Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Family Bible

No doubt, the Family Bible is an invaluable resource for genealogical information. Where else could you write the births/deaths as keepsakes for your family, that would remain through the generations? I fear that this legacy is slowly dying; both because of the reduced number of bibles! And because we feel there are so many other ways of recording our family history. But I wonder, what would happen if all the electronic records disappeared? How many of us have really Written this information down, stored away for our families to see in the next generations to come?

My family is like many Southern families to keep wonderful records hidden in the pages of the family Bible. The problem is Finding the Bibles!

For example... my hunt for Amanda STUBBS. Amanda married Frederick Christopher Loops in Kinston, Lenoir Co, NC. She is the American mother to my Loops family. She is a vital tie in my ancestry! And for 17years, I have not had her name. Amanda this, Amanda that on document after document - Christenings, random tax records, estate records, church records. Either she is Amanda ? or Amanda Loops (and the variations of Loops that no one could spell).

FINALLY just this year, I broke down and bought a subscription to Ancestry (my frustration that you must PAY for genealogical information not-withstanding... there were files I needed). And low and behold, the NC death certificate for her daughter, Eva Loops, listed Amanda STUBBS as her mother. Oh my elation! Seriously... I called my father. I emailed the ladies in our Loops family email list - various cousins and other researchers I bug once a year or so with random tidbits I've picked up. Hi everyone! I found her - Amanda STUBBS!!

And from there began the exciting adventure of locating the STUBBS line (which sadly ends with her father John.. and now I'm stuck again) and BUCK line - maternal (which also ends just one generation more with, you guessed it, John Buck). Hmph.

STILL. What a triumph!

So I go to my father's house in NC (3,000 miles away) for my sister's wedding. His house is recent storage to a big box of pictures and random files discovered by family, which he casually hands over... ooh, here's new stuff for you to look through.
OH MY GOD!! I jumped at the box with crazy fury, skipping through pictures, SO fast (knowing I'll soon get the scanner and really detail each picture), and there at the botom are two, heavy, thick bibles.

First one I open, I flip to the back, the somewhat plasticky type pages and there on the 2nd page: (ick, it's not very clear)...

Amanda... STUBBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My heart crushed.
Ordinarily I'd be SO excited to get this information. But after 17years of Not having it, years of searching, and my triumph this year of patience paying off and finally discovering the document that had her name on it..... Yeah, No So Excited at this painful clear STUBBS, right there on the page in my grandfather's handwriting. YEESH.

Still, the point of the story... Family Bibles are cool. And invaluable to genealogy research. Already on this same page of "Father's Family" are listed many siblings I do not have in my database. Ooh, the mystery. I'll have to email Martha about the Mewborn family; I'll have to email the genealogical society about the Webb family. Yay! I'm off on a new hunt!