Family Bibles often contain records of births, marriages and deaths, and, while not entirely reliable for a variety of reasons (including, for example, incorrect birthdates to show the legitimacy of offspring whose emergence into the world came closely behind - or before - a wedding), are of great value to researchers. If you have material we can include, we'd be happy to hear from you!
This family data was taken from a collection of Bibles located at Dorothy's House Museum, some twelve miles north of Port Hope, and operated by the East Durham Historical Society. The spelling shown is as found in the Bibles. Our thanks to Ona Gardiner for allowing us to transcribe them.
Another collection of Bibles is housed at the Port Hope Archives
These contributions have been thoughtfully sent to us from personal Bibles
While not from a Bible, the following information was transcribed from a notebook compiled by the "Misses Hatch" in Port Hope on 27th May 1861.
Josiah Haskill/Chloe Gage and William Hatch/Louisa Haskill (from 1786)
In a Declaration of 20 May 1933, Henry Alfred Ward lists a number of entries found in Thomas Ward's Bible.
Birth and death information was taken from two photocopied sheets of a part missing from William John Francey's Bible.
(Jesper Harding, Philadelphia, 1854)
Found in a vacant house in Ottawa by ME Moffatt, it contains records from two Bibles and shows christening records from St. John's (now St. Mark's) Anglican Church in Port Hope, dating back to the 1840s.
James' wife, Rosanna, was the daughter of John Brown, who came to the United States from Cavan, Ireland, and then to Port Hope in 1818. He was a member of the legislature for Durham County for a number of years. He erected the first brick building in Port Hope in 1823. He died in 1842, after doing much to promote the progress of the town.
Note According to Lynn Calvin, James M. Andrews Jr. served during the Civil War as a lieutenant in the 30th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry. He was "in several battles, taken prisoner, confined in Richmond, exchanged and discharged with his regiment". He and many other family members are buried in Greenridge Cemetery in Saratoga Springs. Lynn is the coordinator of the Saratoga County NYGenWeb site. Included on that site are many Bible records of Saratoga County families.
James M. Andrews, born Milton, Saratoga Co., NY 14 Aug 1810
Rosanna Brown, w/o JM Andrews, born NYC 12 Aug 1816. Children:
They were married 15 Sep 1840 at St. John's Church by Rev. Jonathan Shortt.
Amy M.E. Meredith & Charles Austin Williams, St. John's Church, Sep 1869? Children:
(John E. Potter & Company, Philadelphia, c1830)
Donated to Dorothy's House Museum by Mrs. William Hannah of Welcome, Ontario.
(JS Redfield-Clinton Hall, New york, 1848)
(Jesper Harding, Philadelphia, 1850)
Presented to Dorothy's House Museum by Edgar Bowman of Gore's Landing, Ontario, it is signed on the endpapers by John Elliott (01 Mar 1863) and Miss Charlotta Elliott (26 May 1888).
(William Collins, Sons & Company, Glasgow & London, 1869)
All baptised by Rev. Robt. Hurley, Bible Christian Minister.
(William G. Harding, Philadelphia, 1860)
(Oxford Press, 1872)
The following family history was written in the front of the Bible Thomas Moore Benson, of Port Hope, Barrister-at-Law, and Laura Abigail Fuller were married in St. George's Church Toronto on the twenty-fifth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four by her father the Ven. T.B. Fuller DD DCL Rector of St. George's Church Toronto and Archdeacon of Niagara, assisted by her brother-in-law the Rev. D.I.F. MacLeod M.A. Rector of Chippawa.
Thomas Moore Benson, of Port Hope, Barrister-at-Law, and Laura Abigail Fuller were married in St. George's Church Toronto on the twenty-fifth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four by her father the Ven. T.B. Fuller DD DCL Rector of St. George's Church Toronto and Archdeacon of Niagara, assisted by her brother-in-law the Rev. D.I.F. MacLeod M.A. Rector of Chippawa.
