Everyday Angels

Woman’s detective work reunites Charlotte family with old photos

Lynndy Clements’ grandparents on their wedding day Nov. 26, 1919: John Henry Clements, Sr. and Theodosia Perry Clements.
Lynndy Clements’ grandparents on their wedding day Nov. 26, 1919: John Henry Clements, Sr. and Theodosia Perry Clements. Lynndy Clements

So often we hear about the bad things that can come via the Web, but I had a gift come my way instead. I was located via the Internet by a stranger from Lancaster, S.C., who had come across some of my family’s history in an old trunk.

The lady who contacted me could have tossed those memories in the trash. Instead, she did a little detective work … which led her to me.

Sandra Plyler left me a message about some old family pictures and memorabilia she had traced back to my family.

The Plyler family is linked by marriage to the Perrys, my paternal grandmother’s family. (My grandmother’s brother, George Perry, married Nell Plyler, and Nell was Ray’s aunt. Ray is Sandra Plyler’s husband.)

Nell died about a year ago, and as Sandra was helping sort through her things, she found a trunk filled with photos, cards and more. She came across photos that were not of the Plyler family, so she assumed they were from Nell’s husband’s family.

The first clue was a letter written by my dad during WWII which gave her the last name – Clements. Then, when she went through the funeral guest book of Nell’s husband, George Perry, she came across several entries with the last name Clements. Since my first name, Lynndy, is unique, she thought she might have luck finding me with an Internet search. I’m so glad she did!

I wasn’t even aware these things existed.

About a week after I got the message, my mom and I hit the road in search of memories. What transpired over the next few hours was a lovely visit around Sandra’s dining room table as she helped us sort through a bunch of time-worn, black-and-white photographs as we tried to determine which photos belonged to the Perry family.

Two of the items Sandra found are priceless to me. The first one is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather taken on their wedding day, Nov. 26, 1919. When I was born, I only had one grandparent was still living – my dad’s mother, Theodosia Perry Clements. She was 64 when I was born and I had never seen her as a young woman.

The second one is the letter my dad wrote to his Grandmother Perry when he was stationed in France during WWII. This letter is what began Sarah’s journey to reunite these treasures with my family.

I still miss my dad so much, and as I held that letter in my hand and read his words, it was almost like he was there with us – if only for a moment. What an awesome gift!

Lynndy Clements, Charlotte