Discovery of lost 200-year-old Bible reveals family history
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- The recent discovery of a 200-year-old Bible brought a Kentucky woman to tears. Inside, it holds living proof of a family history that had been lost for generations.
From the Netherlands, to a flea market in Virginia Beach, and back to Lexington: a piece of history makes its journey home.
Kathy Clark never fought so hard to open a package, anxious for a family reunion long overdue.
"When I saw the pictures of it, I couldn't believe how small it was," Clark said.
And when she finally could reach out and touch her loved ones, she said it was like they almost came back to life.
"It's so much family history, and the proof is here," Clark said.
Clark said the Dutch Bible belonged to her great-great-grandfather, Hendriks Albert Sprik. Born in 1808, Sprik carried the world with him on a steamship as he immigrated from the Netherlands to Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife, Trientje Sprik, in 1874.
She died six days before they reached America.
With tears in her eyes Clark said, "Imagine him holding this Bible when his wife was buried at sea."
The names and birth dates of all of their children are handwritten on the opening pages. It's in remarkably good condition, pages still crisp with scripture written in Dutch.
The last known Sprik descendant to own this Bible lived in 1910. Then it was passed outside of the bloodline -- that is, until last week.
Kerry Moulton found the Bible in a rummage bin at a Virginia Beach flea market.
"Seeing this, I realized I just hit gold, diamond and oil all at the same time, 'cause you can't find any of this in a census or an estate document," Moulton said. "This is tied directly to the family."
"They wanted $1000 for it, then $250, and I was eventually able to get it in trade for some work because I really just wanted to get it back to the right people," Moulton added.
She found Clark's name with an ancestry search online. It's the ultimate story of lost and found.
"You just have to be thankful that there are people like Kerry who thought enough to get it and not leave it in the trash," Clark said.
Copyright 2014 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.