a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
It’s rare when we find a family Bible. It’s even more uncommon to find the bible in the home of a “cousin unknown, or in a state far from the family homestead. But these are true treasures. I take time to analyze the printing, and texture of the ink or pen, to put a time frame on the document; and through handwriting analysis I might be able to determine if the information was recorded at the time of the event, or by the same person.
In searching for information on the Stice family who migrated from Rutherford, North Carolina, to Schuyler and Scotland County, Missouri, later spreading throughout the Midwest and as far west as California, I found a true treasure. One of the family Bibles. No where did the Northeastern quadrant appear in any of the genealogical documents I was searching; yet, through tracing distant cousins, and broadening my search, I found nine pages of the family Bible copied and stored at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEGHS) Library in Boston.
Although the pages were titled “Daniel Columbus Stice Bible,” and I wasn’t interested in this Daniel Columbus, or the other four to six men named Daniel Columbus Stice in this family, I thought it best I take a gander, just in case something could be revealed.
Fortunately, this was the key to some vital research. There were a few pages each on Marriages, Deaths and Births, noting many members of this extremely large family. It made all the connections and had the direct lineage information we were seeking.
A letter accompanied the nine pages thanking the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Dept., of the NEGHS for “being record keepers.” According to the letter, the Bible made its way from California to Oregon and back to California, prior to the copies being sent to Boston in 1995 for safe keeping and public access. Also with the letter, came three additional surnames of Stice women and their addresses. A great way to meet new cousins.
It’s impossible to know where these types of family treasures will appear, but by turning every available stone, that impossible paper with just the right family clue might be uncovered.
Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist