Family history treasures are uncovered in antique wardrobe

A BIRTH certificate and a marriage certificate dating back 100 years have been uncovered in an old piece of furniture brought from a community store, writes Chloe Farand.

Rob Nix, owner of Salonix, a hair and beauty salon on Abbey Place,Selby, discovered the documents in the back of an old wardrobe he bought from the Community Furniture Store on Selby’s Bawtry Road as it reminded him of one his grandfather had when he was a child.

York Press: The birth certificate is dated 1908, and the marriage certificate 1932

York Press: The birth certificate is dated 1908, and the marriage certificate 1932

He was installing the piece of furniture at his home when the previously concealed metal tin fell down on him.

“I don’t know how it hadn’t been noticed before,” he said. “It must have fallen behind the back part of the shelf.

“First I thought it was a tin of ashes, then I thought it might be a little treasure. I was quite excited to open it.”

Instead Mr Nix found an envelope which contained the birth certificate of Ethel Annie Payne, born in 1908, and her marriage certificate to George Henry Fisher in 1932.

Mr Nix, who has said he is himself interested in his own family history, is now trying to track down members of the family to whom these certificates belong.

“I am a bit of a nostalgic myself. I like things with history and objects which have a story behind them.

“I’ve been slowly trying to build my family tree using the ancestry website.

“I love finding out what my family used to do and where I’m from.”

So far, he has not managed to find any more information and no one has come forward to claim it.

He has done research on the internet but his efforts have been in vain.

The Community Furniture Store is trying to help trace the person who donated the wardrobe.

Mr Nix said: “Since the wardrobe came from the Community store, the owner of the tin was probably from the region.

“I really hope that someone recognises the names on the certificates.”

The envelope which contained the certificates was addressed to Mr. G.H Fisher at The Croft, Stillingfleet, in North Yorkshire.

The metal tin is currently kept safe at the Salonix salon. MrNix said people had been curious to see the mysterious box and he is inviting anyone interested to have a look on the chance it may spark their memory.

If anyone recognises the names on the certificates or would like to volunteer in helping to determine its origin, they are being encouraged to get in touch with Rob Nix at Salonix on 01757 705151.

Published in The Press on Saturday 22nd, March.

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