1.) A Polish woman died in a German arbeitslager (forced labour camp) in 1943. The farmland that she owned lay abandoned for 76 years since her death. No one had the duty to search for her heirs.
Results: Through extensive research into old records such as church baptisms and marriages, cemeteries, military service, old telephone books, etc. (genealogical research), European Emigrant Heritage (EEH) identified and located her closest living relatives, many second cousins twice and thrice removed living in Poland, and secured their unknown inheritance (heritage) for them. The land was sold and each cousin received a fractional share.
2.) A German soldier died in the Siege of Stalingrad, Russia. 22 years later, in 1964, his mother died in Frankfurt, leaving valuable coin and stamp collections that should go to the grandchildren of the soldier who are living in Scotland.
Results: EEH identified and located the family and secured their unknown inheritances (heritage) for them.
3.) A Ukrainian man died in Rome in 1966 leaving bank accounts there. Six years later his sole sibling, a brother, immigrated to Argentina, knowing nothing of the bank accounts.
Results: In 2018 EEH's genealogical research discovered that the deceased Ukrainian's closest living relatives were 11 grand-nieces & nephews in Argentina, who had never met their great-uncle and knew nothing about his assets. A trip to Ukraine, inheritances for everyone, and a family reunion attended by many Italian cousins. All were re-connected to their European heritage.
EEH specializes in inheritance genealogy (family tree research) in the 19 countries of the former Soviet Bloc. Thses countries are pink and red below:
The photographs of private people in our website are representative. They are not photos of EEH's heirs or the heirs' families, but instead are random photos from the Internet public domain.
Genealogy (family tree research) examples used in our website are from EEH cases, with the names changed to protect privacy.
This website is read only, so don't worry that you will enter sensitive information (for example, passwords or credit cards.) It is impossible for you to input anything to this website.
To enlarge the text of this website for easier reading, in the upper right corner of your screen click
, , , or ⋮, [click View,] Zoom to 150%.
Rest assured that you never pay a penny...
...nor a kopek.
Our only fee is a percentage of the inheritance we obtain for you.
If there is no inheritance, there is no fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does your business work?
European Emigrant Emigrant Heritage (EEH) is associated with genealogical research companies in several countries. These companies collaborate with EEH to solve cases where the deceased asset owner or his ancestor(s) were from the Soviet Bloc (or before 1917 from the Russian or Austro-Hungarian Empires).
Genealogy involves many areas of study, including history, geography, ethnology, calligraphy, and photographic analysis. To solve a recent case it was necessary that we discover that during World War II, while occupied by Nazi Germany, the French town of Pas-de-Calais housed the 13th Waffen SS Handschar - 1st Croatian Division, consisting mainly of Bosnians. Only this fact led us to the military records in Bosnia identifying the deceased property owner's father. Through this we located his next of kin for inheritance.
In the vast majority of cases where people die with assets, the family is known and they receive their inheritance. In a small number of cases the family is unknown. EEH handles these unknown heirs cases if the research is in the Soviet Bloc.
Genealogical (family tree) research is necessary to identify the entitled persons, i.e. the unknown heirs. EEH and the associated genealogy company then offer to claim and recover the inheritance, in exchange for a contingent percentage fee. If there is nothing recovered, there is no fee. Regardless of the outcome of the claim, the heirs never pay any money.
How did you find me?
Our research examines thousands of small pieces of information concerning possible family members, most of whom died decades ago. Genealogy is a sifting process; the vast majority of documents we examine pertains to families other than the one being sought. Our research in one Russian case led to a boy in a displaced persons' camp (photo here), who we eventually proved to be the property owner's father, leading us to the father's half siblings, and living heirs.
What if I don't sign the fee agreement?
After determining the names and relationships of the family in several generations, EEH and/or our associated genealogical company attempt to locate and contact the living family members whom we feel are entitled to inherit. Some potential heirs have a level of concern about their privacy and security which makes it difficult to contact them. Some do not pick up their phone if an unknown number is calling, and do not reply to postal mail, e-mail, or voice mail.