Clara Cynthia, daughter of Thomas Moore Benson and Laura Abigail his wife, was born on the 5th June 1875, at Port Hope, and was baptized in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, at Port Hope, on the 22nd August 1875, by the Right Reverend Thomas Brock Fuller, D.D. D.C.L. Lord Bishop of Niagara, Mrs. Fuller her grandmother, Mrs.J.S. McMurray her Aunt, and Frederic Albert Benson her uncle, being Sponsors.
Thomas Bingley Fuller, son of Thomas Moore Benson and Laura Abigail his wife, was born on the 28th October 1876, at Port Hope, and was baptized in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, at Port Hope, on the 28th January 1877, by the Right Reverend Thomas Brock Fuller, D.D. D.C.L. Lord Bishop of Niagara, his grandfather, The Bishop of Niagara and Colonel Arthur T.H. Williams, of Penryn Park, and Annie Maria Benson, his Aunt, being Sponsors.
Jessie Laura Louise, daughter of Thomas Moore Benson and Laura Abigail his wife, was born on the 31st December, 1880, at Port Hope, and was baptized in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, at Port Hope, on the 3rd April 1881, by the Right Rev. Thomas Brock Fuller, D.D. D.C.L. Lord Bishop of Niagara, Mrs. William Fraser of Port Hope, and Miss Jessie Macklene of Toronto, and William Fuller, her uncle, being Sponsors.
Gladys Alicia, daughter of Thomas Moore Benson and Laura Abigail his wife, was born on the 23rd May 1883, at Port Hope, and was privately baptised at Terralta, Port Hope, on the 5th October 1883, by The Rev. W.E. Cooper, M.A. in the absence of The Rev. F.A. O'Meara LL.D. Rector of St. John's - the delay in her baptism arising from the ill-health of her Grandfather the Bishop of Niagara by whom it was desired she should be baptized. She died on the 6th October 1883, and was buried in St. John's Cemetery, Port Hope on the 8th Oct. 1883, by The Rev. Dr. O'Meara, Rector.
(William Collins, Glasgow & London, 1851)
"Presented as a Wedding Present to John & Catherine Sophia Smart, by their Affectionate Father Jn. Smart of Port Darlington. Port Hope 10th Dec. 1853."
"A Memorandum of the Marriage of John Smart and Jean Napier, with the Dates of the Births of their Children.
John Smart and Jean Napier, were married at Bervie, by the Rev. Robert Croll, Minister of that Parish, on the 10th day of November, 1780. Aged 21 years each, after the month of September preceding their marriage: John Smart being born on the 18th September, and Jean Napier on the 10th day of said month, 1759.
At Port Hope by the Rev. J. Cassie on Saturday December 10th 1853 John Smart (born 1 AM on the 29th March 1825 at Montrose, Scotland; dead 24 Mch 1891) and Catherine S. Smith (born Aug. 16, 1835 at Port Hope Canada; died 19 Jun 1891 aged 56 yrs.)
(William Collins & Sons, & Company, Glasgow & London, 1865)
"Presented to Seth and Susie Smith on their Wedding Day By their affectionate Mother Sophia Smith. Port Hope 28th Oct. 1869."
Children of Seth S. Smith & Theresa Ella Smith:
A.J. Holman & Co., Philadelphia, 1886)
John Elias Smart of the Town of Port Hope and Harriet Johnstone of the Town of Cornwall were united by me in Cornwall on the seventh day of June in the year of our Lord 1887 in the Presence of George A.C. Bell & Eva Johnstone. Signed: G.B. Pettit M.A. Rector of Cornwall.
(Phinney & Co., Buffalo, 1852)
The first page of this Bible is inscribed, "David Gillaspie Bible Bought Septr. 20th 1851". Each of the entries was signed by David, with a descendant supplying additional material and dates after David's 1873 death. There is also a note stating that both the Gillespie and Kerr families emigrated to Canada from Co. Fermanagh, Ireland.
Written by David Gillaspie, Easter Sunday April 12th 1857.
