05 January 2011

The Kind of Family Bible that is the Stuff that Genealogical Dreams are Made Of

I was given "the" Family Bible by my grandfather, something for which I am eternally grateful.  But it is really not "old" as it was started by him, and unfortunately research has proven he fudged some of the dates deliberately to hide some family peccadilloes.  So while I am deeply, emotionally touched to be the designated recipient, it has lost a bit of its luster.  Especially when I uncovered this about a different Family Bible belonging to his grandparents:

Testimony given by my g-g-grandmother Phoebe (Ward) Chesley (1830-1928) in the Civil War Widow's Pension File for her husband the late Charles H. Chesley (1829-1905).  --
On this 3 day of July 1905 before me a Notary Public  in and for the county and state afore mentioned personally appeared Phebe C. Chesley who being by me duly sworn swears there is no public record of any kind of fact or date of my marriage to Charles H. Chesley as no such record was by law required to be kept in the state of New York at date of our marriage.  I have a truthful record of my marriage in our family Bible. . . .
The testimony goes on at some length where, among other perfunctory statements like a listing of personal property, she swears there are no remaining witnesses to the marriage nor is she able to contact the minister nor would he have records.

Attached to the sworn affidavit are two more affidavits witnessing to the veracity of the first.  These are from her son-in-law Warren Denslow Copeland (1866-1942) and from a J. O. Mylor who says his age is 44 and his residence as Milldale, NE.

Finally we have an addendum from the attesting notary --
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3 day of July 1905 by Phebe C.Chesley, claimant for pension and the two persons above subscribing.  I have no interest whatever in the claim for pension by said Phebe C. Chesley widow.  I certify that at the same time said Phebe C. Chesley presented to me a Bible which she said on her oath contained a correct and true record of her family.  I have carefully examined said book.  It appears to have been printed in 1855.  The record is legibly written with no change or alteration from its appearance.  I believe said record is genuine and was probably written near the dates the respective events therein recorded are said to have transpired.  As to the marriage of Charles H. Chesley and Phebe C. Ward the record recites as follows
At top of page under heading of marriages in an old and badly worn and faded Bible appears the following:
Charles H. Chesley (Born Dec 26th AD 1828) x Phebe Ward (Born Feb 6th AD 1830) - August 13th 1848
also a list of others of family with apparent date of marriage set opposite as above.
THAT'S what I am talking about!   The stuff that a Genealogist's dreams are made of.

Copyright © 2011 by Kevin W. Walker

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