Author of 82-year-old message in a bottle identified by daughter
UPI News Service, 02/25/2020
A resident of the English Channel island Jersey said the author of an 82-year-old message in a bottle has been identified and the note will be passed along to the man's daughter.
Nigel Hill found the message in a bottle on the beach earlier in February and started searching for the family of the note's author, John Stapleford, who dated the note September 1938 and included an England address where the current residents did not have contact information for the previous residents.
The note was originally thought to have been written by a John "Jack" Stapleford who was born in 1890 and died in 1980, but Hill said he has since heard from a woman who identified the author of the note as her father, Jack Stapleford's son, who was also named John.
John Stapleford, Jr., died in 1994. He would have been 14 years old at the time the note was authored.
"We do know that his daughter picked up the story from the national media and verified his handwriting as well as confirming her identity with a practicing genealogist," Hill told the Jersey Evening Post. "She also mentioned to me that John had a full and long career at sea, serving in the Merchant Navy. John sadly passed away in 1994 leaving a daughter and a son."
Hill said he is sending the bottle and its contents to Stapleford's daughter.
"I'll post the bottle and the note to John's daughter next week. I know the story will live on in the family for generations and the note will make a fabulous family heirloom," he said.
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