It all started about three years ago. I was working on my Baldwin/Ingraham line and I had reached a dead end with one Peggy Wardell. I searched and searched for any info relating to this Peggy Wardell but kept coming up empty handed. A cousin of mine had done some research in the early 70's and it was his chart that I was working from. On a hunch, I contacted his daughter to see if she had any other information that her dad had collected. A few weeks later I received the same chart but with a few differences. He had Peggy Wardell as Peggy Wardwell. Ah ha! I should have thought of that! But more importantly he listed an Ingraham/Wardwell bible as his reference. He also stated that the bible had been given to the Bates County Museum by Aunt Kate. Hmmmm. So where was the bible?
Fast forward three years later. I now volunteer at the museum. During a search for an object listed in a script of an old walking tour, I come across a box of books. There in the bottom of the box sat my bible! The bible was printed circa 1825. It has a family record that has been pasted inside the front cover. It lists Thomas Ingraham b. 1773 and his wife Margaret "Peggy" (Wardwell) as well as their children. Towards the middle of the bible is listed Thomas Swan Ingraham and his wife Julia (Balis) Ingraham and their children. There in gorgeous handwriting was the info I had been looking for! A primary source to help prove my Mayflower line.
Ah but my ancestors had more in store for me! Tucked between the pages of the bible were little clipping and scraps of fabric. Some little notes that only make sense to those who wrote them and a book. This book was handmade and just a few pages thick. I opened the front cover and there inside was written "Mary I Baldwin", the name of my fourth great grandmother. It was she that has caused me to pull my hair out due to the lack of documentation she left behind. She was the weak link in my Mayflower line. So, I turned the page and there they were! My fourth great grandmother had made a small book of hair clippings. The first page held three separate locks of hair, each neatly labelled. Francis Baldwin. J. Baldwin and Samuel Baldwin. The hair of her husband Samuel and his parents Francis and Jane (Lee) Baldwin. The next page contained even more. This page was dedicated to Mary's family, Thomas Swan Ingraham, Julia (Balis) Ingraham and her siblings, Monroe, Major, her own, and her youngest sister Rebecca. Rebecca's having been woven into a little hair wreath!
The bible was a find just from a primary source point of view. The bible became a real treasure when I could look at these locks of hair and actually have a physical connection to the ancestors that up until this time, had just been a name and a date plugged into a family tree program. This is why I love genealogy. The little finds that remind us that there is a full history behind those names and dates. Most of whom had reddish-brown hair!
The Ingraham Family Locks