Woman buys family photo album at flea market and finds out she is RELATED to them

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A TikToker who picked up an old photo album at a flea market and decided to trace the previous owner’s descendants was astounded to find that her distant relatives were pictured inside.

Chelsey Brown, 28, from New York City, bought the photo album featuring summer holiday snaps from 1927 at a flea market in the city.

After struggling to find any family ties to the quaint-looking photo album which only contained first names, the interior designer enlisted her genealogist dad’s help.

Together the pair uncovered an incredible coincidence in a 1930’s census which revealed that those pictured in the photos were their distant relations - helping them to link up with Chelsey’s distant cousins, four to six times removed.

“I traced the album back a few weeks ago using census records and I saw that the family member I was returning the album to had similar DNA in common with," Chelsey told said.

“It’s a VERY distant relation, but still cool, and now we stay in touch over email.”

Unfortunately, Chelsey found that the man who made the album was the son of some of the people pictured but he had died in 2003.

However, she was able to connect with her distant cousin and sent the album to her in the post.

Chelsey, originally from Washington, D.C., 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 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."

Social media users praise Chelsey’s genealogy work, writing: “So crazy! So cool to find out you’re actually related! That will be amazing to meet some distant relatives.”

Another user added: “I love this! I saved an old album with hundreds of beautiful photos from the trash 20 years ago and always wanted to find the family.”

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