Mystery solved: Owner of Campbell River wallpaper family tree found

CHEK

“Well Marianne, here it is.”

It was all smiles Friday as Cristine Lund returned a family tree she found by accident, to its owner.

“Oh my goodness,” replied Marianne Hall, as she took the roll of wallpaper.

Hall had her family tree back after her daughter saw the original CHEK News story on Monday.

“She was so animated and she said Mom, Mom, she said I just saw the news and there’s a family tree and it’s yours,” Hall told CHEK News.

READ FULL STORY: ‘Could be really important to somebody’: Campbell River thrift store purchase comes with surprise

On Monday, CHEK News spoke with Campbell River’s Lund, who bought the roll of wallpaper at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store a few weeks ago.

She was going to cut it up and use it as liner for drawers in furniture she was refinishing, but later found a detailed, handwritten, six foot (1.8 metre) long family tree on the other side.

“I mean, I just had this picture in my head of somebody’s grandma, you know, sitting down and spending hours trying to map things out for her family,” Lund said on Monday.

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Part of the family tree is shown. (CHEK News)

Lund wanted to find the family tree’s owner and contacted CHEK News.

Shortly after the story aired, Marianne’s daughter, who was watching in Victoria, knew immediately that it belonged to her mom.

“And then she said, and even the wallpaper that you chose, she said that’s so you, so I laughed,” added Hall.

The story behind the family tree – with dates on it going back to the 1500s – is that in 1999, Hall, then living in Benniworth, England, started the painstaking research and three years of work to finish her mother’s side of the family tree.

“I started by getting [microfiche] films. In those days that’s how it was done, is you ordered in a film and then you look way back,” she said.

The Mormon Church had kept meticulous records of people going back generations.

Since then, Hall and her husband had moved to Campbell River, bringing the roll of wallpaper with them. But after he died, she left their home and the wallpaper somehow got left behind.

It’s assumed the new owners took it to the Salvation Army.

When asked what she thought of the wallpaper ending up at a thrift store, Hall said, “Well, as I’m a great thrifter, to me it’s a great story.”

As for Lund, who really wanted it to get back in the hands of its owner, “I think it’s great.”

“Yeah, it was a surprise, and it was a surprise that the owner was so close. I’m so glad she got it back,” she said,

Hall says she’ll now make sure the family tree is shared with her family.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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