Still searching for owner of suitcase

Edward Powell would like to return the suitcase to its rightful owners
Edward Powell would like to return the suitcase to its rightful owners

A GENEALOGY fan looks to have given up hope on ever finding out the identity of the owner of a suitcase that landed in his possession.

Hartlepool man Edward Powell came across a brown suitcase full of family history memorabilia dating back to the 1800s.

But four months after first appearing in the Mail appealing for help in tracing the owner, he is still no further forward.

He has tried searching the family history of Elizabeth Ann Powell, who is no relation, whose marriage certificate is inside the case but to no avail.

The 73-year-old says he has one last option of tracing the line of Elizabeth’s husband, James Crichton.

But he doubts this could come to anything and is thinking about donating the case and its contents to the Museum of Hartlepool.

Edward, who lives in the Hart Lane area of town with wife Carole, 69, said: “We have come to a dead end.

“It petered out in the female line and we have to go back to the 1800s to find a male line and go down that line. “None of the Powells I know around this area seem to be related to Elizabeth.”

Retired transport manager Edward, who has a son Stephen, 43, and a daughter, Catherine Hynd, 44, told the Mail in June an elderly woman who was a neighbour of Elizabeth’s, in the former Hampshire Street, had got in touch.

Edward, who has two grandchildren Alexander Hynd, 21, and Andrea Hynd, 18, said: “She told me when Elizabeth was buried a man turned up from Newcastle who said he was related but he went back up north. This was about 50 years ago.

“Nobody else has contacted me about Elizabeth Ann Powell.

“I could have a look to see where her husband came from.

“Otherwise all I can do now is maybe take the case down to the Museum of Hartlepool and see if they want to put it and the memorabilia on display.

“It’s such a shame for all these contents to go to waste.

“But I suppose it is an open and shut case.”

The case contains a diary dated 1902, belonging to a Nancy Powell, who may have been Elizabeth’s mother and 10 photographs taken by A Clennett of 25 1/2 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool.

Other contents include the birth certificate of James Crichton, dated February 11, 1904, the marriage certificate of Elizabeth and James, who were wed in 1938, and a birth certificate of a Jennifer Jane Crichton, dated May 8, 1944.

There is also a grey case containing a leather and gold cigarette lighter, a brown envelope containing a Premium Bond, a Bible inscribed “To Marion Crichton from Dad”, a book of the New Testament inscribed “Presented to Marion Crichton” and a book called Congregational Church Hymnal, inscribed “Miss Nancy Powell, 56 South Parade”, dated October 10, 1922.

There is also a picture of a young child named Ann, which was taken in Manchester in 1961.

Anyone who believes the suitcase belongs to them can call Edward on (01429) 426375 or email: manyuk@ntlworld.com