknown’. The list of surnames of unclaimed estates include people who were born or died in the city of Plymouth, or had some other family link to the area.

If someone dies without leaving a valid or effective will (intestate) the following are entitled to the estate in the order shown below:

husband, wife or civil partner, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on, mother or father, brothers or sisters who share both the same mother and father, or their children (nieces and nephews), half brothers or sisters or their children (nieces and nephews of the half blood or their children).

You can read the full story, including the list of surnames, in an article by Richard Booth in The Plymouth Herald‘s web site at:


Interesting they refer to some of the surname dictionaries for the UK. Genealogy DNA studies have shown some of the surnames origins suggested in these dictionaries is not correct. There could be many reasons for this and anyone researching would need to try and dig deeper for an explanation. The study of surnames and their origins started a long time before DNA came on the scene. A good DNA study (with results for several individuals) along with possible recorded genealogy studies for these individuals would seem to be a more reliable method of trying to determine possible surname origins. Some surnames associated with a trade, location or physical feature could account for a surname origin but, some are so common it would be difficult to prove they all originated from the same source.
Leave no rock unturned in your research including origin of surnames, migrations and DNA. But, make sure you are having fun and enjoying the quest.
P. Caverly


A much more detailed and fully searchable index to all unclaimed estates held by the Treasury Solicitor for the United Kingdom can be found here


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