Friday, May 11, 2012

A Black Coal Miner's Family History

I recently joined an interesting group on Facebook. It is called Ebay Genealogy. In that group, members share items that are for sale on Ebay that contain genealogical data. I decided to explore a bit myself, and I located an interesting bible for sale. It would not have necessarily have captured my attention, however, the item is listed as a Negro Family Bible and that this was a Black family with a coal mining history.

Caption for Black Family Bible for Sale
The item is located HERE.

The auction for this family bible will end on May 15th and so after that date the link will not remain for a long period of time.

I decided to study the family to confirm that this is an African American family. Surely enough, in the 1900 Federal Census in Fayette County West Virginia, there is the family.

Randolph Family in the 1900 Federal Census
Source: 1900; Census Place: NuttallFayetteWest Virginia; Roll: 1758; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 19; FHL microfilm: 1241758

The census document also reflected the fact that the head of the house William Randolph was indeed a coal miner. 

Entry from census reflecting the coal miner work of William Randolph

Another precious page of family data of the Randolphs is also featured in the same Ebay Genealogical Treasure--a marriage record.

Marriage Data from the Randoph Family Bible on Ebay

I have no connection to this family, but when this bible is sold, if it does not reach family hands, perhaps someone will find some joy in these images that were captured.  My hope is that the family bible will someday reach descendants of this line.

Family history is so precious and in many cases the piece of information that is needed comes from those family items that get lost, or discarded over the years. 

Our history is precious and it must be preserved.

1 comment:

Mariann Regan said...

This is a wonderful example of how objects on Ebay can be useful to genealogists. You have made this object so meaningful through your research. I hope that you and the Randolph family can find each other!