I am also a descendant of the famous Tessier fortune. It is my understanding that the estate was left in trust to the nephews and nieces of some great uncle of ours who had no direct descendants. The trust was held by the Catholic Church and was supposed to be turned over to the nieces and nephews once they reached their majority. Well, the church is still holding it in trust.
I know for a fact that members of my branch of the family have brought numerous lawsuits against the church to reclaim the estate to no avail. According to family lore there were millions of dollars involved as well as the house itself. Supposedly the church sells tours of the house in which they claim that no member of the Tessier family has ever stepped fourth to claim their inheritance;.).
The lawsuit that came the closest to success occurred in the great depression. All in all I think the odds on any of us seeing any of the money are very slim. The complaint at family reunions has always been that the church can afford better lawyers than we can. Still, I would be more than willing to split it with every descendant still living just as a piece of history. Millions of dollars, even conservatively invested, from the turn of the century would be quite a tidy sum now.
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