The John and Jane Blair Bible was handed down through my grandmother, Elizabeth H. Macfarlane Brown. She was the granddaughter of Rebecca (Blair) Hyndman, the daughter of the original owners, James and Jane Blair. The Blairs were of Ballywildrick, Dunboe Parish, Derry, Ireland.
From writings in the Bible it appears that the Bible was acquired in 1799 or later by the Blairs. Book conservators that have examined it, have determined that the Bible was bound later.
Several pages of the bible that have inscriptions by its several owners. Written on the inside of the front cover on a pale blue-green sheet of writing paper is the following:
This Bible was published in 1799 and has been in my family since 1852
It has the Apocrypha between the Old and New Testaments
Notice the long S's in the print.
E. M. Brown
180 Wellington Road
U. Darby, Pa.
This was written by my grandmother sometime after 1940 and before 1959 when she was living on Wellington Road in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
Inscribed on the first flyleaf is an inscription by John Cunningham, son of James and Elizabeth Blair Cunningham and grandson of John and Jane Blair. Apparently John Cunningham brought the Bible from Ireland when he immigrated in 1851 presenting it to Samuel and Rebecca Blair Hyndman who had immigrated to Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania in 1839. Rebecca Blair Hyndman was the daughter of the original owners, John and Jane Blair.
Erected by a friend
In memory of JOHN BLAIR late of
B A L L Y W I L D R I C K
Who died on the 5th March 1859
Aged 90 years
Also his wife JANE who died
10 July 1857 Aged 88 years
Photographed at the Presbyterian Chuch graveyard in Articlave, Coleraine, Ireland, this gravestone of John and Jane Blair, appears to be that of the original owners of the Blair Bible. According to the Bible, John was born in July of 1767 and died March 5th of 1858, making his age 90 at death as the tombstone suggests. Jane was born 15 Nov 1769 (from the Bible) and died (according to the tombstone) 10 Jul 1857. Her age would have been 87 at death. No death date for her is shown in the Bible. Since the death date of John is off by exactly one year, perhaps Jane's is also incorrect by the same amount.
Neither the Blair Bible or the tombstone information should be considered the last word; however, since the tombstone's death date of March 5th agrees with the Blair Bible, I would say that this is their tombstone.
Photographed 19 Oct 2000 by John Cunningham, a descendant of the Blairs.