Suitcase ‘tells an amazing story’

Ed Grisamore writes about a Suitcase [that] ‘tells an amazing story’ in the Macon Telegraph (Georgia). The suitcase was “discovered” by one Jennifer O’Kelley, and when I say “discovered”, I really mean she finally got around to opening it after it had been passed down through seven generations of her husband’s family and then ended up in the top of her closet (by way of the basement). What she found was pretty amazing alright.

Excerpt from the article:

It was just a coincidence she opened it on April Fool’s Day because everything inside was authentic.

For the past nine months, the contents have spilled onto her dining room table and into her life.

She found more than 2,100 papers, documents and receipts. The oldest is dated 1789 and is the last will and testament of Lt. John Camp, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Among the items she uncovered were receipts for slave purchases in the mid-1800s, directions for operating a cotton gin and letters to and from family members.

It was like opening a Georgia history book, said Jennifer.

“It tells an amazing story,” she said.

Some of the papers were so brittle she was afraid to touch them. She spent hours doing genealogy research on the Camp family at the Washington Memorial Library. She followed a paper trail that spanned almost a century. And, even though it was her husband’s side of the family tree, the personalities on paper were like kindred spirits to Jennifer, coming alive at her fingertips.

One heck of a genealogist’s treasure trove. Unfortunately some of the documents were stolen, but she made copies as any good genealogist should, and still has those.

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