An old family bible containing details such as births, marriages and deaths of your ancestors is one of the most treasured and useful heirlooms any family historian can hope to possess. Sadly however, once they have passed out of the family, they can be very difficult to trace. On this page are listed some useful finding aids and indexes. If you are seeking your Sherwood bible or have one which does not belong to your family, please send details for posting on this page, so that it may act as a Lost & Found bulletin board. Below I have also included the remarkable tale of how my own family bible was discovered in 2005 through the power of the internet. If you have an interesting story about your own Sherwood bible, please e-mail it to me at the address on my Home page. Click here for useful advice on preserving your old bible for posterity.
A useful website to find or advertise a bible is http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~familybibles/index.html It has links to the Rootsweb List Family_Bibles-L where you can seek or advertise a bible, and search its Archive for previous messages.
In the UK, The Family Bible Inscriptions Index can be searched by request
to Mrs Rena King, 16 Upper
Shott, Cheshunt, Herts, EN7 6DR. (up to 2 surnames free with SAE)
About 30 years ago, a man was searching for a spare part for his car in a
scrap yard on Merseyside when he came across some books in the boot of a car about to be crushed. Seeing that one of them was a tattered leather-bound
bible, he opened it to discover that in contained vital records for the
surnames Sherwood & Morgan dating back to 1820 in villages around Ashford & Wye in Kent, but no addresses to give a clue to the last owner. He kept the bible, hoping that one day he might find the family who owned it. Then early in 2005, he passed it onto his daughter in Norwich who had just got access to the Internet. She did a search on Google for the surnames & places mentioned which produced a unique match with the Sherwood tree on my personal website! How about that for the power of the Net? She sent me an e-mail entitled 'Great News of Biblical Proportions' and we soon established that the bible had originally belonged to my 3x great-grandmother, Elizabeth Sherwood. This kind lady did not want any money for it apart from the cost of P&P, so I am now the proud possessor of a bible which I had thought had not survived. How many other bibles are there waiting to be found?
The bible contains the following inscription:
"H & C. Morgan. Their Book presented to them by their Affectionate Grandmother, Elizabeth Sherwood June 28th 1876." (Elizabeth was my 3x great-grandmother and grandmother of Celia Sherwood who married Henry Morgan in 1875). Henry was a lay-preacher, and penned the following dire warning:
"Steal not this Book my honest friend
for fear the gallows should be thy end,
and when you die the Lord will say
'where is that book you stole away?'."
The last entry in the bible is for Celia Morgan born 18.2.1854. Died Sept 14th 1913 aged 59 years. Buried at Sheffield (Yorks) Sept 18th 1913. I would love to know how the Morgan family came to move to Sheffield, and how the bible ended up in a scrap yard on Merseyside.
Description of the Bible
A brown leather-bound bible, with a bad crack down the spine but otherwise complete and in good condition for its age. Octavo size 8 ½ x 5 ½ inches embossed on the front and back covers with “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge”. A King James Version printed in 1822 at The Clarendon Press, Oxford by Samuel Collingwood & Co. for the S.P.C.K. Sold by Messrs RIVINGTON, Booksellers to the Society, London. Price 6s. 6d. (See photographs of bible below). The following is my transcript of the handwritten entries in the bible:
Inside Front Cover:
Celia Morgan died March 2nd 1879
Buried at Loose, Maidstone in the County of Kent.
Morris F. Morgan died March 24th 1881 Buried at Loose, Maidstone in the County of Kent.
Inside Back Cover on 2 pages:
John Sherwood Snr. Aug 27th 1825
Sarah Ann Sherwood Snr. March 6th 1829
Elizabeth Sherwood May 14th 1848
Susanna Sherwood Dec 20th 1849
John T. Sherwood (my great-grandfather) May 10th 1852
Celia Sherwood Feb 18th 1854
Frederick Sherwood Sept 8th 1856
Sarah A. Sherwood May 21st 1859
Mary A. Sherwood Dec 19th 1860
Sarah A. Sherwood
Died Sept 27th 1861 Aged 32 years. Buried at Crundale in the
County of Kent.
John Sherwood Died Aug 24th 1878 Aged 52 years. Buried at Crundale in the County of Kent.
(all the entries on this page were
written in the same hand, possibly by Celia Morgan nee Sherwood.)
On the Reverse of Page: (in
a different hand)
Celia Morgan born 18.2.1854 Died Sept 14th 1913 aged 59 years. Buried at Sheffield Sept 18th 1913.
On the Next
Celia Morgan died
March 2nd 1879 aged 4 months
Morris F Morgan died March 24th 1881 aged 13 months & 3 weeks.
Herbert G Morgan died April 23rd 1889 aged 8 months & 1 week.
Buried at Loose, Maidstone, Kent.
Inscriptions inside Front Cover
Inscriptions inside Back Cover
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