When you go to an Antique Fair or a Fleamarket there are always thousands of gorgeous old books, a few years ago I found a small Bible with a family’s birth dates inside, what a gem. But last weekend at the Antique and Collectors Fair at the Bath and West Showground I came across this very large heavy old Bible and was amazed when I carefully opened the front cover! Not just one page of names but three! I just couldn’t leave it there, so after a bit of haggling I bought it, the seller was very kind after I explained I would research the family and hopefully try to get it back to a descendant. So here it is, it is so fragile as you can see from my photos, the detached pages are very thin just like tissue. I now have it in a storage box so I won’t handle more than necessary.
Elizabeth Weller Her Book Easter Monday March 28 1785.
As usual I have compiled a family tree on Ancestry, I started my research with the last entry Julia Lane 1870-1950, adding her siblings and as much as possible from the writing in the Bible, took me a while to work out who her Grandparents were on the Walker side, but as so often happens one record I found held the key. Julia’s Mother Ann Walker in the various census records I found all said born in Compton, North Leech or just Gloucestershire but on the 1911 census, although the transcription said Gloucestershire, there was a little footnote on the actual census ‘Ann Lane born Parish Compton Abdale, Gloucestershire‘ showing that it always pays to actually look at the record and not just the transcription! So then I looked specifically in the Gloucestershire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1913 on Ancestry and came up trumps! Her parents were Richard Walker and his wife Charlotte.I already knew Ann’s birth date 22 February 1831 from the Bible, she’s no 16 in my transcription below, so being baptised on 20 March 1831 fits perfectly.
I found that Richard Walker, no 6 in my transcription, had married Charlotte Candle on 12 October 1820, Shipton Oliffe and Shipton Sollars, Gloucestershire. I was then able to add the couple’s other children from the Bible entries (no’s 12-17 in my transcription) Then it was easy to add all the other names and dates. Finally ending with Elizabeth Weller herself.
Just to handle this Bible has been very emotional for me, thinking of Elizabeth writing her first entry in here on the birth of her first child Ann, just before the new year in 1787, 232 years ago, how amazing is that!
1. Ann Weller Walker Born December 29 1787 About a leven Oclock in the day.
2. William Walker Born April 12 1789 About eight Oclock in the morning.
3. Hannah Walker Born April 15 1792 About ten Oclock at night.
4. Richard Walker Born December 8 1794 About foure Oclock in the morning.
And died October 24 1795.
5. Mary Walker Born October 26 1796 About six Oclock in the morning.
6. Richard Walker Born February 5 1800 About seven Oclock in the morning.
7. John Walker Born June 11 1803 About three Oclock in the day.
8. Sarah Walker Born June 10 180? About a quarter past midnight
And died September 22 1809.
9. Sarah Walker Born July 13? 1810
I just absolutely love that Elizabeth has even written down her childrens times of births in this book, such a beautiful family history record to have.
10. E Walker (nee Weller) Died January 23 1819 age 51. Elizabeth Her Book
11. John Walker Died June 12 1820 age 58. Elizabeth’s husband.
5. Mary Hood? (nee Walker) Died November 27 1828 aged 32.
9. Sarah Walker Died August 22 1831 aged 21 years.
1. Ann Weller Newman (nee Walker) Died June 27 1832 aged 44 years.
3. Hannah Claridge (nee Walker) Died June 19 1838 aged 46.
2. William Walker Died June 11 1851 aged 62.
6. Richard Walker Died October 21 1853 aged 53.
Richard Walker 1800-1853 then took ownership of the Family Bible. He is no 6 above, he married Charlotte Candle on 12 Oct 1820, Shipton Oliffe and Shipton Sollars, Gloucestershire.
Page 3 below are their children.
12. John Walker was Born September 11 1820
Died December 8 December 1820.
13. John Walker was Born May 24 1822.
14. Richard Walker was Born September 3 1824.
15. William Walker was Born May 1 1828.
16. Ann Walker was Born February 22 1831.
17. Thomas Walker was Born September 16 1833.
Then after Richard Walker died his daughter Ann Walker, no 16 above, took ownership of the Family Bible. Ann married Edwin Lane 2 Aug 1859 at St Martin, Birmingham, Warwickshire.
The second part of Page 3 below are their children.
18. Edwin Lane Born December 21 1836.
16. Ann Lane (nee Walker) Born February 22 1831.
17. Robert Lane Born July 30 1858.
18. Edwin Lane Born September 24 1860.
19. William Lane Born November 23 1862.
20. Annie Lane Born September 15 1863.
21. Ellen Lane Born July 5 1867.
22. Julia Lane Born January 19 1870.
So who took charge of the Family Bible next?
One of the Lane children must have handed it down to their descendants, so I have followed their individual family journeys where I can, travelling through Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire then Warwickshire, to hopefully try to trace anyone that might love to take care of this beautiful but very fragile Family Bible.
This is a direct link to the public family tree on Ancestry I have compiled:
These are some of the surnames below of descendants of Elizabeth Weller……….. If you do have any ideas of a living descendant to pass this wonderful Bible over to I would really appreciate you getting in touch, by comment or email, see ‘Contact me’ at top of page.
I, myself have Walker’s in my family from Salop, Shropshire, but as yet I’ve not found a link to this Walker family from Oxfordshire but you never know, wouldn’t that be amazing!
Descendants: Weller, Walker, Lane, Vale, Hood, Claridge, Newman, Candle, Barnacle, Croome, Ingram, Richardson, Vale, Weaver.
Till next time then…………..