Can we find the missing beneficiary of an inheritance?

+8 votes

Today in the local Brisbane Times newspaper is a report on the Brisbane City Council resuming a block of land purchased in 1888 by a Mr Jans Sorensen. They are resuming without compensation because they can't find Mr Sorensen’s next of kin, successors or family members who would be entitled to compensation.

Can we find his missing beneficiary who is entitled to inherit the land and have compensation?

Anyone love the challenge of a Mystery with pot of Gold at the end of it.

This may be the [[Sorensen-2695|Jans Sorensen]] and he has at least 3 children but another one,  [[Sorensen-2696|Jens Sorensen]] profile started by Mark D. is more likely to be the man in question.


in The Tree House by Veni Joyner G2G6 Mach 2 (26.4k points)
retagged by Veni Joyner
Obituary - "he took up farming near Mt-Coot-tha"
Two children noted in this article - Richard Sorensen and Mrs.H Curtis, both of Ascot

(in additon to Mrs J Blake, Dalby noted in the earlier article)


Wife was Bertha Petersen, who died in 1924.

They arrived on the Lammershagen in January 1873 (names at bottom of one page and then top of next)
Son Richard died in 1946. His mother is recorded as Berter Pettersen in the death index.

Searching for Berter in the birth index shows Jens and Berter had eight children over the period 1873-1885

Jens had a sister who was 83 years old and living in the United States in 1940.

3 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
I've collated my contributions at



by Mark Dorney G2G6 Mach 6 (66.3k points)
selected by Veni Joyner
thanks Mark - well done!!  I hadn't searched for Jens only Jans.  Very interesting stories that you have found!
FYI I emailed the author of the article at Brisbane Times and Cr Nicole Johnston's office.

I won't pursue this farther unless either of them are actually interested, but with eight children I daresay he has living descendants.

And, yes, there are some interesting stories about him!
Mark, please keep us updated on this thread when/if you hear back from the Brisbane Times.
Hi Lisa

Brisbane Times weren't interested. Councillor Nicole Johnston wrote a letter to the Public Trustee with the relevant information but I believe they've done nothing about it.

Nicole Johnston forwarded my original comments onto Council who replied with a condescending email totally aimed at absolving themselves of any guilt. I honestly would have rather received no email at all.

I did identify three living descendants on the current electoral roll who apparently also have telephone numbers. I gave their details to Veni Joyner although she hadn't got around to contacting them when I last checked in.

I was on an extended holiday overseas shortly after this research and so didn't keep up with it - there's only so much rage you can maintain on someone else's behalf.
What a shame. My faith in my Aussie friends is wavering. I always depend on the inherent decency I've seen in every person I know living there or living here. Good on you for doing the right thing!
+6 votes
Would you believe I was heading out this morning and saw Cr Nicole Johnston at a local park!

I stopped to chat and she sounded keen to take it up with council.

I probably won't have time this weekend to contribute much to the research, however.
by Mark Dorney G2G6 Mach 6 (66.3k points)
That is surprising - what are the chances of that!
+5 votes

in 1941 Jens Sorensen (previously of Mt Coot-tha) died in the house of his son Richard Sorensen who then died in 1946. 

This funeral notice for Richard gives an indication of several things ...

SORRENSEN.— Relatives & Friends of Mr. & Mrs. H. C. Curtis & Mr. & Mrs. J. Blake & Family, Mrs. E. Stevenson & Family (South Africa), are invited to attend the Funeral of their Brother-in-law, brother, & Uncle, Mr. Richard Sorrensen, to leave his residence, 88 Dobson St., Ascot, To-morrow (Tuesday) Morning, at 10 o'clock, for the Toowong Cemetery.—JOHN HISLOP & SONS, Funeral Directors.

* Mr. & Mrs. H. C. Curtis Do not have children

* Richard is not married and does not have children

* "Mr. & Mrs. J. Blake & Family" - there are children

* "Mrs. E. Stevenson & Family" - Husband has died and there are children in South Africa

HOWEVER in the subsequent funeral notice of Henry Curtis it is clear that he, H.C. Curtis, does have children ... and names them... (None are Idde's children. She only married Henry Curtis 10 years before this his funeral and two of his three listed children are shown as married.) 

CURTIS.— Relatives & Friends of Mrs. E. W. Curtis, Mr & Mrs. J. H. .Curtis, Mr. & Mrs. E. N. Curtis, & Mr. E. Curtis, are invited to attend the Funeral of her beloved Husband, their Father, & Father-in-law, Henry Colston Curtis, to leave the residence, 88 Dobson Street, Ascot, To-morrow (Tuesday) Morning, at 11.30 o'clock for the Toowong Cemetery.— JOHN HISLOP & S0NS, Funeral Directors.

It is unknown what happened to Idde nor if she left a will.

by Veni Joyner G2G6 Mach 2 (26.4k points)
edited by Veni Joyner
Is there anyone in the South Africa project interested in chasing up the South African aspect to this mystery?

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