March 29th, 2020

Family treasures reunited with rightful bearers

By Gillian Slade on March 9, 2017.

Peggy Logan is reunited with a long lost suitcase holding precious family memorabilia, as Ryan and Jody Davison, who found the suitcase, look on. The meeting took place in the office of the Medicine Hat & District Genealogy Society, which played a key role in finding Logan and other members of her extended family.--NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

Within hours of a recent story appearing in the News about a mysterious suitcase found containing historical family treasures, there were emails from family members rolling in.

This week, Peggy Logan, whose mother’s initials are on the suitcase, was reunited with the items her family had safeguarded all the way back to 1887 after leaving Norway.

“It’s very emotional. It’s very nice to see it again. Thanks to Ryan and Jody who were nice enough to rescue it,” said Logan as she carefully lifted items up and showed them to her granddaughter Jade Mautner.

Logan was not actually aware the suitcase had been lost. It was always safely stored and when she moved from the house where it was found she was not aware it had been left behind.

“I thought it was somewhere safe and obviously it was, because Ryan and Jody have been good enough to keep it safe for us,” said Logan.

Ryan and Jody Davison had been renovating a home on 10th Street SW when they discovered the suitcase. When the contents did not mention anyone they could currently connect to they wondered what it would take to find the rightful owner.

It was a column in the News by Lloyd Robinson of the Medicine Hat & District Genealogy Society that attracted attention and had people responding. Lloyd’s wife Val did significant research into the family history from clues such as an old family bible in the suitcase. Within hours of the News publishing the story, emails were rolling in from Washington, Edmonton and Medicine Hat, said Val. There were four different family lines emerging.

“It was so interesting because of the fact we did not know who this belonged to,” said Lloyd.

None of the names within the suitcase were familiar names in Medicine Hat. Val was able to determine Logan was the family member to whom the suitcase belonged by tracking published obituaries including that of her mother.

Cousins of Logan’s, Bob and Vicki McCaig, were present when Logan was reunited with the suitcase. Bob was aware there was a suitcase but thought it was lost and had forgotten about it.

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