Others, with whom we are able to communicate, decline to allow us to obtain the inheritance for them, despite written assurances that they never pay any money. Our only fee is a percentage of what we actually obtain for them.
Unless a person signs our simple fee Agreement, and we locate and purchase government certification-stamped death and other records to prove their relationship, the person is only a potential heir and will not share in the inheritance.
What proof is necessary?
In a recent case we had to show proof to the asset holder that the deceased asset owner's grandmother (GM) was born in Lemburg, Austria (now L'viv, Ukraine). When the potential heir signed our Agreement, we located on his behalf a 1943 US Alien Registration Certificate from one of the GM's sons. This established that the Solomon LEVY who was our client's GF was the same Solomon LEVY who was the cousin of the owner of the assets. There are many Solomon LEVY 's in the world, and it must be proven that a claimant's family is the right LEVY family in order to claim the property.
Proofs of every relationship on the family tree are necessary. Document components such as city of birth can help establish this. Most documents show only the country of birth, not the city, and in those cases we must keep looking for a more specific document. The below document shows that the city of birth is Wien (Vienna):
A particular difficulty in Soviet Bloc cases is that most of the genealogical records give only "Russian Empire," or "Austria-Hungary." These two pre-World War I empires contained over 20 present day E. European countries.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire included present day countries from N. Italy to Galicia (Poland and Ukraine) (see map ↓).
Unless and until we have a signed Agreement with a potential heir, we will not go to the effort or expense of obtaining documents showing facts such as his and his ancestors' cities of birth, to prove his right to inherit.
I don't believe there is an inheritance
With the number of scams going on in the world, we don't expect you to believe that there is an inheritance. That's why we and our associate will never ask you to pay any money. Not at any time, and not for any reason do you ever give us money. OUR ONLY FEE IS A PERCENTAGE OF THE INHERITANCE. IF THERE IS NO INHERITANCE THERE IS NO FEE.
How can you have found something when I know all my relatives and all my inheritances?
The truth is that no one knows all their relatives. For example, do you know the father of your paternal GM (grandmother)? What town was this GGF born in, and what were the names of all his children? Your GGF's children are your GUs and GAs (grand-uncles and grand-aunts). If one of them died in Dover in 1984 with property, ↑ Example of unknown relatives
would you know of it?
How diligently would the solicitors or attorneys have searched for unknown heirs?
Who hires EEH?
No one hires us. We are a government licensed private company that investigates public and private records to find unknown heirs.
No one would put me in his will
Under Communism, the Soviet Bloc governments confiscated all private property, so it was not likely that when the former owners died they would have a will. After the fall of Commu-nism a claim may be made for the next of kin, under intestate succession law. Iintestate means no will.
Wouldn't the authorities have found me?
This photo shows "the dictatorshlip of the bureaucracy" during the Soviet era. Little regard was given as to the true heirs to property, and this continues in modern times. The list of professions who don't care if non-entitled persons are living in property or holding assets that should go to others includes: Magistrates, judges, estates' solicitors/attorneys, law enforcement, land offices, bankers, and fund managers.
No one inquires into whether real property occupants lack the legal right to possession. No one inquires whether a homeowner or account holder is deceased or whether he has any next of kin. No one hires investigators or genealogists to look for next of kin. Banks keep abandoned accounts, and squatters reside in homes they don't own, all free from inquiry and molestation.
What was your biggest case?
EEH and its associated genealogical company in Berlin solved a large case in 2015. The assets included a "palace" in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia, a city which has many dvoretsi (palaces) which were built by the aristocracy from 1710 when Peter the Great built the city, until the Rus. Revolution in 1917. During the Soviet Union, these palaces were divided into many small apartments and assigned to families. These families never paid any rent because housing was a free right under the Soviet system. Current law is that the USSR had no legal right to take properties from 1917 owners, the Soviet residents did not acquire ownership, and the lawful heirs of the deceased 1917 owners are entitled to obtain restitution of the properties.
