Thursday, August 10, 2006

Family album recovered

This morning's Press Democrat has a nice story (page B1) about a family album being returned to its family. Stored among other stolen goods in the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, it was no longer needed after the case was closed, and some detective work got it back to a family represented in it. Thing is, they are not the original owners of the album.

The TV show "History Detectives" inspired the property clerk, Helga Ritter, to send the album to the Sonoma County Historical Society. It was then handed on to Tony Hoskins and Katherine Rinehart, genealogy specialists, at the Sonoma County Library.

Clues from identified photos and searches of old census records led the pair to Betty Jenkel Kniesche in San Rafael.

"While the album is in good hands it's still a mystery from whom it might have been stolen," states the article. "For Betty Kniesche, whose own father died in his 40s leaving her mother a widow with two young daughters, capturing a collection of her extended family tintypes was an uncexpected blessing."

Aren't we glad someone had the foresight to identify those pictures? And that the property clerk, the Historical Society and the county librarians were willing to follow through?

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