The Case Of The Second Cousin That Wasn't

A gentleman passes away, intestate, in Connecticut. His attorney that he used for real estate purposes offers to handle the probate estate. He has no knowledge of any of the deceased's family members.

Two days after the estate is opened the attorney is visited by a person who identifies himself as the decedent's Second Cousin and also states he is the family genealogist. He states that the deceased was predeceased by his parents, had no siblings, never married and had no children. The Family Genealogists also claims there are no First Cousins, but that there are twelve additional Second Cousins. He then gives the attorney three large boxes with unorganized papers to prove his claims and leaves.

I was called in to go through the documents and verify the claims. After my initial examination I found a mistake the Family Genealogist made in his research. I went through everything a second time to be sure, then went through all the documents again with the attorney. We had found proof that one of the Second Cousins was actually a First Cousin Once Removed. In this situation in Connecticut the First Cousin Once Removed was the closest living relative and inherited the entire estate. It was a simple mistake that many amateur genealogists make.

By the way, the First Cousin Once Removed was the Family Genealogist.

Glenn Gawkowski
Genealogical Researcher

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Glenn D. Gawkowski

Genealogical Researcher, LLC
52 Gates Farm Road, Suite B
Lebanon, CT 06249
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