A thrift store in the United States has returned a 146-year-old marriage certificate back to the descendant of its owners.
The Hope Chest Thrift Store in Bolivia, North Carolina, was able to locate the couple’s great-granddaughter Irene Cornish and present her with a piece of family history.
Pam Phelps, a store employee, discovered the document while cleaning an ancient 1889 print of a little girl and a dog and discovered it concealed in the rear of the frame.
She quickly realized it was an 1865 marriage certificate for a guy called William and a lady named Katey from New Jersey.
Phelps and her colleagues launched a hunt for the couple’s living relatives. Their determination was to reconnect the document with its rightful inheritors.
People began messaging Cornish on Ancestry.com after the hunt was covered by local station WWAY-TV, certain that the pair William and Katey may be her great-grandparents, William and Katherine DeWorth.
Cornish, who lives in upstate New York, told WWAY-TV, “I haven’t gone on Ancestry in quite a few months.” “I moved on to look into a family relative on the opposite side of the family. And it just so happened that I had these messages.”
She claimed she had no idea how the document wound up in a thrift store in North Carolina. But said that some of her family’s belongings had been donated to thrift stores, which may be a plausible reason.
“Unfortunately, the Old Homestead, the person who inherited it in the family basically sold everything that was in it to a local thrift shop and ultimately lost the home,” Cornish stated.
Cornish said, “My mother died five years ago.” “In the region where I reside, I don’t have any… direct family. At times, I feel a little alone. So it was just reassuring to know that, yeah, these folks are reaching out in some way. I am linked.”
She also expressed her desire to one day frame the certificate and donate it to a museum.
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