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Herne Bay Times reunites Bible with family of former owners

By Herne Bay Times  |  Posted: December 11, 2012

BACK HOME:   The 200-year-old Bible found by Michael Ford, left, is  handed back to  Gordon Enright, a member of the family which once owned it, traced by genealogist Margaret Lewis   GIBG20121130F-005_C

BACK HOME: The 200-year-old Bible found by Michael Ford, left, is handed back to Gordon Enright, a member of the family which once owned it, traced by genealogist Margaret Lewis GIBG20121130F-005_C

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A BIBLE has been reunited with the descendants of the family which once owned it, thanks to the Times.

When retired accountant Michael Ford, 66, stumbled across the 200-year-old weighty tome in a house clearance, he came to us to help reunite it with its original family.

Following our appeal for help, genealogist Margaret Lewis offered her time to help trace descendants.

Then Gordon Enright, 68, of Popular Drive, Herne Bay, contacted us with news that the plain black Bible, the size commonly seen resting on pulpits in churches, could be connected to his family.

The Bible was littered with clues from handwritten entries for births and deaths dating back to 1806. It included notes about an Edwards family, and later the deaths of several Bartons, and a Rose Forewood in 1923.

Heir-hunter Mrs Lewis confirmed that Mr Enright is a descendant of the Barton family.

Mr Enright, a keen amateur genealogist himself, has stacks of books on his family tree, and copies of birth, marriage and death certificates in his shed.

He has traced his mother's family back to the 1700s.

He said: "The family were fishermen and oyster dredgers. There's also an awful lot of beer shops in the family."

"I didn't get very far with my father's side, which comes from Ireland, but there is more information coming online all the time.

He added: "I have uncovered a few great uncles who were drunkards and kept going to prison. It's always fascinating."

His mother Emily Barton is the daughter of William Alfred Barton, who was the son of Frederick Barton and Henrietta Sarah Edwards, who are listed in the Bible.

The Bible will be donated to Whitstable Museum by Mr Enright.

Mr Ford of Longfield Court, Swalecliffe said: "I'm truly delighted that it has gone back to the family."

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