146-year-old Marriage Certificate Found While Cleaning; US Thrift Store Finds Right Owner

A thrift store in the US found a 146-year-old marriage certificate while cleaning a picture frame on July 26. Luckily, it is now reunited with the right owner.

In a surprising incident, a New Jersey couple who had married some 146 years ago surprised the netizens even in 2021. The couple reportedly had a love marriage on April 11, 1875, and had mutually decided to keep it secret. According to a report by People.com, a thrift store in the US found the 146-year-old marriage certificate while cleaning a picture frame on July 26. A staff member at the Hope Chest Thrift Store in Bolivia, North Carolina was found the certificate while cleaning the frame and asked his store manager if he had any idea about the dirty photo frame. The manager Pam Phelps, who was unaware of any such photo frame in his store, opened and was surprised to see the 146-year-old marriage certificate. Later, he took the photo frame to Hope Harbor Executive Director Karmen Smith, where they decided to dig out the fact behind the marriage certificate.

Have a look at the certificate:

Social media post drives Smith to right owner

“My brain instantly stretched into overdrive analysing of all the numerous speculations that this certificate would have been hidden,” Smith recalls to PEOPLE. “Was it a forbidden love? Maybe a confidential wedding to shield a baby born too soon? I had to know the answers.” According to ABC/CBS/CW+- affiliate WWAY, the document was so old that only the couple’s first names were visible. The first name of the couple read as– William and Katey. At first, Smith started to research about the couple through whatever sources she had. When she failed to figure out any concrete evidence, she decided to take the help of social media, Facebook. On July 27, Smith took to Facebook and appealed to her virtual friends to share the post as much as they could.

“Alright Facebook world, I need a miracle. We here at Hope Harbor Home and Hope Chest Thrift Store(s) need you to do your magic. Like, SHARE, and comment on this post and let’s see if we can make this happen!!,” Smith wrote on her Facebook page. She went to say a store in Bolivia when began to look at an old picture that had been donated, they found something strange. There was a photo frame with an image of a little girl putting flowers in a black dog’s collar. The words on the top read, “Christmas Number Illustrated London News 1889”. “That’s not the coolest part though. Upon looking at the back it was discovered that beneath the paper was a hidden file folder,” said Smith in her social media post. The file contained the marriage certificate of a New Jersey couple. The date of the vows was April 11, 1875. That is a true treasure and was obviously, at one point in time, protected, added Smith.

Great-granddaughter has no clue from where the certificate landed in Carolina

The post went viral after several local media covered the story of the couple. Luckily, the couple’s great-granddaughter, Irene Cornish, got the news through social media and contacted the store. After the store was satisfied with the answers given by Cornish, they handed over the certificate to her. Cornish said, “She has no clue from where the certificate of her grandfather landed in a Carolina-based store. I will keep the document for some days and then handover to the museum.”

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