EEH located 17 descendants of said aristocrat living in Italy, to where their great-grandparents had escaped the Russian Revolution. Four of them came to St. Petersburg with their tools and renovated the building for sale. These descendants had a big celebration upon receipt the sales proceeds, which EEH attended. Quite a memorable experience! This was only the most recent occasion that EEH and its associates discovered abandoned "palaces" and identified their rightful heirs.
Why the word "Emigrant" in your company name?
Most of our cases involve emigration within Europe or from Europe. Emigration is a disruptive process which together with the distances involved and the death of older generation(s), often results in property whose ownership is unknown.
My family is very close.
When people say they have a close family, they are talking about their living family. Most of us have a GF about whom we know little. Few of us can name both of our GFs' siblings, nephews, and nieces.
Perhaps you remember when US President Clinton was surprised by a man who appeared at the White House gate claiming to be a half brother. Newspapers reported that the man's 1938 Arkansas birth certificate confirmed that President Clinton's natural father, Bill Blythe, begat this alleged half brother in an earlier marriage:
Unknown living relatives occur more frequently in non-famous families:
Unknown deceased relatives occur in all families.
Why have I never heard of your type of business?
Unknown inheritances are rare events. Also, inheritance genealogy is one of the few businesses that does not advertise. We and our associates start with the property, and then attempt to discover lawful heirs. We do not start with potential heirs, or people who believe they are entitled to an inheritance, so we do not advertise for such people to contact us.
The reason EEH does not attempt to find inheritances for people is that many people would want such a service, but very few of them have inheritances. Many people will tell you that they were supposed to inherit from their GM's 10 Million Rubel estate, or that that their GGF Ivan was a New York banker who made $Millions and deposited it all in a bank in New Jersey. We learnt many years ago that most of these family legends are untrue, so we always start with the property, not with the heirs.
A Letter from an Heir Client:
I give you concerns five stars! you and [associated UK company] obtained me a big inheritence from a onkel brother of my fathers father who died befor i was born i never heard about his name in my family. i was not believeing there was realy to be an inheritence for the long time until bank wire arrived at my acount. I was realy so surprised thenand happy what I was to be doing with such money! also EEH poeple are very freindly.Serious but freindly. i learned alot about my family from the talking with you people. Thank you!
Eva Sjöstrand, Stockholm, Sweden 2009
↑ This house in Slovakia was abandoned since WW II. It's Jewish owners died in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp.
Most banks do not disturb safe deposit boxes when the box rent is unpaid for many years, knowing that they can collect the back rent by holding the box contents to guarantee payment. These 3 items were among many that came from a Czech safe deposit box ↓
Can I lose any money?
A basic principle of our work is that our clients never pay any money. This assures our clients that we are honest. Dishonest programmes have one thing in common: You pay money.
Our only fee is a percentage of what we actually obtain for you. You never pay any money, so there is no way you can lose any money. You can only gain. Nor do EEH or its associate ever ask heirs for personal data, such as bank information, credit cards, social security numbers, passwords, pin numbers, etc.
A Letter from an Heir Client
22 Mar 2019
I would like to thank for E. E.H. and [Bonn, Germany associated genealogy company] to have solve it, which became our grandfather Tiit Siimann who was of life 1916-1985. They are great that now we know where he lived and died and we could visit his grave. After 46 years we feel that he will again be with us and for this purpose we will indebtly forever of yours. If E. E.H. ever need genealogy or history research in the Baltics or in Finland or if you need to stay in Tallinn (please come with our family), we hope that you will be called to us for all helps with no doubts.
Do you take any fees & costs from the inheritance before comupting my 2/3 share?
