Bible mystery in Baytown: Group searching for family's descendants

BAYTOWN, Texas – A fragile and old Bible could hold the key to precious history for a local family. The good book was donated to the Baytown Genealogical Society over a year ago -- but tracking down the descendants of the original owners has been difficult.

"They're originally, I believe, from Baytown," says the society's president James Winston. "So there's bound to be somebody, who knows somebody, who knows somebody."

The Bible -- well over 100 years old -- belonged to the Wood family in the late 1800s. Bibles were once crucial tools used to trace family lineage.

"Bibles used to be the track and history of the family because you didn't have birth certificates, you didn't have death certificates, marriage certificates," says Winston. "So before that came along the Bible was the official record for the family."

In this particular Bible are the names of the parents. J.B. Wood born 1867 and his wife Lillie Brown born in 1875. Their son Emmett C. Wood married Rosa Brown and they gave birth to George Eldon, J.B., Geraldine, Eugene, Anne, and Marilyn Sue Wood.

"Then we have a Mrs. B. Wood who died in 1957," Winston said. "So the descendants would probably be from this line."

The last attempt to find the family's descendants was unsuccessful but James Winston and members of Baytown's Genealogical Society are reaching out once again to pass along what they hope, is an important piece of family history.

"Can you imagine the excitement of great-great-great-grandchildren being given a Bible with their ancestry written down," Winston said. "That's what we're hoping for."

If you think you may be related to the Wood family or know someone who could be contact James Winston of the Baytown Genealogical Society via email at piper965@aol.com.

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