Genealogy firm tracks down relatives of Irishman who died in


Birmingham City Council appealed for relatives of John Joseph Gill who passed away last month to come forward.

Now, RTE has reported that Irish probate genealogy firm Erin Research have made contact with some of the man’s surviving relatives.

John Joseph, who is believed to be from Co Roscommon, had lived in Birmingham for many years.

Mr Gill is believed to have been born in Roscommon on August 31, 1936.

He lived in residential and nursing homes from January 2008 and died at Orchard House nursing home in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, on November 25.

Ian Coxhead of Birmingham City Council said that there was very little information about Mr Gill as they launched a social media appeal to try to locate family members in a bid to respect his funeral wishes.

“We believe he was a brother to, maybe, eight other siblings, but apart from that we know very little,” Mr Coxhead told RTÉ’s News at One.

“I was told recently that he had no children and was never married, so we’re looking for his siblings and we’re trying to ensure that we meet the last wishes of John, and his family, in respect of how his funeral is dealt with.

“We’ve had a great deal of interest from people who want to assist and have looked for birth records and family information, but they haven’t been able to come up with anything concrete.”

Birmingham City Council planned to progress with funeral arrangements if no relatives were located.

“We’re aware that Mr Gill wished to be buried, so we will carry out a burial within the Birmingham area,” he said previously.

“My experience of dealing with Irish families, and the passing of Irish people, is that, generally, family like to be involved and have on occasion taken over the funeral arrangements from ourselves.

“Which, if that is their wish, we would gladly assist with”.

Mr Coxhead added that the appeal was the last opportunity to identify Mr Gill’s siblings and involve them in his funeral arrangements.

“If someone comes forward after that, we’ll be able to say we made every effort possible and at least be able to tell them what arrangements were made for the funeral,” he explained.

“It’s exceptionally sad and, unfortunately, it’s not an unusual story. People do lose contact with relatives through movement, decisions, and family make up and break up. But, sadly, we are unable to find family on some occasions.”


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