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Rutherfordiana/Source Material Extracts/Rutherford Family Bible

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White 1902:278, discusses a family bible in the possession of Abba B. Creel Walker:

The history of the old family bible, which will probably come to [David Creel Walker] is as follows:
James Rutherford, who married Margaret McMahan, d. April 26, 1768, and
left the Bible to his eldests dau, Jene Walker Hudson, who died Oct. 15, 1777,
and left the Bible to her oldest daughter Margaret Hudson, who married John Walker.
Margaret Hudson Walker died Oct 23 1782,
and left the Bible to her eldest daugher, Jean Walker, who married Joseph Patterson
Jean Walker Patterson died Dec. 23, 1810
and left the book to her eldest son, John Patterson. He died
and left it to his eldest brother, Col. William Patterson, Oct 23, 1888
and left it to his eldest daughter, Mary Ann Patterson Creel, of Keokuk, IA. She died Aug. 15 1898,
and left this old Bible to her eldest living daughter, Abba Beatrice Creel Walker, of Anaconda, Montana.
Thus the book goes back into a family by the name of Walker. And the next in line to own the book will be Mrs. Walkers son, David Creek Walker...should he outlive his mother.
In the old book the name Jane is spelled Jean. This Bible was printed in 1621. The name John McKnight, born 1627 is written in the book. It was brought from Scotland by John Walker when he left for Ireland, and from there to America.

Commentary: The Rutherford Bible, as it is commonly know, still survives, and is in the possession of one of the sons of David Creel Walker. (See Rutherford Genforum). The current (2005) owner describes the information content of the bible as follows:

There are two pages of genealogical information. One, which is barely legible contains the same information given in Mrs. Whites excellent genealogy; a copy of said information, made by my father is enclosed herewith. The final entry, my fathers demise, was made by me. The other page is almost completely illegible and I doubt, very much, that readable copies could be made no matter how good the photographer or how sophisticated his equipment.

A transcription of the remaining legible page is given as

Deaths:
James Rutherford - Apr. 26 - 1768
James [Walker] Rutherford Hudson - Oct. 15 - 1777
Margaret Hudson Walker - Oct. 23 - 1782
Jean Walker Patterson - Dec. 23 - 1810
John Patterson - he died & left to his brother
Col. William Patterson - Oct. 23 - 1888
Mary Ann Patterson Creel - Aug. 15 - 1898
Abba B. Creel Walker - Feb. 25 - 1929
D C Walker – June 20, 1949

This death record appears to be the transmission chain for this work, and matches the information given by White 1902, with the addition of subsequent owners of the bible.

The information contained on the illegible page referred to by the current owner, may in fact be recoverable with modern techniques, but it is unlikely that such techniques would be applied to this particular problem. The possibility also exists that additional information is contained in the bible, but that for unknown reason was not included in the transcription of the letter cited above.

The transmission chain for the bible begins with James Rutherford, brother of Katherine Rutherford. This is somewhat puzzling as White tells us that John Walker II brought the book from Scotland to Ireland, and later to America. Yet neither his name, nor that of Katherine, appears in the transmission chain. It may be that the Bible was not used to record family information until it came into the possession of James Rutherford, presumably about 1738 when Katherine died. On the otherhand, the notation concerning John McKnight "b. 1627" is perhaps consistent with the bible being in the family of John Walker II. This John McKnight is thought by some to be the father of Jane McKnight, wife of John Walker I. Thus, in this interpretation, the Bible may have originally been owned by John McKnight, who passed it to his daughter Jane, who gave it to her son John Walker II. James Rutherford is thought to have come to America in 1738, coincident with the death of his sister Katherine. Perhaps John II's children gave it to their uncle after Katherine's death.

In any case, the available information about the Bible does not provide us with any clear information about the ancestry of either James or Katherine Rutherford, or about the ancestry of John II. Perhaps further information may become available at a future date.

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