Genealogical Information from the Spencer Family Bible

The images below are photographs of the family Bible of John O. Spencer and Lydia Bunn.

According to the C. G. Brisee Genealogy Library, this Bible was sold at auction from Ithaca, New York. The current owner, Regina L. Hunter, bought the Bible on in 2007. Genealogical information from the Bible is posted here.

In addition, the Bible has eighteen illustrations; two are in color, and the rest are black and white woodcuts. Dr. Hunter is posting the illustrations on her website, Daily Bible Study Tips, as appropriate and as time permits. Links to the posted illustrations are provided below. Dr. Hunter may be reached through the Ducks in a Row contact page.

Cover of the Spencer Family bible. Click to enlarge.

The front and back covers of this Bible are in good condition, considering its age. The front cover is detached; it appears to have been scotch-taped to the rest of the book at one time. The book measures roughly 9 1/2 by 12 inches, a common size for Bibles of this time period. The spine is attached only to the back cover, but other than that it is more or less intact.

Title page of the Spencer Family bible. Click to enlarge.

The Spencer Family Bible is dated 1858. Many of the pages are torn or stained, suggesting that the family read this Bible regularly. The pages are foxed, the edges more so than the interiors. The Bible is, however, perfectly legible throughout.

Spencer family birth data.  Click to enlarge.

The slight change in handwriting between the birth records of Otto Julius and Fannie Adellah supports a conclusion that the Bible was in the family prior to 1861. All entries on this page are in the same handwriting, a beautiful copperplate hand. All words are spelled correctly, suggesting that either John or Lydia was educated.

Spencer family marriage and death data. Click to enlarge.

Given the publication date of 1858 and the earliest marriage date of 1857, we could assume that this Bible was in John and Lydia's possession early in their marriage. The final copperplate entry was made in 1883, although the handwriting appears to remain the same through 1895. The final entry in the Bible was made in 1939.

This Bible is a beautiful example of the genealogical value of a well-maintained late-19th-century family Bible.

The Spencer family Bible contains the following illustrations (woodcuts unless otherwise indicated):

Joseph Sold into Slavery
Balaam's Ass
Samson Slaying the Lion
Samson and Delilah
Saul and the Witch of Endor
David Playing the Harp
Nathan Reproves David
Elijah's Burnt Offering
Mordecai Honored
The Visit of the Magi (color)
Massacre of the Innocents
Jesus Preaching (color)
Jesus Walking on the Water
Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain
Jesus Raises Lazarus
The Crowning with Thorns
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
The Blind Bar-Jesus