A Heart Stopping Discovery – THE Family Bible

In the “About” section of this blog, I tell how it was a very, very old family Bible that got me started in genealogy about 17 years ago.  My mother handed me this crumbling Bible and said she really wanted to know how we are related to the people in the Bible.  It was given to her by her Aunt Mary Sue Thorne and we knew we were descended from the Foster family whose names and births were recorded on the pages.  I decided to find out and that led to the kind of research mania that only someone truly hooked on genealogy can understand.

I am currently working on our TURNER line and remembered that there was a mention of them in Dr. J.B.O. Landrum’s “History of Spartanburg County” published in 1906.  I pulled out my copy, that also came from Great Aunt Mary Sue Thorne, and started paging through it.  I found a letter tucked into the pages of the book that I had never noticed there before.  The letter was from my mother to Aunt Sue.  In the letter, she says, “Randy finally remembered to bring me the old Bible you gave me. It was in my cedar chest which is in his storage unit.”  My heart literally stopped beating for a moment.  Randy is my brother, and he was not very dependable at that time.  Unknown to us, he didn’t pay the bill for the unit and everything that was in that unit was lost to us.  I silently thanked my wonderful mother for badgering him to bring that Bible to her.  Had she not done that, that Bible would have been lost to us forever.

The Bible lists family records for William “Mill Creek Billy” Foster and his wife and children. It also lists records for Joseph Barnett, his wife, Lucy Wade and their children. There are also records for Micajah Barnett, son of Joseph and Lucy, his first wife and their children.

It wasn’t very difficult to find Barnett ancestors of Joseph Barnett. However, the mystery wasn’t solved, as they had no information linking our two families. The information about the Barnetts that is contained in the Bible was very exciting to the Barnett researchers, since this was the first source they had found for actual birth dates of some of the earlier Barnetts. Of course, they were also anxious to figure out why records for the two families are contained within the same Bible. As of yet, we haven’t been able to do this.  I did, only recently, find a link to the Barnetts through my Thorn(e) line.  I still have no clue as to why there are records for the Barnett family and the Foster family listed in the same old Bible.

A little about the Bible: The bible is in very poor condition. It is actually falling apart and is coming unbound. Many of the pages are crumbling.

The bible appears to me to have been rebound at some point in time. This rebinding appears to have been a “homemade” job. The pieces of cardboard that form the front and back covers have scribbling on them and are covered with thin pieces of leather sewn into place with heavy thread. The old and new testaments appear to have come from two different Bibles. As indicated from the copies of the old and new testament fly leaf pages, these two bibles have different publishers and different publication dates. Since the flyleaf page for the new testament is loose, it is possible that the page is from an entirely different bible. However, the styles of print and language used in the old and in the new testaments are completely different. This would indicate that two separate bibles were bound together.

Most of the Foster pages have come loose, but at least one is still attached to the Bible. Both of the Barnett pages are still attached. The only writing in the bible other than the family records recorded on the blank pages is the name “Malinda Foster” written on the top of one of the Genesis pages.

I am SO grateful this Bible was saved.  My next post about the Bible will be about the records contained it it.  Maybe someone out there has the missing information that will connect the Fosters and the Barnetts.

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2 thoughts on “A Heart Stopping Discovery – THE Family Bible

  1. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that
    over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

    • Thank you for the nice compliment. I need to get back to blogging again but it seems that my love is research and not writing about the research. I will get back to writing the blog soon. Again, thank you.

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