Monday, April 21, 2014

The Siersema's secondhand Bible

Last post I wrote about how fruitful our visit to the Siersema descendant was and shared the great photos he had of the farm.  While we were sitting there (I believe I'd already scanned the photos) he mentions, almost in passing, that he's got an old Bible and wanted to know if we'd want to see it.  In all my years working on my family tree I've never seen a family Bible (in person).  I remember my grandma reading out of hers once and seeing that there was some writing in the front but I don't think it was that old and I'm not sure where it is (I'm sure my mom or one of my uncles has it).  He brought the Bible out and it was quite literally the heaviest book I'd ever held.

 We got to look through this Bible and it still amazes me to this day to realize how old this thing is.  There were translations of several of the pages that this gentleman had had done and it listed that the original owners of the Bible were the Daalder family, who began recording their family in it with their marriage Feb 16th, 1721.  That's right, 1721.  It lists the births and deaths of their children and keeps their tree until 1759. 
 The Bible has written "THIS BOOK is the property of Albert Henderiks Siersema bought at the Island TEXEL in the year of our LORD JEZUS CHRISTUS 1842, on March 17".  This book was in one family for 38 years and then its whereabouts are unknown for 83 years until my 4th great grandparents buy it?  They documented their tree until Albert's death in 1888.  When Tryntje died in 1893 it's written in a different handwriting and the documentation ceases.  Upon her death it has remained in the family of her son Henry and his descendants for another 121 years.

 I didn't have a way to scan the pages the way I would have liked  so some of what we got was just with our digital cameras.  I think perhaps my cousin Mary and I should try to go back and get better scans.  What do you think Mary?  The person that translated the Bible admitted that the writing was "old Dutch" and some of the names were hard to read.  My stepmother is from the Netherlands and she told me that it was hard to read in the old dialect.  

The person that translated it wrote "This Bible was translated from the Greece language in the old Dutch language in the Gothis style."

 This was written (I assume by Albert Siersema) listing when/where he purchased the Bible.

 This is the best shot I got of the page detailing my direct line that I could get.  My 3rd great grandmother Dewurtje Siersema's birth is listed here.  Her name is spelled Dewurtje, Demutje, Dora and Julia in various records - this Bible entry gave me the spelling I use in my file now.  I believe I incorrectly referred to her as Demutje in my last post.

 This listing details the siblings of Albert.

This is a page from the Daalder family - this isn't my family but it's in really old script and you can read the years from the 1700s that are written - so cool!  Another find due to persistence, phone calls and cooperative cousins.  Mary gets the credit for setting this visit up and it ranks up there as one of my top genealogical visits.  I'm not sure how his health is but I'd love to go back, armed with new technology and knowledge regarding how to gather what I want and give it another go.  

1 comment:

  1. Dear Chris,

    We were made aware of your blog and we are very excited about your story of Siersema’s second hand bible. We probably have some more information about the (18th century Texel, The Netherlands based) Claas Daalder family to share with you.

    If you sent us an email ( we can let you know more about Claas Daalder and his family.