A Wrangle Over Island Title Hunts - Boston Globe (1983)
Lincoln Perry remembers it well, that autumn Saturday back in 1980. He was relaxing in his lounge chair, watching television at his home in Bremerton, Washington, when the phone rang.
The caller was from Massachusetts. He wanted to know the name of Perry's late father and grandfather and where they had lived. "A few other questions were asked and then all of a sudden I was the owner of some property in the Greater Boston area," Perry recalls.
The caller was William J. Devine... Relying on public records, Devine has been able to find landowners declared missing by local municipalities and the Land Court.
Widow's Deal for 4 Lots - Boston Herald (1989)
Helen D. Hobday, an 80-year-old Orleans widow and heir to four lots of Nantucket land, was found by...Bill Devine last May..."My grandfather got the four lots in 1874, but no one knew it...And I never would have known if it wasn't for Mr. Devine."
Nantucket Loses Eminent Domain Case - Cape Cod Times (2007)
The state's highest court ruled yesterday that the town was wrong when it snatched a parcel of land near the airport in 1968... "As a matter of fundamental fairness, a town cannot take property, declare the owner to be unknown, and only then investigate whether there is anyone to whom damages can be paid," Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote... The town barely made any attempt to find Carmer, the real owner, beyond checking its own flawed tax records, Marshall said, affirming an earlier Nantucket Superior Court decision by Judge Daniel Ford. But Devine, a genealogist, found Carmer.