A woman has reunited 1960s love letters from a soldier with his lover, bringing her to tears.
Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York City, US, spotted the letters at a local flea market and decided to track down the recipient – who was nicknamed ‘Cookie’ in the letters.
The romantic notes were signed by ‘Bobby’, who appears to have been a soldier at the time, who tells his lover that he is thinking of her and sending love, as well as keeping her up to date with his goings-on.
Chelsey, who regularly trawls charity shops and flea markets to find heirlooms that she can return, couldn’t use the census to track down the address, so she took to Google to find Cookie’s real name.
After finding her on MyHeritage, she saw she had close family and was possibly still alive.
The blogger then contacted a close cousin of Cookie, who she was able to send the letters to.
“I saw them in the flea market and instantly knew these were something special,” Chelsey said.
“I always pick up love letters if they have a name or address on them.
“This was the first time I was able to give back an item directly to someone who was still living versus a descendant or close family member.
“I normally pick up items over 100 years old, but I can’t turn away from love letters. What makes these even more special is that the recipient never received the letters in the first place.”
Cookie was thrilled to be given the lost letters – which she had never received.
Her cousin said: “Cookie was an airline hostess in New York back then. She remembers this person and she’s in tears, according to my mom, who was FaceTiming her.
“Cookie said she is enjoying reading the letters with a big smile.”
Chelsey, originally from Washington DC, has made returning heirlooms from flea markets a hobby and she has sent back around 200 antiques to the closest family member alive.
Scrolling through public family trees on Ancestry.com, Chelsey is more often than not able to reunite the objects with their owner’s descendants.
Chelsey added: “My dad is a genealogist and growing up I saw him help families from around the world for free, not only help them with finding heritage but also help them fill in the missing pieces of their family history.
“Because I am an interior decorator, I thrift often and it always broke my heart seeing a family heirloom in some box at the flea market instead of with its rightful family.
“One day I just decided to use what I know of genealogy, what my dad taught me, and to use it to trace the items that I find at thrifts and flea markets back. Once I started I never stopped.
“I try and stay in contact with as many people to who I’ve returned heirlooms to as possible!”
Despite some of the heirlooms costing hundreds to buy and post, Chelsey never asks for a cent from the family members she returns the items to.
Chelsea said: “I spend my own money on this and postage and never ask for repayment from families.
“I have spent well over $1,000 as NYC flea markets are a bit expensive. I’ve also spent hundreds on postage.”