There are likely very few artifacts that date back to pre-Civil War time that are not incased and on display in museums.
That's not the case for a Rockford, Mich., woman who happens to be in possession of a Bible that has a copyright date of 1839. Ronda Morency says she's had the Bible for more than 20 years.
"The bible was given to me 20-25 years ago," Morency said. "My grandmother gave it to my mother, then my mother gave it to me."
For being 178 years old, the Bible is in rather poor condition. Some pages are missing, while other pages appear to have been stained by water. Pieces of the spine have torn and fallen off. The pages are yellowing, though they remain legible.
"The name that's written several times inside the Bible is Keck," Morency said. "About 15 years ago, I started doing some research on the internet, but I've never been a computer-savvy person, so I didn't get far.
"Websites like Ancestry.com didn't exist back then, and I didn't have any family left to ask about it. My grandparents and parents had all passed, so I am not aware if I'm related to anybody named Keck."
Morency says she purchased a small, glass display case several years ago which she placed the Bible in, then just displayed it at various locations around her home. She says it has always bothered her that she was in possession of such a rare artifact that hadn't been reunited with living descendants of the Bible's original owners.
"Just the other day I was looking at the Bible again and decided I really want to see if I can find out who the Bible truly belongs to," Morency said.
So, she contacted WZZM 13.
"When you open the Bible, you can see that somebody had written in several names with birth dates and death dates with what looks like a quill pen," Morency said.
Photos: Rockford woman hopes to reunite 1839 bible with living descendants of owner
Some of the writings include:
- George Keck and (name not legible) was married October the 13th 1852.
- William Keck was born June the 25th, year 1853.
- (name not legible) Keck born August the (date not legible) 1855.
- Wolter Keck was born August the 15th (year not legible).
- Wolter Keck died September the 24th 1860.
- Scott Keck was born September the 17th 1860.
If anybody plans to help Ronda Morency solve this mystery, you are asked to email your findings to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronday says she will read through all of the emails and reach back out to you, should she have any questions.
If you have a story that you think would make a good "Our Michigan Life" feature, please email Brent Ashcroft at: email@example.com
Follow Brent on Twitter: @brentashcroft
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