Inside this Family Bible at least two unrelated families faithfully recorded their history. Although the Bible was printed in 1841 it was carefully filled with the Wellington family’s birth dates dating back to 1750 the first recorded birth date was for Jeduthan Wellington born Sept 4th 1750. The Wellingtons were a white Massachusetts family.
The second family is the black Chase/Gray/Jones family whose first recorded birth is from the 1850s. It’s impossible to tell from the text when Rachel A. Chase came to own this Bible or how the Wellington Bible made its way from Massachusetts down to Maryland. It might have made its way South through a Bible Drive done by the American Bible Society, but there is no clear record. It’s possible that she received the Bible as a wedding present when she married Thomas H. Gray in 1868. Regardless of when the Bible came to the Chase/Gray/Jones family they regularly updated the Birth, Death, and Marriage pages to record their family history for 90 years. In this Bible is the only record of the exact dates of marriage for Rachel Chase’s three marriages and the death of her daughter Susan E. Gray who “departed this life on June 15, 1870.”
Family Bibles can be the only source of information for births and deaths, especially in an era before mandatory record keeping. It is especially helpful if the family faithfully updated the Bible. In this instance the Wellington family does not appear to have regularly recorded their history. There are no dates beyond 1840 and it passed from their family in a relatively short period of time. The Chase/Gray/Jones family carefully recorded their history, clearly enough that it is possible to trace four distinct generations, the last family update occurred in 1952.