Man who went on a quest for his family history discovers 220-year-old Bible. Here's what was inside.
Posted July 19, 2016
A man who went on a personal quest to learn more about his family heritage recently discovered that a centuries-old Bible that belonged to his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather is still in existence.
Roger Baker, 67, found that the 220-year-old Bible remains intact while doing internet research about his family history. The quest for the book started after Baker found out that his distant relative, Andrew Baker, had owned the book.
Andrew, who lived from 1749-1815, was a traveling pastor and Revolutionary War fighter who lived in Virginia and North Carolina, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported.
After discovering some of the background details surrounding his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Baker — who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts — decided to hop in the car and visit the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society in Jonesville, Virginia.
It was there that he stopped by a local cemetery to visit Andrew's grave, before visiting the Thompson Settlement Baptist Church — a house of worship where Andrew served as pastor more than two centuries ago, according to Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
And it's what happened next that helped unite Andrew with his family's Bible. A church clerk told him that she believed that a nearby neighbor — a family friend of the Bakers — was possibly holding the book.
That individual, Delores Ramsey, lives in Tennessee and, sure enough, she told Baker that she had the Bible in her possession. In fact, after Baker's ancestors moved out of the area a century ago, her family was given the book to take care of it, and it was later passed on to her, the outlet reported.
While the Bible will eventually find its permanent home at the Lee County Historical Society, for now, Baker is reunited with the book, and is learning more about his family's heritage through its pages.
"It’s a wonderful thing to be able to say I know who owned this, and it’s 220 years old," Baker told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. "It’s important that people realize that we have a past, and we have a heritage, and if you go far enough into the future that past tends to get diluted more and more and more."
The book, which was printed in 1796, includes more than mere scripture.
There's a list of birth dates for Andrew's nine children as well as a song that was possibly written about the Civil War, among other contents — adding a fascinating lens into the historical time in American society.
A biography published on the Sons of the American Revolution Gen. Joseph Martin Chapter notes that Baker — who is described as "no ordinary man" — had nine children and was "one tough preacher."
The text goes on to say that Baker became a traveling preacher and that he started a house of worship in every community he went to, with his final church location at the Thompson Settlement Baptist Church.
Another website that claims to have historical details on Baker and his family lists some of the other churches where he served: Brier Creek Church, Lewis Fork Church and Sinclair’s Bottom Church, among others.
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