David George Gillespie was born 15 minutes before 6 oclock on 28 August 1861 & baptised November 4th at 4 oclock by Revd. Jonathan Shortt in our own house, he being sick & died on 12 Feby. 1862 & was intered 13 Feby. 1862 in St. Johns Church at 4 p.m. aged 5 months & 15 days.
Isaac Gillespie was born on the 15 January 1869 at 7 oclock in the morning and was baptised in the New St. Johns Church on the 21st August 1869 by the Revd. Doctor Omera [Frederick Augustus O'Meara]. Died October 27, 1901.
Elizabeth Lee born May 6th 1854.
Jane Lee born January 12th 1856.
Victoria Gillespie was born July 1st 1868 at 5 oclock in the morning and was baptised in St. Johns Church at Port Hope on the 16th day of August by the Revd. C.H. Bagely B.A. Queens College Oxford.
Thomas John Gillaspie was born September 24th 1864 1/2 past 3 oclock in the evening and was baptised by Revd. Jonathan Shortt on 23 of October in St. Johns Church Port Hope.
Mary Jane Gillespie was born January 6th 1866 & was baptised in St. Johns Church Port Hope on the 8th of April by the Revd. Mr. Alexander.
Jemima Gillespie was born on the 5th day of March 1867 and was baptised in St. Johns Church on the 21st of July by the Revd. Mr. Omera.
A hand-written marriage certificate, in the back of the Bible, reads:
Cobourg, October 31, 1859
These are to certify that David Gillaspie of Port Hope, Widower, and Mary Carr (Kerr) of the same place, Spinster, were this day married by me.
A.N. Bethune, D.D.
Rector of Cobourg
(The Complete Domestic Bible. World Publishing Company, Guelph, Ontario, 1873)
This Bible was presented to the Port Hope Archives by Robert B. Peelle, Jr., Hannah's gggreat-grandson, in December 2005. The first page is inscribed, "Presented to my Mother Hannah Skitch by Her Son Thomas Skitch. Dec. 20, 1883", and the entries may have been done by Thomas. The family first came to Port Hope (Robert was the brother of William Skitch and Jane Yeo of Port Hope) before settling in Millbrook.
"This certifies that Thomas R. Skitch and Margaret Montgomery were solemnly united by me in the Holy Bonds of Matrimony at BelliBrough [Baillieboro] on the seventh day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight conformably in the Ordinance of God and the Laws of the State."
Signed, James Cameron
Centerville Presbyterian Church
Witnesses: R.J. Montgomery, Lottie Skitch
Robert Skitch, born Dec. 25, 1826 married to Hannah Skitch, born Apr. 19, 1830. Their children:
These Bibles were donated to the Port Hope Archives by a member of the Quick family. Both are small, personal Bibles, believed to have been printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society of London, England (the covers are very worn). The family information is taken from brief entries on the inside front covers.
David's bears the simple inscription:
Mary's has a printed dedication plate, inscribed:
Presented by the Rev. T. Cave Childs, St. Mary's, Devonport, to Mary Rowden on leaving England, January 1851.
Below that, she has written:
"Mary Rowden hir Book brought on board the rose on leaven England at Plymouth."
A small envelope was inserted into the Bible:
"This bible was given to my Great Grandmother Mary Rowden - whose maiden name was Mary Walter or Walters - on leaving England on the ship Rose in 1951(sic). My Grandmother was Ann Cook Rowden who came on the same ship. My mother was Mary Grace Rowden." The note is unsigned.
(The Holy Bible, John S. Brown & Sons, Paris, Ontario, 1892)
This information came from a family Bible belonging to Daniel Climo.
Loose documents in the Bible:
(Oxford: The Clarendon Press, for the British and Foreign Bible Society, London, 1821. On the back page, Bideford,
The information from this Bible (now housed at the Port Hope Archives) came from Carol Quirk of Australia.
I have no idea whose Bible this was. It was in the possession of my grandmother, Robina Haskill Mitchell [died 1982; buried Cobourg Union Cemetery], of Cobourg. Her mother was Mary Grace Rowden of Port Hope, so I suspect it came from her, as her family came from Devon.
