by Sherry Stocking Kline
December 1, 2010
It was really hard to decide what to write about, one of our one-of-a-kind family ‘characters’ or a one-of-a-kind family heirloom. But sorting through the ever increasing number of digital photographs and scanned pictures on my hard drive, I saw the snapshot that I took of “THE” family Bible.
On the front, it says “Holy Bible” and then inscribed below that “Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Stocking”.
Was it a Wedding Gift?
And until I wrote the words above, I hadn’t stopped to wonder at the circumstances that led to the purchase of the Bible. Was it a wedding gift from one of their parents? Did they purchase it themselves? Which Mrs. J. H. Stocking does the inscription pertain to?
Whatever the circumstances were, the Bible was thumbed through, and the births, marriages, and deaths were added, one by one, in different colors ink, in different hands, down through time.
John Hurlburt Stocking was born in Sullivan Twp, Madison Co., N.Y., on 15, July 1821. He married Betsy Jane Ames, who was born on 10 Jun 1820, in West Chenanco, Chenango Park, N.Y..
Betsy died on 15 Oct 1856 at the age of 36, just ten days after giving birth to her second son, Bishop Ames. Bishop died not long after his mother, leaving John a young widower with a three-year-old son, my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking.
J. H. married Caroline Gates in 1860. J. H. died on 14 Oct 1894, in Illinois, and I was fortunate to locate a small town history that stated that he was visiting friends in Illinois when he fell down the stairs and died so I hope to be able to verify that with a newspaper article or obituary at some future date.
The J. H. Stocking Family Bible was handed down from John Hurlburt to his son, Roderick Remine, and Roderick gave it to his son, John Lester and his wife Velma. Velma was very interested in family history. John and Velma had no children, so after John’s death, Great-Aunt Velma gave the Bible to my uncle, a son of Elmer L. and Maud (McGinnis) Stocking, and he was kind enough to loan me the Bible so that I might look through it and snap a few photographs, for which I am very grateful. (The Bible was too frail to put on a photocopy machine, or my scanner.)
Adding One More Thing to My Bucket List…
Looking at the pages in this treasured family heirloom reminds me that I have not filled out the family tree pages in my own Bibles, so that is one more thing I need to add to my “Family History Bucket List,” and I am well equipped with the acid-free pens that would be safest to use, and that would (should) last the longest with the least fading.