Thursday, August 22, 2013

Edward Channell family: treasure among the essentials

Signature of Edward Channell in Bible
(In possession of the author)
     Among my ancestors are  many who made the journey across vast parts of the United States.  No, they didn't come to seek their fortunes in the Gold Rush of 1849, nor were they fur traders, or travelers around the tip of South America.  One particular family, that of Edward Channell, made the sensible decision to wait until the railroad had been completed across the United States, and travel in relative safety and "comfort."
     A recent clean-out of my garage made me wonder:  how did I managed to accumulate so much "stuff," half of which I don't remember having?  I doubt the Channell family were able to bring many possessions with them on the move from Douds, Van Buren County, Iowa, to Centralia, Lewis County, Washington.  Thankfully, among the belongings they picked up along the way are those considered treasures by their descendants.
     Somehow,  their massive Bible, printed as a tutorial, has survived.  Whether they carried it with them, shipped it separately, or acquired it later, I don't know.  The complete title is lengthy, but starts out, "Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible:  or, the whole of the Old and New Testaments Arranged According to Subjects in Twenty-Seven Books..."  It was printed by A. J. Johnson & Son of New York & Philadelphia.  The copyright date, in Roman numerals, is 1875.
Edward Channell family Bible, copyright 1875
     Besides the inscribed name (top), someone kindly included a very specific piece of information.  Considering the long stretch between the censuses of 1880 and 1900, this was most welcome:  the time of the family's move to Washington.  "Edward Channell and Family Emigrated to Wash. Ter. in the month of Sept. 1881."

     I can now visualize this couple as they made the trip across the country by train.  Not only were they leaving everything that was familiar behind them, they had to manage the trip with three young daughters, ages 6, 3, and 8 months!  
     An adventure, indeed...