This week's prompt reminds us of the major pleasure we get in finding original documents that our ancestors must have touched and written.
This Danson family bible was an important impetus in starting me on the family history trail. Kept In the glass fronted bookcase in my grandfather's front room at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, the bible recorded the marriage of his parents James Danson (1852-1906) and Maria Rawcliffe (1859-1919) on the 12th May 1877 and the birth of their first four children - all sons - Harry, John, Robert and Albert.
Sadly all but Robert died young - Harry aged 30, Albert as an infant, and John in 1917 during the First World War.
As their family grew, enthusiasm for keeping the record obviously waned, as they went on to have five more sons (William - my grandfather, another Albert, Tom, Frank, and George) and as their last child only daughter Jennie, none of whom were listed.
James' wife’s names were given as Martha Maria, (right) a spinster, aged 18 of Thistleton, with no occupation, no address given, so nothing to indicate why she was then living at Thistleton - a tiny hamlet. Later research revealed that Maria’s eldest sister Ann was living in the village where her husband was a gamekeeper. The witnesses to the marriage were Henry Danson and Elizabeth Ann Bailey, who proved to be James’ brother and eldest sister.
A second Danson Bible came to light through an internet contact who proved to be descended from John Danson, brother of my great grandfather James (above). John as the eldest son had inherited the family bible which included three pages of scrawled writing. It gets a bit confusing as the same Christian names appear down the generations!
Fifty years on, John (1844-1914), my great grandfather's brother, made a much neater job of recording births and deaths in his family, with this beautifully written page which even includes the days of the week when they were born.
With thanks to Janet, my third cousin once removed, for the images from the earlier Danson Bible. .