It’s been awhile since I reported on this other important yet elusive family reference. But finally, I have an update.
As you know from previous entries, I’ve been going through the original Wilson family descendants list to locate someone, anyone, who either
a) is still alive and knows where Emmett Wilson-type documents are located, or,
b) inherited the family documents and is willing to share information for the book.
Last week, I found the great-grandson of Eudora Neely Wilson Smith. I sent a snail-mail message, at the recommendation of the excellent Sue Tindel of the Jackson (Florida) County Courthouse — thank you, Sue! — and he wrote me back!
The great grandson told me he knew exactly what I was talking about in my original letter, and had a family Bible, with a lot of hard-to-read writing in it. He copied the pages and sent them to me. Here’s what they look like:
The pages are legible, although the handwriting difficult to read.
The information summarizes the births, deaths, and marriages of the Augustus Emmett Maxwell family, specifically. There are no other family names or ‘branches’ mentioned in the pages.
The list of marriages starts out with A.E. Maxwell’s first marriage to Sarah Brockenbrough, then the second marriage to Julia Hawkes. The third marriage listed is that of A.E. Maxwell’s second daughter and Emmett’s mother, Elizabeth Virginia to Francis C. Wilson. The next marriage is that of the oldest daughter, Lucy Brockenbrough, to Everard Meade. The last marriage is of their brother and youngest son of A.E. and Sarah Brockenbrough Maxwell, Simeon, which took place in Mississippi.
The pages also list all of the children born to both Sarah and Julia. Again, no other families listed.
As I read this, it occurred to me that the person documenting this was none other than Julia Hawkes Maxwell herself. The handwriting is the same all throughout the pages, with one exception — Julia’s death was recorded in a different hand, which looks to be that of Emmett’s grandfather, A.E. Maxwell himself. (I have a sample of his handwriting, and it is quite similar).
So, we now know where the Maxwell family Bible is located, which is wonderful. But where is the Wilson family Bible?
I have a theory that I’m kicking about even as I slog through the second chapter of Emmett’s book.