(Oxford: The Clarendon Press, for the British and Foreign Bible Society, London, 1828)
This very old and badly-repaired Bible, missing the front and back pages, was discovered in a family workshop in 1995.
(J.W. Lyon, Guelph, Ontario, 1873)
In disrepair, this Bible was located (since moved) in the Hugh family home in Port Hope.
(The Holy Bible. University Press, Oxford, England, 1850)
The following information, from a Bible given to David by his father, was transcribed and submitted by David's great-granddaughter, Joan Gardner Moore - also a ggggrandaughter of Major Thomas Spalding of Grafton, Ontario.
Register of Alfred Richard Rubidge for his son, David.
25 Feb 1811. Alfred Richard Rubidge, son of Robert & Eleanor Rubidge.
Born Monday morning 25 Feb A.D. 1811 at 50 minutes before one at Camberwell, near London, England. Married 8th Sept 1841 at Grafton Canada West by the Revd. William Reid, Presbyterian minister to Ellen Semanthe Spalding, daughter of Thomas Major Spalding and Anna Spalding of the village of Grafton C.W.
Ellen Semanthe Spalding was born 4 June A.D. 1818.
Joseph William Rubidge ("Willie") 1st born son of Alfred Richard Rubidge & Ellen Semanthe Rubidge. Born Friday 22nd July, A.D. 1842 at 20 minutes past 2 afternoon. Died Thursday 28th Sept A.D. 1843 after 9 weeks illness - aged one year two months & 6 days. Buried Saturday 30th Sept 1843 at Peterborough C.W. - "Willie" was born at Cobourg C.W.
Ellen Traill Rubidge, daughter of above Alfred Richard Rubidge & Ellen Semanthe Rubidge. Born Monday 18 Sept 1843 at 30 minutes past 4 in the morning at Peterboro.
Edmund Samuel Payne Rubidge, 2nd son of the above. Born Thursday 17th April A.D. 1845 at 1/2 past 3 o'clock afternoon at Peterboro. Died Sunday 13th Sept A.D. 1846 at 30 minutes to one in the morning after 4 weeks & 4 days illness - aged one year & five months less 4 days. Buried by the side of "Willie" Tuesday 15 Sept. A.D. 1846. We called him "Mannie."
David Rubidge, 3rd son of the above. Born at Peterboro C.W. Wednesday 14th October 1846 at noon. "God bless thee my son."
Mary Rubidge, 2nd daughter of the above. Born at Peterboro C.W. Tuesday 1st August A.D. 1848 at 20 minutes past 9 o'clock in the evening.
Anna Rubidge, 3rd daughter of the above. Born at Cobourg C.W. Saturday 24th November 1849 at 1/2 past 3 P.M.
"Grace" and "Gratian" - Twins, 4th son and 4th daughter of the above. Born about 1/2 past 4 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday 23rd March 1852 at Port Hope C.W. "Grace" was the first born. "Gratian" died Tuesday 6th April 1852 at 1/4 past 12 noon. Buried on the Presbyterian Burial Ground Port Hope in the same grave with his cousin "Mary Steele" Friday 9th April 1852 - "Grace" died Wednesday 6th April A.D. 1853 at about 15 minutes to 3 o'clock in the morning after about 6 days illness - Buried by the side of "Gratian" in the same grave Thursday 7th April A.D. 1853.
Martha, 5th daughter of above. Born at Port Hope C.W. Wednesday 15th Feb A.D. 1854 at about 4 o'clock P.M.
"Robert Henry" - 5th son of the above. Born at Port Hope C.W. on Thursday the 25th December A.D. 1856 - Christmas Day - at 8 o'clock evening.
"Alfred Portlock" - 6th son of the above, born at Port Hope C.W. on Thursday the 30th September A.D. 1858 at 2 o'clock P.M.
Ernest, 7th son of the above. Born at Port Hope C.W. on Thursday the 2nd August 1860 at 1/4th to 6 o'clock in the morning.
