Friday, January 29, 2016

Close to Home: Family Bibles

Wills & Probate Record of Denison N. Stewart

Close to Home: Family Bible
Mention of Bible in Denison N. Stewart's Inventory

If you have inherited a family Bible as I have, you probably have used the births, marriages and deaths recorded on pages in the center of the book, as a starting point for your family history of whatever ancestors was written in it. 

My grandmother told me that our family Bible belonged to my grandfather, Evans Stewart's, grandparents, Dudley Wheeler Stewart and his wife Eliza Fish Denison and that it was always called "the Stewart Family Bible". It is a huge book with a title page date of 1859.

It moved with my grandmother to my parent's home when she turned eighty and one day, I went over the pages with her and encouraged her to write locations of birth, marriage and deaths (in her own hand). It had helped me a great deal with places to look for information.

After my father died, my mother who had dementia, wrote in it, over and over in an attempt to remember. I should have taken it away from her but it is hard to make decisions for elderly people.

I have now found out that Dudley Wheeler Stewart's oldest brother, Denison N. Stewart may also have had a family Bible but I have no idea where it went. Denison N. Stewart died in 1867 and his birth, marriage and death are recorded in our Bible. He had living family and his son Edward D. Stewart may have taken the one listed herein the probate files. Denison's sons went after their father died. I have tracked down descendants of Edward and notified them that these documents exist. Denison's little girl, Ella, died as a child, and William, the son who went to Kansas died and we can't find out where he died or when. 

In 1859, Dudley and Eliza had a son, Charles, who was my great grandfather. I have long thought that this Bible was purchased at the time of his birth and Eliza is the person who recorded all the information in it. This is what Wheeler's History of Stonington says about Denison and his family.


  1. How wonderful it was that you were able to review the Bible information with your grandmother!
    My grandmother's Bible was partially burned in a house fire. Only the page with the family births and deaths was saved as far as I know. I have the original, and the information has been helpful to me, but most likely it could not be used as proof for membership in any lineage society.

    1. I used mine along with gravestone photos and other sources as proof. Just one source won't do anymore. I am just wondering if there was another Bible I don't know about.