James Lawson Jones (1866 - 1929) and Ofie Aurelia Davis (1869 - 1953) married in 1888 and lived their entire lives on the Tyrone Road near Flat Creek Baptist Church, some five miles west of Fayetteville, Georgia. This was their family Bible. It was rebound by their youngest daughter after World War II, and the title page and publication information have been lost. Most likely it dates to the 1890s. As is typical with these Bibles, there are pages between the Old and New Testaments on which the family's births, marriages, and deaths are inscribed.
The volume also contains a variety of explanatory material, including "A Chronological Index to the Bible" and "A Complete Concordance to the Old and New Testaments," the last being an alphabetical list of words appearing in the Bible along with the verse where they appear. There is also "History of the Religious Denominations of the World, both Ancient and Modern, Compiled from the most Authentic Sources," tables showing "Animals Named in the Bible" and "Birds Found in Palestine," to "Table Showing Circumstances Under Which Each Psalm Was Written," "Instances of Prophecy Compared with History," and "Only Authentic Self-Pronouncing Dictionary of the Proper Names in the Bible, comprising nearly four thousand names, with their pronunciation and meaning (with reference to the verse of scripture where each name first occurs)." Illustrations include color maps of Palestine and Jerusalem and sixteen engravings, some from Gustave Doré's famous 1866 illustrated Bible, included in two separate groups, one for each Testament and each titled "Gallery of Scripture Illustrations."
Along with the full Bible described above is a a separate New Testament, which may be by the same publisher and was also rebound and matches the Bible. It appears to be completely intact. Published by N. D. Thompson Publishing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1895, it also features a variety of study aids, including a fold-out sheet "Map of Bible Lands" and tables and short expositions on such subjects as "The Parables of our Lord," "Miracles Wrought by the Holy Ghost and by the Apostles and other Disciples, Etc.," and "The Son of God, Jesus Christ: Names, Titles and Appellations." Of particular interest are 111 black-and-white photographs "showing the places as they appear to-day where Christ delivered his sermons, performed his maracles, uttered his parables, offered his prayers, pronounced his prophetic warnings, and the memorable places connected with the life of St. Paul, from Damascus where he was converted to Rome where he was beheaded."
Interspersed in both volumes is a variety of ephemera ranging from church bulletins, newspaper articles, and hand-written notes, most of which appear to have been notes for Sunday School lessons.
The most significant of the ephemera are pencilled notes on paper that give family birth, marriage, and death dates, some of which are not found elsewhere. One is written on stationery imprinted with a blue sailboat. Three other pieces of plain paper are pinned together to form a group; two of those are similar to each other in the type of paper used and appear to be related. The handwriting on both is consistent with that on the blue sailboat stationery. These were likely written by Ofie Davis, or perhaps her mother Sarah Jane Wesley Davis (1835 - 1911). The third piece of paper that is pinned to the other two is in a different hand, and was probably written by Sarah Jane Wesley Davis or, perhaps, her mother Margerite Wesley (1799 - 1887).
James Lawson and Ofie Aurelia Davis Jones and family in front of their home on the Tyrone Road, Fayette County, Georgia, 1906.
|Tommy H. Jones, June 2011|