William Edmund Rubidge, 8th son of the above. Born at Port Hope C.W. on Wednesday the 19th of November 1862. Died on Friday 9th October 1863 at 30 minutes past 4 P.M. Buried in the New Cemetery near Port Hope.
Saturday 4th September 1869 at one o'clock 15 minutes P.M. My beloved partner & the mother of the above children departed this for a better life and now sleeps in Jesus. Buried at St. Johns Cemetery Wednesday 8th September 1869 at 4 P.M.
The following register, from the Bible of David Rubridge of Denver, Colorado, was also transcribed and submitted by Joan Gardner Moore. The original was found in an envelope which stated, in her grandmother's hand:
ContentsRegister of David Rubidge for his children
Notes and Memoranda taken from the Bible of David Rubidge of Denver Colo
Died March 8th 1923 at Stoneycrest, Riverdale-on-Hudson
Aged 76 years
(signed) Edith Rubidge Cohoe
Sarah (always called Lallie) third daughter and eleventh and youngest child of John Justice Taber and Sarah Pherrill Taber, Born Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday July 6, 1847.
David and Lallie first met each other at the Residence of Mr. Henry Benary on Bay St. in Toronto, Good Friday evening March 25th, 1864, Betrothed July 15, 1866, Married at Christ Church Scarboro' Wednesday evening at 8 o'clock, Oct. 2nd 1872, by Rev. John Fletcher, (the new Rector) assisted by Rev. Wm. Belt of Hamilton who was the former Rector of Christ Church.
Alfred Justice David, first born child of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at the Home of his Grandparents (on Mother's side) 12 o'clock noon, Thursday, June 26th 1873. His dear mother left Denver Colorado for her parents home in Scarboro', Canada. We did not think what a fearful risk she ran to travel over the then long hot dry Western Prairie, through Colorado and Kansas, the journey at that time taking over 4 days and 4 nights from Denver to Toronto. From Toronto she took a mixed train to Scarboro', and then walked a mile and a half to her old Home, and very soon after her arrival the dear baby was born before full time. It was most providential that her brother Doctor Stephen Taber was at Home at the time, and rendered great Service, or we might have lost both the dear mother and her baby. Baptized at the Home of the Grandparents at the age of one week, by Rev. John Fletcher Rector of Christ Church Scarboro'. Richard Clarke Steele (cousin of his father) Godfather and Elizabeth Ann Seager (Aunt on mother's side) Godmother.
William David, Second son of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at Denver, Colorado, Saturday 6th March A.D. 1875 at 30 minutes past 2 pm. Baptized at Christ Church, Scarboro' 1876 by Rev. John Fletcher, His Grandfather Taber, Godfather, and Aunt Mary J. Taber Godmother.
Frederick Taber, 3rd son of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at the Home of his Grandparents, Scarboro' Ont. Friday 29th June A.D. 1877 at quarter to 8 o'clock in the evening. Baptized at Christ Church Scarboro' by Rev'd. John Fletcher Aug. 1877.
Edith Spalding, first daughter and 4th child of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at Denver, Colorado, Saturday Oct. 2nd A.D. 1880 at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Baptized at Christ Church Scarboro' 1881 by the Rector, Rev'd Mr. Mussen. Married June 16th 1902.
Harold Spalding, 4th son and fifth child of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at Denver, Colorado on Monday Feb. 13th A.D. 1882 at 10 o'clock in the morning. Baptized at St. John's Cathedral (on Welton St.) Denver, Colorado by Rev. H. Martyn Hart, Dean.
Sarah (Lalla) Semanthe, 2nd daughter and sixth child of David and Sarah Rubidge, Born at Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, May 6th A.D. 1886 at 12 o'clock noon. Baptized at St. John's Cathedral by Rev. H. Martyn Hart.
Friday 15th October 1909 at 7 o'clock in the morning, my beloved wife and the mother of the above children departed this for a better life. Buried in the New Cemetery (the Crown Hill Burial Park) near Denver Monday Oct. 18th at 2 pm. Services at St. John's Charter House 13 Clarkson by Rev. H. Martyn Hart, Dean.
