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Here's a holiday shopping idea you probably haven't thought of - giving your loved one a piece of family history. ABC7 recently learned about a website that's linking antique dealers and historians with artifacts tied to thousands of families, including some here in our area.

Greg Hampe is looking at his family's past – a picture of his uncle as a young soldier just after World War II. He stumbled on the photo listed on a website aiming to reunite personal pieces of history with relatives.

“My parents had a flood 20 years ago that pretty much wiped out their family photos,” said Hampe, a resident of Woodbridge. “Things we assumed couldn't be replaced.”

Scott Shay has traced his family’s history back centuries. His great great great great grandfather was a veteran of The War of 1812. What he found through the same website were documents related to that relative--Thomas Shay's war pension, significant now because he's trying to get the government to replace Shay's battered grave stone.

“These are actually proof,” noted Shay of Arlington. “Or partial proof of his service in The War of 1812.”

The items were for sale on Joy Shivar's website, which currently has items from antique dealers around the world that have links to 50,000 families.

“We've matched back Civil War letters, bibles, guns from the Revolutionary War, sword from World War I” said Shivar. “A lot of photos, year books.”

Shivar’s website is It’s described as a link for orphaned heirlooms and the families that cherish them.