Denver, CO-- For decades Ann Abbott-Stong has had a hobby of genealogy.
Some would even dare to call her hobby an obsession.
"For a long time, I have teased her that she spends more time with the dead ancestors than the live ones because she does so much genealogy," Ann's daughter, Christy Blakely, said.
But that hobby came in handy when Ann received an email from a stranger 1500 miles away. Attached in the email were pictures of a bible and the stranger asking if it belonged to her family.
"There was a hand written page and I recognized the writing right away," Abbott-Stong said. "I recognized that it was my family. I knew it was my great, great grandfather who gave it to his oldest son in 1868."
Somehow, the bible ended up with a different family years ago and recently was bought by a picker at an estate sale in Arizona.
The emailer notified Ann that the bible was going to be put up for auction in Arizona.
"My family was kind enough to say, 'I think we ought to go to the auction'," Abbott-Stong said.
They drove 1500 miles, and came up with a game plan.
"I am the one with the best ears, I guess is the easiest way to say it, so I was going to be the one doing the bidding," Blakely said she told her mom.
"So if someone says $525 then you'll let it go?" her mom asked.
Blakely said her father told her she could go up to $1000.
So the bidding at the 'Pot of Gold' Auction house in Avondale, Arizona began. But little did they know the auction house had a surprise for Ann.
They ended up closing the auction and giving the bible to Ann for free.
"She immediately went to tears as she opened [the Bible], there was a peacock feather that fell out and pictures inside that she recognized," Blakely said.
"There's pages of births, marriages and deaths in the bible. There's peacock feather, lace and hair," Abbott-Stong said.
And finally many of the answers she'd been looking for to fill her family line were right there in front of her.
"It really is a missing link. It means so much because I feel like we've saved a lot of history," Abbott-Stong said. "I could still cry about it."
The woman from the auction house in Arizona, who emailed Ann about the bible, says it took her nearly two days to find the family line that led her to Ann. She said she felt compelled to make sure it landed in the right hands.
They all agree, they feel it was those family members up above that made sure the bible made it back to Ann.