Author Topic: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!  (Read 3868 times)

Offline barmaid1971

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The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« on: Sunday 01 May 16 14:48 BST (UK) »
A couple of years ago whilst looking for some papers (his birth certificate), my elderly grandfather decreed they thought they were in a locked tin box.  After the best part of a day spent with a hacksaw trying to get the lock off, the box was at last opened to reveal its "treasures". 

Inside was:

a gold "railway" 15 jewelled pocket watch dated 1908 from America with the inscription "AS" (of no family significance whatsoever).
a white metal pocket watch from America
a gold ladies wristwatch dated 1910 from America
a George III silver coin, well rubbed with a hole drilled in it (presumably to be worn as a pendant)
a gold sovereign dated 1913.

No one has any idea from whence these articles came.  Indeed, they have been in a locked box for probably the best part of 50 years. We are fairly certain none of his family ever visited America and none of the items have ever been mentioned.  However, they clearly came from his family and they were clearly treasured enough to be put in a locked box (although the key is long gone).

Thus I have a number of theories:-

the proceeds of a robbery committed by Grandad's less than honest uncle (although his normal MO was other people's pigs and chickens - I dont recall he was ever nicked for housebreaking).
payment made for services rendered (to his grandfather for board and lodging when he ran a pub NOT those sort of services you dirty minded people  ;))
Given to Great Grannie by Grandad's putative father (no he doesn't know either)

All in all its a bit of a mystery.  So what family heirlooms do you have that are provoking some thought as to their origin?!
Plant - Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire
Bothamley, Pateman, Roffe,  - Northamptonshire
Thurlby, Baker, Kilbon - Lincolnshire
Hurry, Bishop - Cambridgeshire
Pretty, Coulson - Rutland
Shaw - Nottinghamshire
De Rippe - Rutland, Middlesex, Carlow

Offline 3sillydogs

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 01 May 16 14:54 BST (UK) »

What a find!!  More mysteries to unravel. Even if they are not heirlooms, they are obviously part of your grandad's history. I am not sure from your post if he is still living, but if so, perhaps he can shed some light on the subject ;)

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Offline barmaid1971

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 01 May 16 14:58 BST (UK) »
Both he and my Nan are still with us and 90 odd years young, but neither of them can remember a thing about these items.  We imagine that they probably came from Grandad's mother's (who died in 1965).  Unusually my mother knows nothing about them.  And my mum knows about EVERYTHING!!!  lol
Plant - Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire
Bothamley, Pateman, Roffe,  - Northamptonshire
Thurlby, Baker, Kilbon - Lincolnshire
Hurry, Bishop - Cambridgeshire
Pretty, Coulson - Rutland
Shaw - Nottinghamshire
De Rippe - Rutland, Middlesex, Carlow


Offline Treetotal

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 01 May 16 15:00 BST (UK) »
How intriguing....I would have to do some digging to find out where they originated from...could they have been left in a loft by previous house occupants? maybe tracing the history of addresses that the family had lived in might provide clues.

My OH's Grandma who was born 1898 had a black decorated police truncheon with  "VR 1859" on a gold design and "C.S. Todd" inscribed on it. I haven't found a family connection and no-one in the family knows anything about it's history.  I took it to the "Antiques Roadshow" about 15 years ago and they valued it at 100 and said it was probably never used for it's intended purpose.

Carol
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Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 01 May 16 15:04 BST (UK) »
Did you have any sailors in the family?   either Merchant Navy or Royal Navy,   they tended to bring exotic presents home.
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Offline ..claire..

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 01 May 16 15:12 BST (UK) »
My family heirlooms

I have my Gt Grandmothers wedding dress. My Gt Grandfather was in the Royal Navy and he brought Maltese lace home to decorate the dress.
 
I also have her poetry book given to her by my Gt Grandfather, and in it are lots of pressed flowers they collected together.

The dress is so tiny, it fitted my daughter when she was 10 years old.

They are beautiful things

claire
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Mocquard ~ London, France
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Offline Rena

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 01 May 16 15:23 BST (UK) »
I'm inclined to think those items are from the Great War era and either given as a token of thanks by a hospitalised American soldier or as some form of payment.  Or even found in the pub and not claimed by its owner.

P.S.   I've just seen a photo of a train carrying USA troops to Southampton via Liverpool - maybe an ancestor worked on the railways and those were some of the items found.   

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/listing/object-205011057
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Offline barmaid1971

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 01 May 16 15:26 BST (UK) »
Carol - I suddenly thought you might have cracked it.  But when I thought back over their houses, I realised that for various reasons that wouldnt work!  At least you have a name with your truncheon!  (Although that might make it even more frustrating).

ScouseBoy - the only merchant navy sailor was on my nan's side.  Her father served briefly during the Great War.  But she is certain they did not come from him.

Claire - Blimey, how lucky are you?  What beautiful things to have.  I am ever so slightly green...........

Rena - possibly.  Grandad's Uncle was killed in the GW (in Belgium in 1917).  His Will left everything to his mother.  I wondered if this stuff was amongst his possessions.  GGrannie gave up the pub in 1940, I think so that is also possible.
Plant - Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire
Bothamley, Pateman, Roffe,  - Northamptonshire
Thurlby, Baker, Kilbon - Lincolnshire
Hurry, Bishop - Cambridgeshire
Pretty, Coulson - Rutland
Shaw - Nottinghamshire
De Rippe - Rutland, Middlesex, Carlow

Offline jaybelnz

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Re: The Family Treasure Chest is opened!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 01 May 16 22:50 BST (UK) »
The flat wooden box that I found at the top of her linen cupboard in my grandmother's house when I was moving her to live with my Mum, is probably what started me off researching my family.

Her Marriage Certificate - which also noted the date and place of her parent's marriage!
Her Birth Certificate - and Grandad's Birth Certificate, (Baptism also noted and signed by the Minister)
My Mum's Birth Cert, and also her sister's
My Dad's Birth Cert, and some work references of his
My Parent's Birth Cert.
My Parent's Marriage Certificate
Her Father's Burial - receipt for the plot (in perpetuity)  with Number and location noted.
All my great grandfathers writings - poetry and speeches - mostly re Robert Burns
Really old photos, Awards for Best Pikelets, best scones, best sponges, best flowers etc etc
School Awards - Mum and her sister.
Sundry newspaper cuttings re family
A handwritten letter to her re the death of her father, from a close friend, Walter Nash, A Govt Minister of Finance at the time, who later went on to be Prime Minister Of NZ
And lots of other bits and pieces.

If only she had still had her wedding dress, or perhaps I should say the dress she was married in, like Claire, and when I was 12, it fitted me!  She was pretty tiny, as I was -  it was brown and cream striped silk, a frilly high neck, buttoned down the front, where the stripes were diagonal and puffy sleeves.

Never did find out what happened to it though, one of her sisters I would expect, who came to pick up some linen and stuff she'd asked that I put aside for her...  Grrrr -pleased that she couldn't climb up into that top cupboard and spot that box - I suspect that would have gone too!

Amazing starter kit - just waiting to be found by me! Thank You Nanny!
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