Can you support this B.C. person come across the descendants of the proprietor of this antique jewellery?

A male in Kamloops, B.C., is asking for assistance finding the descendants of the operator of a 209-12 months-aged piece of jewelry he not long ago found out in a neighborhood park. 

Travis Bussard, 39, suggests he identified the Georgian-era mourning pin whilst he was out metal detecting with his father around Riverside Park very last 7 days. 

“It’s in all probability the most remarkable detail I assume I have identified,” Bussard said. 

“Any working day you can come across a little something that’s aged with an engraving or inscription or a thing that relates to someone’s particular lifetime is really incredible.”

Engraved on the back is an inscription that reads, “Elias Jeffs, Ob Jan 8, 1814, Abt 47.” Ob is shorter for obit, Bussard states, which is Latin for day of loss of life. 

The back of a golden pin with an inscription.
The inscription on the back of the mourning pin uncovered in Kamloops reads, ‘Elias Jeffs, Ob Jan 8, 1814, Abt 47.’ (Travis Bussard)

Bussard claims he failed to know what the item was when he initial uncovered it, so he posted a photograph of it on a Facebook group for hobbyist metallic detectors like himself. 

Solutions came flooding in that it was a mourning pin — a piece of jewelry built to keep in mind anyone who has died. The item commonly has an inscription linked to the deceased and typically involves a lock of hair. 

‘A missing art’

Elisabeth Benamou, a Vancouver-based gemologist and mourning jewellery collector and trader, claims these kinds of items day again hundreds of years and ended up most well-known in the Victorian period.

“For me, it really is a passion because I just value so much the notion of remembering your liked types,” Benamou reported. “You know, it can be more of a sentimental attachment to this form of jewellery.”

Benamou suggests this particular pin wouldn’t have considerably resale value simply because of its situation and the reality that it truly is made from copper, not gold. Usually, she states, an product like this that has better withstood the examination of time could fetch about $500.

A small, delicate and ornate brooch.
This antique gold mourning brooch bought by Value Vintage in Vancouver is an case in point of a piece of mourning jewellery that has been effectively preserved. It is advertising for $499. (Value Vintage)

“It is really the magnificence of the workmanship as nicely. Most of these are so intricate,” she said. “It would price tag a fortune to make points that were made back again then … it can be also a dropped art.”

Benamou says the pin nevertheless has historic price, especially as a way for folks to bear in mind and commemorate their ancestors. 

In search of descendants

Bussard agrees, which is why he desires to locate dwelling descendants of the individual memorialized on the pin. Seeking responses, he also posted photos of the pin on a further Facebook team, Historic B.C.

Bussard claims he was “flooded with replies” from newbie historians.

So considerably, he suggests he has learned that prior to 1799, Elias Jeffs labored as a farrier in Essex, England and was buried at St. Mary’s Church Walthamstow on Jan. 16, 1814. 

Woven dark hair in the back of a small pin laid out on a marble backdrop.
Woven hair embedded in the back of a mourning pin found in Kamloops, B.C. Travis Bussard, the individual who observed it, needs the memento returned to the loved ones. (Travis Bussard)

Bussard says Jeffs experienced a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1794 and named right after his wife. 

He’s hoping to obtain out far more information so he could go the pin on to any of Elias Jeffs’s descendants. 

“It really is just it can be these a own memento,” he reported, introducing that there is hair woven into the back again of the pin. “I variety of figured it would be best if [it was] given again to the spouse and children.”

A piece of paper with cursive writing on it describing a will.
A copy of Elias Jeffs’s final will and testiment, shared with Travis Bussard who is looking for more data about Jeffs so he can return a mourning pin to his descendants. (Travis Bussard)

Additional discovered goods

Bussard states he is also curious to locate out how the mourning pin discovered its way to the financial institutions of the South Thompson River, specifically supplied that the day on the inscription is only two many years immediately after Fort Kamloops was proven in 1812. 

Metal detecting has been a hobby of Bussard’s for about 12 a long time when he 1st bought his devices with the intent of panning for gold. It sat accumulating dust on a shelf for a several decades until he pulled it out all over again to keep fast paced throughout the pandemic. 

About the a long time, Bussard claims he has observed all kinds of objects, particularly when the river is very low as it has been recently. These include things like gin bottles dating back to the 1800s and Chinese relics from when the railway was built.