William Devine has found a way to profit from his skills as a genealogist. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently declared him the rightful owner of a piece of land near Nantucket Memorial Airport that the town had improperly seized in 1968.
When the town took the property by eminent domain, it was listed as "owners unknown" on local tax rolls, even though there was an identifiable record owner, Lewis Popham Carmer.
Devine, a genealogist who specializes in finding flaws in land titles and then splitting profits with heirs who make successful claims on the properties, did not do that with the land near the airport. Instead, he bought the property outright from Carmer for $7,500 in 1985. [Link]