No we don't. This is a good question not often asked. EEH and its associate receive only their 1/3 fees. Total expenses average over £6,000 per case. This is to pay for travel, researchers, archives search fees, documents, and other expenses. Rather than deduct these expenses "off the top" of the recovered inheritance, EEH and its associates pay them from their own funds, without reimbursement by the case proceeds, by you, or by any other source, regardless of the outcome of the inheritance claim. These are simply our costs of doing business, investments we are willing to risk for inheritance claims we believe are valid. Like Mr. Bond, we must know when to bet and when to fold.
What fraction of the inheritance
will I receive?
It also depends on
These are mathe-
If a GF dies leaving
who pre-deceased him,
the fractions taken
each take 1/3, and
because they divide
the 1/3 share of
their deceased mother
In some countries,
half blood relatives
take half shares,
and in other countries
The son of your
While the number of emigrants from Europe has decreased drastically since 1960, the number of emigrants from the former Soviet Bloc has increased drastically, due to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990.
Is it land? Is it more than €10,000? / $10,000
Is it in Germany?
European Emigrant Heritage (EEH) has a policy not to answer such questions until we have a signed Agreement with all the heirs. The reason for this is to insure that we are paid for our work.
The motto of European Emigrant Heritage
What is EEH's Specialty?
Our specialty is conducting hands-on inheritance genealogy research in the former Soviet Bloc.
What if I sign the Agreement but my sister doesn’t?
When someone declines to sign, they are left out of the inheritance and the shares of the other heirs increase. You may have never heard of many of your fellow inheritors. They may be your distant relatives, or may be unrelated to you by blood because they are related to the asset owner through his father, whereas you are related through his mother.
A Review by an Heir Client
My phone number is unlisted and I never answer calls from numbers I don't recognize so its no suprise they showed up uninvited and unexpected at my door step. After James Hannum patiently explained the situation for over two hours I still didn't believe there was any inheritance for me but I figured I couldn't lose anything if I gave him no money. He said "don't give us money" and I signed up. A few weeks later over $35 thousand is wired into my bank account, money from an aunt of my adoptive mother. This aunt had never married remained behind in Russia and died there in 1954 she didnt write any will. i never heard of her until they told me. SoHow can I not give this company five stars? My only complaint is that I told them my grandfather was supposed to leave me some money but his last wife got everything, and they said they don't do that kind of case.
Carter Sanderes 2018
How do I know EEH will give me my share?
Neither European Emigrant Heritage (EEH) nor its associates ever handles the heirs' money. The administrator of the fund holds the money in a separate account he maintains solely for this purpose. He calculates the tax due, the calculation is ratified by the Collector of Taxes, and the tax is paid from the account, prior to calculating the genealogy companies' fees and your share. The administrator then sends everyone his cheque or bank wire.
EEH and its associate genealogy company each receive 25%, and you receive 50%, of the net inheritance. ("Net" means that all taxes, mortgages, etc are paid first, and then the 25% fees are calculated on the remaining, actual inheritance.)
Are there any guarantees?
EEH can give no guarantee that our attempt to recover your family's assets will be successful, because a mortgage, deed rights, or tax lien may be asserted against the property. What we do guarantee is this: WE WILL DO THE BEST WE CAN TO PROVE, MAXIMISE, AND EXPEDITE YOUR INHERITANCE, AND AT NO TIME WILL YOU PAY ANY MONEY.
What if the debts exceed the assets?
Let's suppose that the asset accruing to your family is a parcel of land worth €100.000. If the land is encumbered by a €30.000 mortgage and a €40.000 lien for back taxes, the net recovery would be €30.000, and the percentage fee paid to EEH and its associate would be calculated only on that €30.000. Supposing however that the back taxes were €120.000, so that there is nothing to recover. In that event, you would receive nothing, and EEH and its associate would receive nothing. Part of the taxes would remain unpaid, but neither you nor EEH and its associate would be responsible for paying them. One is not responsible for the debts of a deceased relative. As stated in this article, debts are not inherited: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/can-i-inherit-my-parents-debt_us_59196324e4b02d6199b2f127
Nor would you be responsible for any money EEH or its associate invested in working on the case. As stated above, case costs are EEH's and its genealogical company associate's business overhead, never reimbursed to them regardless of the results of the case.
