Looking for descendants to claim momentoes
An Alpena man and his family are hoping to return a cardboard box filled with old Bibles, death certificates, newspaper clippings, vintage photographs and other documents to its rightful owners.
The family history materials of two long deceased Alpena residents, Wesley L. and Dorothy (Miller) King, were discovered recently in a filing cabinet at a home in Detroit. Alpena resident Brad Wheelock said his nieces came across the box while clearing out the home of their parents following their deaths. He theorizes that their father and his brother-in-law, Paul Shanaver, bought the filing cabinet used in Alpena.
“My wife’s brother lived in Detroit. He always came up to Alpena and went to auctions here,” said Wheelock, by way of explaining how the papers of Wesley and Dorothy King came to be in his possession.
“It sure would be nice to get this back to the family,” he said, adding that he appreciates the commitment of his nieces in trying to return the materials rather than just pitching them in the garbage.
Wheelock first approached the Northeast Michigan Genealogical Society to see if there was anything they could do to help track down descendants and reunite the materials with a family member of the Kings. NEMGS President RoseMarie Guthrie suggested running an article in The Alpena News, he said.
Death certificates indicate the couple in question died in the 1980s in Alpena. Included among their papers are multiple receipts from insurance companies, with their grandson, Kenneth James Canup, listed as a beneficiary.
The box also contained a 1914 birth record and 1928 student award for Dorothy King, a 60th anniversary announcement from the newspaper for Leslie and Esther Miller, a family register and several unlabeled photographs. One of the aged Bibles also lists numerous old names, presumably of family.
If anyone has a relationship with the King family, they are asked to call 989-356-4634.