Last summer I visited Ed, a distant relative who lives in Jay County, Indiana. We both descend from different children of John and Hannah (Huey) Bryan. John was born in 1824 and died in 1900.
During our visit Ed showed me John Bryan’s Bible. He thought this was John’s everyday Bible and the one he carried to church on Sunday. This Bible is quite a bit smaller that the Bible John was holding in another photo that was taken about 1883. This Bible is about 7-8 inches long.
This small leather Bible is dated 1849. I think this is the oldest family Bible that I have seen. The Bible is in pretty good condition, considering its age. Some of the ink is bleeding through a few pages. Holy Bible is stamped into the leather on the side.
Best of all there are several pages that contain the handwritten record of births and deaths of the John Bryan family members. I took several photos of the Bryan Bible with my digital camera.
First page: The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Translated out of The Original Tongues; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. New York: American Bible Society, Instituted in the Year MDCCCXVI. 1849. Handwritten on the page: Miss Alta Butcher, Bryant Ind., June 11, 19??
John Bryan was born August the 15th AD in the year of our Lord 1824
Hannah Bryan was born January the 19th AD in the year of our Lord 1830
Mary Lisabeth Bryan was born October the 5th AD in the year of our Lord 1849
Peter Bryan was born May the 22nd AD 1851
Hallot Bryan was born February the 24th AD 1853
William R Bryan was born October the 27th AD 1854
Emily Bryan was born May the 8th AD 1856
Jackson Bryan was born March the 22nd AD 1858
Byantha Bryan was born March the 5 AD 1864
Alta Jane Bryan was born September the 30 1866
Jackson Bryan died July the 2nd 1868
William Riley Bryan died January 25 1893
Peter J. Bryan died Jan. 27th 1914
Above right, page introducing the New Testament: The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Translated out of The Original Greek; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. New York: American Bible Society, Instituted in the year MDCCCXVI, 1849.
Inside the back cover:
John Bryan his Book, Holy Bible, written several times.
It is amazing to think that John Bryan used this Bible over 160 years ago.