How does genealogical research work, precisely?
Here is a typical example. The research of a Philip LEOPOLD uncovers that his original surname was LEPAR and that he was born in Kriukai, Lithuania, the son of Yehuda-Leib LEPAR. Further research discloses several LEPAR families in Kriukai, Lithuania and neighbouring villages.
In order to find the descendants of the original great-grandfather, Amiel LEPAR, European Emi-grant Heritage (EEH) hired the entire class of a professor of history in a nearby university, to locate the tombstones in question. These enthusiastic students walked hundreds of cemetery rows and transcribed over 8,000 tombstones! Even so, it would not have been possible to solve this case without an index, the Kovno-Slatis cemetery list, which was produced by the "Chevren Kadisha," the burial society of Viliampolka. This index does not cover the entire cemetery, but is an index showing the names, section and row numbers of those who died in the Ghetto between 1941and 1943, a period which contained many of the key deaths in the family.
Another example is a case EEH recently worked in Siberia. The following is taken from a letter written by James Hannum of EEH:
...Our original proof packet translated the words село (selo) and деревня (derevnya) as “village.” Because there is an important genealogical difference between a selo and a derevnya, the words should not be translated but should instead be transliterated into the Roman Alphabet and separately defined. According to Vladimir Dahl’s magnum opus, Explanatory Dic-tionary of the Living Great Rus-sian Language, which was pub-lished in 4 huge volumes in 1863, the definition of “selo” is “A place built and settled by peasants in which there is a church, and sometimes selo consists of many scattered derevnyas all belonging to one congregation and one church.”
The definition of derevnya is “Peasant settlement in which there is no church.” As you will note from the enclosed revised proofs, the phrases “Village of Petroselki” and “Village of Molotychi ” have been changed to “Petroselki Derevnya” and Molotychi Selo. Given that they are only three miles apart (Our Proof #25, Petroselki and Molotychi Satellite Map), the fact that all derevnyas had to belong to a selo so that its residents would have a church, and Dahl’s above definitions, we conclude that Petroselki Derevnya belonged to Molotychi Selo. Thus Grigoriy could say he resided in either place...
...It is obvious that Grigoriy KORNEEV and Grigoriy ABALMASOV are the same man. Consider:
Grigoriy KORNEEV and Grigoriy ABALMASOV are both shown in the above records having the same patronymic name, Kuzmin, meaning “son of Kuzma.” The given name “Kuzma” is now, and was in 19th Century Russia, a fairly rare name.
Grigoriy Kuzmin KORNEEV came from Petroselki Derevnya, Fatezhskiy Uyezd, Kursk Guberniya. (Our Proof #1).
Grigoriy Kuzmin ABALMASOV came from the Molotychi Selo, Fatezhskiy Uyezd, Kursk Guberniya. (Our Proof #2).
Since Petroselki Derevnya belonged to Molotychi Selo, a man from Petroselki Derevnya could say he was from either place.
Grigoriy Kuzmin KORNEEV and Grigoriy Kuzmin ABALMASOV both arrived in Siberia in 1896.
Grigoriy Kuzmin KORNEEV and Grigoriy Kuzmin ABALMASOV lived in the same tiny place, Belovodovskoye Settlement, Mariinsk Okrug, Tomsk Guberniya, Siberia.
After 1896, Grigoriy Kuzmin ABALMASOV never again used the surname KORNEEV, and the name Grigoriy Kuzmin KORNEEV never appears again in the record books.
In the 1916 Agricultural Census (our Proof #24), taken twenty years after the above Petition for Money, Grigoriy’s family is listed as ABALMASOV; there is no Grigoriy KORNEEV or Petr KORNEEV in the 1916 Census...
European Emigrant Heritage
Examples of proofs EEH (European Emigrant Heritage) presented in the above case:
You have reached the end of Page 2 of our Website.