Friday, June 24, 2011

Nan's Trip Docs/ 1) James Forgey Bible

Nan's trip to our ancestral area in East Tennessee and extensive research and copying has really assisted me in my documentation of our family history. I did not have any original copies of such sources as Andrew Forgey's Will or the much quoted Family Bible.
Above is the citation I created for the bible at Rootsmagic. I find their citation templates so helpful. Another template which I will being using for the bible citation has fields for provenance and analysis. 
I have been analyzing this bible as my time permits. The first thing I took note of is that the bible was published in 1802 in Philadelphia. According to the book Families of Hawkins County, Tennessee, 1786-1994 , the Forgeys brought a family bible with them from Ireland? They came from Ireland in 1760's. I suppose there could be another bible, but I think this is the one they were referring to. Likely no one checked the publication date. 

The purchase date was recorded as 1805 which is also well after their migration to America.

This person F seems different than all other entries?
 Now let's plunge into some handwriting analysis. I love handwriting analysis ( I remember many years ago, when I was a child I had my handwriting analysed by a computer at the local mall) . This kind of analysis can be tricky. Sometimes several people in the same family can have very similar handwriting. For instance my mother and her brother at one time had nearly identical handwriting. My Grandfather Forgey and his brother also had similar handwriting.  This probably has something to do with the style of writing being taught at their local school during that time period, and siblings observing one another.
This is James Forgey Sr.'s bible. He was born in Ireland in 1764. The earliest entry records the birth of Andrew Forgey  4 February 1732, the owner's father. 

 It looks like the birth records for James Forgey's children were added to the family record before  Nov 1810? I assume this because the baptismal info was added later under the original entires for two children. They were both baptized 17 Nov. 1810. All of the birth date entries appear to have been entered by the same person? The 1823 entry for Gabriel Rogers was added later, from the appearance of the writing.

At first glance all of the writing looks similar. On closer inspection there are differences. An example of this is found in the marriage records section. Entry one and two seem to have been written by two different people. The first entry was written by someone who didn't slant their writing as much, and wrote in a larger hand. These two entries are not phrased the same. The first of the two was for the marriage of the bible owner, James Forgey, recorded in bible well after the actual 1791 year of marriage. The second is for his daughter Margaret in 1812, which could have been recorded around the date of marriage? 

It's interesting that most of the entries on this page are in chronological order except the one at the bottom of the page for 1817 which should be above the previous entry for 1830.  Most of the entries were made at different times possibly by three different people? The third writing style is a less elaborate style. Below is a sample of the third writing style appearing on the same page.

It looks like the final entry is in 1853 for the death of the bible owner's son James R. Forgey. It looks like James P. but it is a little hard to read?

I don't know whether James Forgey actually wrote any of the above? I have three examples of what I believe to be his writing. He had a distinctive way of forming his r's and g's which gave the impression when grouped together of a large y? Other people misread that as a K. His y's in the two examples I have show a distinctive curl to the tail, which I don't see in the bible. His writing style somewhat matches one of the early writing styles in the bible, but is a little different. I suppose when you are writing in a public place you may write more hurriedly than at home? This may account for the differences? It is possible that he did write the early entries.

I believe this is and example of his James Forgey's writing?

The provenance of the bible seems to be as follows: it was purchased by James Forgey Sr. passed down to son James Forgey Jr., and then to his son Gabriel Rogers Forgey. then to Gabriel's daughter Evalena Forgey-Morrison then to her son Crockett Morrison.
In conclusion it appears that at least three people, possibly more, made entries in the bible. Some entries were made at an early date, others later. An analysis of writing styles at different periods of time would be helpful.  I think it also would be helpful to see the handwriting of all these owners in order to determine by who and when the entries were written.

Another writing example for James Forgey

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