Real Cases


A real estate law firm hired Capitol Inquiry to find two defendants in a tax sale foreclosure case who owned the Washington, D.C. property. The defendants had a common last name, which meant there were numerous individuals with that same last name. Title research produced a deed signed by the defendants in 1931. Researching databases produced nothing. There was no will and no probate. We begin to research the old fashioned way; reading historical document in libraries, contacting local historians and genealogists, and reviewing the1920 and 1930 census data at the National Archives. The Census report listed the defendants’ names, address and name of their children. But again, this led us nowhere. Finally, we visit the oldest African-American church in the District of Columbia and got the name of the eldest living member. That individual had compiled her own history of the church. She remembered the family from her childhood, and knew the married name of the only surviving child, a daughter. From that information, we were able to locate the sole surviving heir to the property, who was 92 and living in Maryland. Case closed.

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