We worked on a case from Pennsylvania and were trying to account for several missing cousins who were heirs. One of them was named Diane Waterson. The last time any of the known heirs had heard of her, she was married to a man named Richard Waterson and they lived in a suburb of Pittsburgh.
We conducted an heir search and found Richard Waterson and his wife, Diane. We then sent a family history information form to Mrs. Waterson, which is something that we usually do in order to line up the heirs and confirm their identity.
We received the information sheet back in about a week and were surprised to find that the details that she had provided about her family did not match any of the facts that we had.
The problem was eventually solved when we learned that Mr. Waterson had divorced his first wife, Diane, and subsequently had married another woman named Diane! Eventually, we got in touch with the correct Diane and everything worked out. We learned two things from this experience. First, sometimes what seems obvious might be wrong and second, the family questionnaires that we send out play a very important part in the successful conclusion of an investigation.
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