Monday, January 2, 2012

Found:: 1879 Obituary, Bibles Sometimes Hide Surprises, Nice Surprises

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

In the past I have done a hunk of family research for my nephew, and his mother, my ex-sister-in-law, Deb.  Lately she has taken some interest in adding to my foundation of work.  She is also a RVer, on the road for the coolish months.  This fall she and hubby Ron stopped in Kentucky and Tennessee to visit family and friends.  One of their stops was in Adair County, Kentucky.  Deb's father's clan was from Adair County Kentucky and family is still there.

Deb emailed me while they were there and we chatted about what she might do research wise while she was there.  During a visit with a cousin a mention of a family bible was made.  I knew from my previous research that there was a family bible. I actually found a transcription of it in a book at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The way I remember our discussions that evening, I urged her to contact her cousin again and inquire, was this cousin open to allowing Deb to photograph the Bible.  Deb was indeed able to obtain photos of the bible pages, including the title page.

Deb emailed me the photos that evening, I was time challenged, we were packing Tana for departure within hours.  The photos were dark, eventually I would lighten them all a bit with the photo editing software.  But, on first glance I knew this was not the bible that I had the transcriptions for.  This was not the Marshall Bible, this was the Clinton A. Walker Family Bible.  The birth page had Clinton's birthday and wonderfully, it also had his "reborn" again date.  It has the dates of birth of his two wives and of his children.  The marriage page has the dates of his marriages to both of his wives. On the Memoranda page is recorded Clinton's parents birth information, all new to me.  The death page did not have as many entries, but, each one was another piece of information well appreciated.  These pages contain many dates and names I do not have in the data base, some prior to when I expect I will be able to find any vital records.

Then there was this blank page (as in no printed heading) that was filled with more names, dates and fabulous little tidbits like, "house burnd June 9th 1889" and "snow 27 inches deep Feb 3rd 1886", and one lone newspaper clipping, an obituary for Clinton's first wife, Susan.

I had found Susan in my research, she was on my data base, Susan H. Beard.  Susan's full name and supposed place of birth came from information provided on the death certificate of her daughter.  Not much else had been discovered about Susan, I could estimate a year of birth from the 1870 census enumeration.  And, now, we have a copy of Susan's obituary, a bit dark, but we have it.

Did not take me long at all to import this image into the photo editing program and start tweaking, see:

Oh, my, her full date of death, cause of death, fact that she is survived by husband and 3 young daughters, and yummy, her parents names!  In my research anyway, there are not a lot of old newspaper clippings, I was so happy to see this one, and so well preserved, no frayed edges, and not faded away either.

It also did not take long for me to transcribe the obituary.  And, now, the image and the transcription have been added to the data base.

Of course, I informed Deb that she had found a:


Yes, indeedy, sometimes there are wonderful tidbits and surprises hidden in your family bibles.  And, sometimes they are a gold mine.

* Susan H. Beard Walker's obituary publication data is unknown as this time, thanks to Deb for granting permission to use it here at Reflections.



Kathryn Smith Lockhard said...

Congratulations on your wonderful find. I share in your joy.

Carol said...

Note from Carol: This comment somehow posted to another post, and since it really belongs here, I am doing a copy and paste to include it in this discussion:

Deborah Achtenberg said...
Carol thanks so much for your loving work and expertise for my family. It is so awesome. I promise to learn more and "get it" someday in the near future hopefully with your guidance.
Deb ("sis-in-law") Achtenberg

Apple said...

It's always great to think you're going to get one thing and instead find something you knew nothing about!

I have a distant connection to Walkers in Owen and Scott Counties, a long way from Adair but if her Walkers lead back north I can hook you up with someone who has done a lot of research on his family history. Part of the fun of blogging is looking for connections.

Ginger Smith said...

Wow, what a great find!

Lynne Carothers said...

Very cool discovery! I love genealogy. It is a fascinating exploration filled with puzzles and dead ends and unexpected new pathways!

Susan Clark said...

Such joy! I love the stories of finds. Keeps me encouraged.

Jo said...

Congratulations on your nice surprise!

Carol said...

Appreciate all the nice comments on this post, the puzzles, the stories of finds, the nice surprises, keep all us family researchers on the hunt! Have a wonderful day.