Case Study - Family Bibles

Family bibles can be an invaluable source, as this example shows.

The inside cover of the bible has the following inscription:

PORT OF HULL SOCIETY'S
SAILORS' ORPHAN HOME
PARK STREET, HULL
Presented to
William Cook
by the Committee upon the completion of his term
in the Home, in token of their general approval
of his conduct, and in the earnest hope that he
will make the teachings of this sacred Book the rule
of his future life
On behalf of the Committee
Charles N Holmes
Honorary Secretary
23 Nov 1893

Bible Photo

An enquiry to the Hull History Centre which keeps the records for the orphan home yielded the following:

Details located in Admission Register:
Admission number 721
Name: William Cook
DoB 23 Nov 1879
Father's occupation: Fisherman
Cause and date of father's death: Inflammation 6 May 1890
Number of children left unprovided for: 4. Ages 11, 5, 3, 6 months.
Date of election: 24 April 1891
Date entered the house: 5 May 1891
Father's name: William
Residence of mother/guardian: Mother, 37 Bridge Street, Grimsby

Details located in Leaving Register:
No 721
Name: William Cook
Date: 23 Nov 1893
General Remarks: Sea (this column usually indicates the trade the leaver was entering)

Further details in the Home's magazine, Ashore and Afloat regarding election of children to the Home in April 1891 reveal that the Cook children were dependent on friends and that their mother had died 'a few days ago'
A copy of the birth certificate of William Cook, born November 28 1879 gives his father as William Cook, fisherman and his mother as Anne Cook, who was illiterate, putting a cross on the certificate rather than her signature.
A poignant tale, uncovered thanks to a family bible.


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