The Family Bible
Artist: Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

From Edinburgh Scotland in 1766 to America in 2021.
The Family Bible is the lost connection to our ancestors long forgotten.

Panel 1

The Journey

Edinburgh, Scotland – 1766 One particular bible is printed in the Kincaid and Bell print shop and makes its way to its first family in Ayr, Scotland. For over 250 years, this small Family Bible would weave its way throughout the United States of America beginning in Charleston, South Carolina, in the late 1790’s, ending up in Tennessee in 2001, where it remains today. Its recorded journey introduces seven different generations and a multitude of characters. Some with an adventurous and exciting story to tell and some not so exciting. The characters are real and their stories are real. This Family Bible has stretched the fabric of time from the horse drawn wagons in Scotland, through the American Civil War, and into the Cold War with the testing of nuclear weapons.

Panel 2

The Family Clans

Ramsey

In 1766, John and Elizabeth Ramsey have a small cottage in Ayr, Scotland. John is a seaman and
Elizabeth tends to the home. Each of their children receive a small King James bible when they are baptized. In July of 1772, their son Robert receives his first bible when he is baptized only one day after he is born. Robert grows up to follow in his fathers footsteps sailing the seven seas. In 1798 Robert becomes a citizen of the New America’s and calls Charleston, South Carolina his home. In 1806 Robert moves to Mossy Creek in Jefferson county Tennessee, and soon marries Tabitha Beavers.

McKenzie

In 1812, Robert and Tabitha Ramsey, along with their three children, are living in Rutherford county Tennessee. Their oldest daughter Elizabeth is given the task of writing the family history on the blank pages of Roberts childhood bible, which is now called the Family Bible. In 1831, at 24 years old, Elizabeth is given the Family Bible when she leaves home to begin teaching at a common school in the remote area of western Tennessee. There she meets John McKenzie and the two are married in 1838. In 1855 the family moves to Clark county Arkansas where John begins a new occupation making leather goods. In 1856, Elizabeth gives the Family Bible to her daughter Mary Jane when she marries Benjamin Cullen Love.

Love

Mary Jane Love becomes a woman of the American Civil War enduring the chaotic times that war brings. As Union troops pour into Arkansas, many county and local governments ceased to function as judges, sheriffs and other political leaders fled the area. With courts closed and jails opened, what was once a civilized society turned into total chaos as bands of criminals roamed about freely without any fear of reprisal. Mary Jane is small in stature and whenever faced with challenges throughout her life, her intelligence and determination would always make up for her size. She was an avid reader with a good understanding concerning the dynamics of war. The Family Bible is her most prized possession and no matter how bad things would become, she knew that her creator God, Jehovah Jireh would provide and yet at the same time, she would have to apply her spiritual protection in a physical world. Benjamin returns from the Civil War in November of 1864 to find his home burned to the ground, his farm ransacked and his family permanently scarred.

In 1878 Mary Jane dies while giving birth to her 6th child. Benjamin names the baby Mary Elizabeth after her mother and grandmother. The Family Bible is given to her son, James Michael Love and at nine years old, he can feel the spiritual energy instilled within its pages. In 1889 he marries Hester Ann Hopkins. Together they have 11 children and teach each of their children to read from the Family Bible. In 1898 James begins preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Indian Territory armed with nothing more than the Family Bible and becomes known throughout the area as Brother Love. For the next 30 years, Brother Love traveled throughout Arkansas preaching the word of God.

Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show
Artist: Neil Diamond

Burns

On November 26th, 1928, Hester Ann, the beautiful bride of James Michael Love passes away in Texarkana Arkansas. With two teenage girls still at home, James decides to live with his daughter, Lillie Rebecca, who was now married to Emmett Burns. Several years later, James gives the Family Bible to his daughter Lillie knowing she would cherish it and tell her children the stories that he had told to her about the history of the Family Bible.

After surviving World War 1, The Great Depression and World War 2, Lillie Rebecca passes away in Texarkana Arkansas, on July 29th, 1960, long before her time. Lillie’s sister Zelma Rose acquires the Family Bible and in 1967 gives it to Dorothy Corrine, Lillie’s youngest daughter. It is the height of the Cold War and Dorothy is working for an engineering firm contracted to the Atomic Energy Commission developing and testing Nuclear Weapons at one of the most secured areas in the world, the Nevada Test Site. As she studies the Family Bible, she realizes that she knows nothing about the individuals who are written within the bible and begins searching for clues. Working a full time job and taking care of a family severely hinders her ability to do any type of serious research. She puts the bible in a safe place and hopes to be able to continue her research when life is not so complicated.

Panel 3

The Book

What do YOU know about your family history past the third generation? Do you have a family heirloom that was passed on to you, but have no idea where it came from or who it once belonged too? The Family Bible is based on a true story about a Bible that has passed through seven generations, covering a span over 250 years.

Now available on Amazon, “The Family Bible by Stephen Johnson”
https://www.amazon.com/Family-Bible-Stephen-Johnson-ebook/dp/B08Q2FMTWK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+family+bible+by+stephen+johnson&qid=1608906014&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble, The Family Bible by Stephen Johnson” https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-family-bible-stephen-johnson/1138492235?ean=9781736315224

Panel 4

The Author

Story of My Life
The Piano Guys

Stephen W Johnson

In December 2017, Steve came to inherit their Family Bible that is over 250 years old. He had been fascinated with the Bible since his mother acquired it in 1967. Contemplating the possible history that it must have endured, he felt a deep responsibility to tell its story. After two years of research, combining existing family records, accounts on different ancestry web sites and notes written within the Family Bible itself, Steve was able to piece together a fascinating story that would span over 250 years. During his research, he discovered seven different generations that had carried the Family Bible. He has also come to the harsh realization that our life is only a span. A small dash between two numbers. Nothing more than a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14.

Our bibles are the connection to ancestors long forgotten. From our Creator God to Adam to Enoch to Noah to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to David to Solomon to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. All of us have a genetic connection to our Creator God that is clearly outlined in all of our bibles. However, most of us cannot remember our most recent ancestors past the third generation. It is his hope that this story will encourage others to document their family history while they can.

For a time will come when no one will remember who we were.