Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine reunites reader with missing research folder

By Rosemary Collins, 7 November 2017 - 11:28am

Pauline Thomas contacted the magazine after seeing our blog post about her missing folder


Pauline Thomas with the missing folder

A Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine reader has been reunited with a missing folder of important family history documents after we raised the case in a blog post on our website.

Pauline Thomas (née Lyons) lost the folder, which contained old family photographs, birth, marriage and death certificates and research notes relating to the Lyons family, at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre in 2016, during the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE family history show.

“When I arrived home and realised I had lost my file I felt bereft,” she told WDYTYA? Magazine.

“It contained so much personal and treasured information about my family and family history."

As we reported earlier this year, the folder ended up among lost property at the WDYTYA? Magazine office, where we found it after WDYTYA? LIVE closed this year.

We made a blog post in June, hoping to find the owner of the folder.

In October, Mrs Thomas found the blog post and emailed us to claim the folder, so we sent it to her by special delivery.


One of the family photographs in the folder

Mrs Thomas, who is retired after working as a higher education lecturer for 19 years, said she was “absolutely ecstatic” to have the folder back.

“I was so delighted and relieved that I got those documents back,” she said.

“The certificates I could replace but the photos and other pictures were much more difficult.”

As many of our readers pointed out on social media at the time, it’s good practice for family historians to label their folders with their name and address, or keep important documents at home and only take copies out of the house.

Mrs Thomas added: “I realise that I was foolish to take the originals, but I was told at a previous workshop that it was a pity that I did not have the original photo of a 1920s wedding, so I took the certificates with me just in case I was asked to prove my relationship to the people I may enquire about.”

She also said that WDYTYA? LIVE had helped with her family history research.

By using an expert’s advice to consult local rate books, she was able to find out more about her great grandparents, who were former travellers who owned several properties in Hereford.

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