As she folded the ribbon across the crease to mark her spot, Grace flipped to the back page to pen a new entry: "We had the first snow on the 10th of November 1972."
Family bibles are considered goldmines by family historians, often imparting details of births, deaths and marriages. They are a primary source of record for many and even lineage societies such as the DAR deem family bibles as valid and truthful identification of genealogical material.
But the discovery of my paternal grandmother's little bible tickled my heart as I read her daily notes. It is void of genealogical value. No elaborate family tree of ancestral details, just daily happenings and little thoughts that floated from pen to paper on an average day, of an average year, to an average woman.
I have discovered that on the 19th of May 1972, my grandmother got her hair permed and on the 5th of October 1972, my Aunt Irene visited my grandparents and left on the 10th.
Turning the pages, I discover that "Truman died on the 26th day of December 1972" and "Johnson died on the 22nd day of January 1973" and somewhere in between, a family member "left for overseas."
Dates of president's deaths, Vietnam war deployments, weekly hair appointments and autumn snows--a year in the life of my grandmother squeezed amidst the pages of a little tattered bible.
A sort of daily journal, unremarkable yet precious to me. It captures a life in its simplicity and that alone holds intrinsic value and I shall treat it as such.
Search out your family bibles and if you find one filled with beautiful, elaborate trees forthcoming of ancestral value then rejoice in the discovery. But if you are fortunate to run across a little tattered bible, ripped at the seams from daily use, you may turn the pages and realize a simple day in the life of your grandmother.
And feel grateful in the discovery because sometimes, daily simplicity holds great value too.
For websites with downloadable family bibles for genealogical research, look for: Ancestor's Hunt and Bible Records Online.
Keep searching for answers,