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‘Heirloom hunter’ uncovers devastating WWII love story after being sent a photo album from 1900s

A woman who has become known for uncovering shocking tales behind antiques has laid bare a tragic WWII love story which saw a young couple meeting an early demise – after an anonymous person sent her a photo album from the 1900s in the mail.

Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York, often explores antique shops, thrift stores, and online marketplaces in an attempt to find old photos, diaries, letters, and documents – and she then tries to figure out who they belonged to and reunite them with their descendants.

Most recently, the ‘heirloom hunter’ received a decades-old photo album in the mail, and after doing some digging, she was stunned to discover that the people in the pictures both died at a young age in a shocking turn of events.

Tragic: A woman who has become known for uncovering shocking tales behind antiques has laid bare a devastating WWII love story, which saw a young couple meeting an early demise

Special delivery: Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York, made the discovery after she received a photo album (pictured) from the 1900s in the mail from an anonymous person

Special delivery: Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York, made the discovery after she received a photo album (pictured) from the 1900s in the mail from an anonymous person

Sad ending: After doing some digging, she was stunned to discover that the people in the pictures both died at a young age in a shocking turn of events

Sad ending: After doing some digging, she was stunned to discover that the people in the pictures both died at a young age in a shocking turn of events

Sad ending: After doing some digging, she was stunned to discover that the people in the pictures both died at a young age in a shocking turn of events

The thrifty 28-year-old often shares her finds online, where she has racked up nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram and more than 213,000 on TikTok, and her most recent discovery has left many people on the web horrified.

Going viral: The thrifty 28-year-old often shares her finds TikTok, where she has racked up more than 213,000 followers, and her most recent discovery has left many people on the web horrified

Going viral: The thrifty 28-year-old often shares her finds TikTok, where she has racked up more than 213,000 followers, and her most recent discovery has left many people on the web horrified

‘An anonymous sender mailed me a box of mysterious photo albums from the 1930s,’ she said in her video, which was been viewed 57,000 times.

‘Inside of the albums are photos, newspaper clippings, and postcards. The photo albums actually tell quite a sad story.’

According to Chelsey, who said she used MyHeritage.com for research, the album is believed to have belonged to a woman who was born in Germany but grew up in the mid-West.

The woman, who was not named, married her sweetheart, also from Germany, when she was 22 years old, but he was soon drafted to fight in World War II. 

However, after fighting in the war, he became very sick with tuberculosis and tragically passed away at the young age of 35.

Chelsey explained that he suffered from the illness for five years before his death, and he also battled heart failure for 10 years.

‘On his death record, it says he died from acute decompensated heart failure and pulmonary tuberculosis,’ she continued in the TikTok.

'An anonymous sender mailed me a box of mysterious photo albums from the 1930s,' she said in her video. 'Inside of the albums are photos, newspaper clippings, and postcards'

‘An anonymous sender mailed me a box of mysterious photo albums from the 1930s,’ she said in her video. ‘Inside of the albums are photos, newspaper clippings, and postcards’

According to Chelsey, who said she used MyHeritage.com for research, the album is believed to have belonged to a woman who was born in Germany but grew up in the mid-West

According to Chelsey, who said she used MyHeritage.com for research, the album is believed to have belonged to a woman who was born in Germany but grew up in the mid-West

The woman, who was not named, married her sweetheart, also from Germany, when she was 22 years old, but he was soon drafted to fight in World War II

The woman, who was not named, married her sweetheart, also from Germany, when she was 22 years old, but he was soon drafted to fight in World War II

Sad ending: However, after fighting in the war, Chelsey he became very sick with tuberculosis and tragically passed away at the young age of 35

Sad ending: However, after fighting in the war, Chelsey he became very sick with tuberculosis and tragically passed away at the young age of 35

The heartbroken woman eventually re-married, but unfortunately, she didn’t get her happy ending – as she died herself years later.

The heartbroken woman eventually re-married, but unfortunately, she didn't get her happy ending - as she died herself years later

The heartbroken woman eventually re-married, but unfortunately, she didn’t get her happy ending – as she died herself years later

‘After more research, I found through MyHeritage.com, that at 40, she married again and died just short of that birthday,’ Chelsey, who also runs a podcast called Time TravelHER, told NeedToKnow.online.

‘She didn’t end up having children, however, she was survived by a niece and nephews and was very close with them.

‘I’ve been trying to get into contact with them over the phone, and still haven’t been able to get in touch.

‘I’m hoping I can eventually get into contact with the family as I believe there are images of them as small children.’ 

The influencer explained to the outlet that many times, families think she’s ‘scamming’ them and are ‘hesitant to respond,’ but she’s still hopeful that she will be able to reunite them with the album.

The album included various photos of the couple and their family members. In one image, three people could be seen smiling while sitting on an old, vintage car. 

In another snap, a woman looked solemn while resting on some rocks, while in a third photo, a woman is featured playing the accordion.

'After more research, I found through MyHeritage.com, that at 40, she married again and died just short of that birthday,' Chelsey told NeedToKnow.online

'After more research, I found through MyHeritage.com, that at 40, she married again and died just short of that birthday,' Chelsey told NeedToKnow.online

‘After more research, I found through MyHeritage.com, that at 40, she married again and died just short of that birthday,’ Chelsey told NeedToKnow.online

She said that the woman didn't end up having children, however, she's survived by a nice and a few nephews, who were featured in the photo album as small children

She said that the woman didn’t end up having children, however, she’s survived by a nice and a few nephews, who were featured in the photo album as small children

A different picture showed a man lying on a camp bed, while another contained the same guy with a cigarette in his mouth.

'I've been trying to get into contact with them over the phone, and still haven't been able to get in touch,' Chelsey, who often explores antique shops and thrift stores in an attempt to find old photos, diaries, letters, and documents and then tries to reunite them with the people they belonged to's descendants, said

‘I’ve been trying to get into contact with them over the phone, and still haven’t been able to get in touch,’ Chelsey, who often explores antique shops and thrift stores in an attempt to find old photos, diaries, letters, and documents and then tries to reunite them with the people they belonged to’s descendants, said

Chelsey also revealed in the TikTok video that she’s still trying to figure out who sent her the album, while promising to keep her viewers ‘updated.’

The influencer insisted to NeedToKnow.online that she’s not try to gain anything from her hobby. 

‘I never make families pay for the heirlooms or shipment – I do this pro bono,’ she dished.

She previously spoke out about the joys of heirloom hunting, gushing back in June: ‘I love finding artifacts with exhilarating stories behind them. That’s the beauty of heirloom hunting.

‘It’s all about solving mysteries. It just proves that the simplest of objects, like a photograph, can have the most incredible story behind it.’

Many people became invested in the couple in the photo album’s devastating past, and they flooded the comment section of Chelsey’s video with their thoughts.

‘Holy cow! Mysteries all over the place,’ one person wrote, while another added, ‘Wow that is super interesting.’

‘This is so cool,’ said someone else. A fourth comment read, ‘I live for a good mystery. Sounds like some good stories.’

A different user commented: ‘I love figuring out things like this, this should be a show.’



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