Sarah Simmonds Family Bible (Sarah Cant)

Praise ye the Lord

On our way back from our last little trip in the Motorhome to Sussex, we stopped off at Chichester Sunday Car Boot sale, so pleased we did, cause I found this little gem of a Bible, with Simmonds family details written in. I always look inside Bibles when I see them at Car Boot sales because years ago people would write Births, Deaths or Marriages of their family inside.
Its about two years since I found one that was written in, and I’ve looked at dozens ! Worth the wait !

Given to his Mother on her birthday April 26 1884 by Alfred Simmonds
More Simmonds family info in the back pages
Now Mother has passed this Bible on to her son Thomas
Held up to window, Thomas Wright Simmonds address in writing on stuck page

I started by writing down all the information in the Bible and hoped to fill in the gaps !  and I have been very fortunate in finding information, not just on Ancestry but Find My Past and Family Search websites..a combined effort !
I managed to find the family quite quickly, so I started a Tree on Ancestry to enable me to fill in the missing people and names easier. This is the first time I have tackled a find this way, but thought that it may help to lead to a direct descendant of the family, so that this small treasure can be returned to where it belongs…
This is the link to the public tree that I have made, obviously I could carry on and on adding people and information, but I hope that what I have found out so far will be enough to find the family. Please take a look, its an interesting family….
 A link won’t work to Ancestry, but search for  Sarah Cant on Public Tree called 
 Simmonds Family Tree (Blog)

The big problem I had when researching this was the name of the owner of the bible..yes I knew her name was Sarah from the records but as to a maiden name I was stumped ! Even after searching every possible combination of a Thomas Simmonds (a fellmonger) marrying a Sarah in the few years that fitted, I was still stumped, so I concentrated on Sarah and what I knew ! I should have done that before, good lesson learnt.
I looked on all three sites Ancestry, Find My Past and Family Search, for someone called Sarah born 26 April in 1839, 1838 or 1837. Such a load to look through I was hoping for a miracle I think.
I also after reading the last page of the bible suspected that a mothers maiden name in the familt had to be ‘Wright’ as this was the name that Thomas her son had been given as his middle name, I expect many others have come across this before, when sons and sometimes even daughters are given family surnames from the female side of the family, to carry the name on.
So after long searching I decided to be more precise, so I made everything I put in ‘exact’ ticking the boxes, Sarah, year, Lincolnshire….and when I got to 1837 I had only 3 results come up on Ancestry ! and guess what one was born in Syston, Lincolnshire !! whoop whoop ! Sarah Cant, I had to have more proof, so followed up on the possible marriages of a Sarah Cant to a Thomas Simmonds and vice versa…nothing at all !
So I tried the parents Francis Cant and Mary. 
The names Francis and Mary were both good signs that I had the right ones, as Sarah children contained these names. After much searching I found a marriage in 1819 on the 13th March in Barrowby, Lincolnshire (Just 25 miles from Syston) between a Francis Cant and a Mary Wright !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
After having a little dance I did check the census details of them, and their family and it all fits. Phew what a relief and well worth all the searching.
To confirm all this when I was filling in the family tree for Sarah’s children, I came across details of Henry Simmonds her eighth child born in 1870, having emigrated with his wife and children to Canada and then Washington, United States in 1912-1914, and found his death record in 1938 in America, which gives his father and mother as Thomas Simmonds and Sarah Cant.
 Huge satisfaction in getting it all correct and without any certificates.

From records on Ancestry

I also came across a really nice image of the grave of Francis Cant and his wife Mary, Sarah’s parents. Thanks again to Ancestry records..Find A Grave…see below…..

Grave in St Mary’s Churchyard, Syston, Lincolnshire.
Thomas Wright Simmonds was Thomas Simmonds and Sarah Cants last child, and the last known owner of this little bible, he had written his address on the bible, see stuck page picture above, that I could only read with the light behind it, it says

147 South St, Bridport, Dorset, England. Thomas Simmonds is my name, England is my nation, Bridport is my dwelling place and Christ is my salvation.


The last word has to go to Sarah..she wrote……
Thomas Simmonds, given to him by his dear Mother for a guide and instructions for him through life, and I hope he will meet me and all the family in heaven when it pleases God to call us home. God is love.

Till next time then………………………..







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