12 July 2021

Treasure chest

It began with an unmarked, unremarkable box tucked in a corner of a garage in California. Inside, under miscellaneous letters and old high school yearbooks, was a smaller shoe box. Inside that, under old coins and a numismatist pamphlet, lay the 240-year-old diary of sailor John Claypoole, a Revolutionary War prisoner of war and later the third husband of the flagmaker known as Betsy Ross.

“It was wrapped in a piece of paper that said, ‘John Claypoole diary to be handled with great care,’ which was sort of funny we found it in a paper shoe box in a box in this garage,” recalled Aileen Edge, who with her husband uncovered the priceless item in her mother’s Marin County home in June 2020...

Growing up in Marin County, Calif., Aileen Edge always knew she was a direct descendant of John Claypoole and Betsy Ross, who was formally known as Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole when she died in 1836 at age 84.  Edge’s mother, Claire Canby Keleher, was the famous flagmaker’s great-great-great-granddaughter and fiercely proud of her family’s role in the nation’s birth.
The rest of the story is at The Washington Post.

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