Alfred Richard Rubidge, Son of Robert and Eleanor (Payne) Rubidge, Born Monday morning 25th Feb. A.D. 1811 at 50 miutes before one at Camberwell near London England. Married Wed. 8th Sept. 1841 at Grafton, Canada West by Rev. Wm. Reid, Presbyterian Minister to Ellen Semanthe Spalding daughter of Thomas Major Spalding and Anna (Merriam) Spalding of the Village of Grafton, C.W. Died at Port Hope, Ont. Canada Friday Nov. 10th 1876, Aged 65 years 8 months and 16 days. Buried St. John's Cemetery beside his dear wife.
Ellen Semanthe, daughter of Thomas Major and Anna (Merriam) Spalding, born in Village of Grafton, Ontario Canada (then Province of Upper Canada) Thursday 4th June A.D. 1818. Married Wednesday 8th Sept. 1841 Alfred Rubidge, as recorded above. Died Port Hope, Saturday Sept. 4th 1869. Buried St. John's Cemetery Wednesday 8th Sept. on the 28th anniversary of her Wedding Day.
The two above are our dear childrens beloved Grandparents on Father's side.
John Justice Taber, Son of John Taber and Mary (Justice) Taber Born in County of Essex, England Dec. 12th A.D. 1802. Died Toronto Ont. Canada, Monday Oct. 26th 1884, aged 81 years 10 months and 14 days. Buried in St. James Cemetery Toronto.
Sarah, daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Pherrill, Born Scarboro' Ontario (then Province of Upper Canada) Monday 8 April A.D. 1811. Married to John Justice Taber Thursday Oct. 2nd A.D. 1828 by Rev. McGeorge Presbyterian Minister at Scarboro'. Died in Toronto Sat. 2nd of November A.D. 1880 Aged 69 years 7 months and 19 days. Buried in St. James Cemetery, Toronto.
The above two are our dear childrens Grandparents on Mothers side.
(The Holy Bible. John S. Brown & Sons, Paris, Ontario, 1892)
This Bible is owned by (Mrs.) Lorrie Norris, and was "Presented to Our Family by William C. Trew, Oak Hill, 1900."
"Our Family moved to Bridgenorth July 3rd 1911 after father Died.
Ida Trew went to Souris, Manitoba Aug 2nd 1913. Ida was married.
Mary & Lillian left for Souris 16 March 1915. Lillian returned Dec 2nd 1915.
Wellington enlisted 31st Jan 1916. Left for Barriefield 30th May 1916. Signed his name Wellington thinking it all ment the same but Registered Lewelland."
The more modern entries have been partly obscured by the newspaper report of William C.'s death, which is stuck
to the page.
Our thanks to Larry Green of Port Hope for allowing us to transcribe the following material.
In 1933, Henry Alfred Ward wrote a declaration entitled, "In the matter of Mary Playter, Deceased, and Mildred Wotherspoon. In it, he listed several entries written by Thomas Ward in his personal Bible. A descendent of the Playters, John B.W. Cumberland UE, was kind enough to let us transcribe it.
I, Henry Alfred Ward of the Town of Port Hope in the County of Durham in the Province of Ontario, Esquire, a Notary Public in and for the said Province of Ontario, by Royal Authority duly appointed do hereby certify:
Given under my hand and seal of office of the said Town of Port Hope this Twentieth day of May, One thousand Nine hundred and Thirty three.
in and for the said Province of Ontario.
Found among the historical papers of former Mayor, Michael Wladyka, this Bible was in a deplorable condition. Two photocopied sheets were found in the Bible, assumed to have been copied from one of the missing portions.
(George E. Eyre & William Spottiswoode, London, England, 1883?)
Owned by Shirley Horner (nee West) of Port Hope, Ontario. Inscribed on the first page:
"William Henry West [husband of Elizabeth Ann Dark; married 04 Jan 1888]. A parting remembrance of Westleigh [Devon]. April 28:1880.
"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Psalm CXIX. 130."
Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario