Thursday, January 10, 2008


One of the items my Aunt Dorothy sent me recently is a set of
photocopied pages from the bible that belonged to Arvilla Ames,
our ancestress and the wife of John Cutter West. It previously
belonged to another of their descendants who gave it to my
Aunt and the images she gave me are of the “Family Record”
section of the book.

The first two images above seem to be the inside front and back
covers of the bible. On the front inner cover is written
“Arvilla Ames West, Upton, Me Oxford Co. 1859”

On the inside back cover, the name Arvilla West is written in
two different styles with the second version being the better of
the pair. The first seems closer to the inscription in the front. Perhaps
someone else wrote the sample on the right for Arvilla to copy in
her own hand on the left?

The third image is of the title page of the bible and gives the
date of publication as 1859, which would confirm the date
given in the inscription.

When I first read the recorded family information I noticed that
it has the same entries as the transcription of another family
bible but there are additional entries to the Births and Deaths
pages for members of the family of the relative who had the bible
before my Aunt. I also noticed that the handwriting seems to be of
two or perhaps as many as four different people and may indicate
when the bible had a new owner.

Next post I’ll discuss how I should cite this.


Apple said...

I've had photo copies of the pages of a family bible for a couple of years now. I was told it was my gr-great-grandfather's but all of the entries including his date of death appear to be in the same hand. Your point that the handwriting might hold important clues is very valid!

Bill West said...

I can think of a few reasons that could explain the handwriting and till have that bible be his.

One might be that he couldn't write or felt his handwriting wasn't good eneough for the family bible and had another family member do the entries instead.That person might then have been the one to inherit the bible after his death and so continued making the entries.


Apple said...

Good point. I'm fairly sure all the entries were made by his son. The bible was passed down through that line. I think the entries are all correct but seem to have been done all at once.