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Volunteer and Grandson Preserve Family Records

April 25, 2017

Roger Lawton, a volunteer in the IHS Press, recently enlisted the help of his grandson, Lane, to help him photograph the Lawton family bible for publication with an article in Online Connections. The Bible was purchased for Alice Lawton in 1859 and has been owned by Roger, who acquired the Bible when he was 60, Roger?s great-aunt, who gave the Bible to Roger when she entered a nursing home, and Alice Lawton, who was Roger?s great-aunt?s grandmother.

Lawton said that Lane, age 7, was less surprised about the age of the Bible, 158 years, than he was that people had written inside of it. Still, he was happy to help his granddaddy and very proud to take pictures for the article. Roger is passionate about genealogy and also likes history. To him, the Bible symbolizes the history of his family, and the way that the Bible has been preserved and passed down through generations means that it was important to the family.

Lane, on the other hand, was interested in the Bible because his granddaddy was, but Roger does not think that he will go further with family relics. Roger explained, Old people tell their stories and young people say oh yeah, sure? and wander off.? Still, Lane may yet develop an interest in family history when Roger shows him sabers from the War of 1812 that Roger?s dad collected or an assortment of pins from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Right now, however, interacting with a relic meant quality time with his granddaddy and, to Lane?s surprise and excitement, payment for being the photographer of the family Bible pages. As for the Bible, Roger plans to give it to his brother?s wife, whose name is fittingly, Alice Lawton.

Chelsea Sutton is communications coordinator at the Indiana Historical Society. She started drinking coffee at age 3 with her dad and always stays up too late reading.

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