Tag Archives: william r. norris jr.

A Pictoral Bible is Worth 1,000 Words

21 Jun
To close my Norris research for a little while, in order to spend some time tracing the remaining two branches, here (at long last) are photos of both Genevieve Paul’s Bible and William R. Norris’ Bible. Click on any of them for a better view. 

Genevieve Paul’s Bible

An Obituary for William R. Norris in the Book of Samuel in Genevieve Paul's Bible

William R. Norris & Minnie Lee Norris’ Bible

Spine of Bible

William R. Norris Writing in Inside Cover

 
Note the witnesses to the wedding: Minnie’s parents and the pastor M.B. Wharton. Wharton, incidentally, is the middle name of William and Minnie’s first son Elmer (great-grandfather Samuel “Doc” E. Norris’ brother). This was something Mom caught the second time we looked over the names.

Marriages Listed in Bible

 

Births Listed in Bible

Deaths Listed in Bible

 

 One of the other things I’d like to know about the Bible is who wrote the entries. Are they in Minnie or William’s handwriting? I hope to find some of Minnie’s handwriting to compare.

Inside Title Page

Aren’t these pages amazing, though? There are many pages just as intricately drawn as this one. Sadly, there are also places for family photos, but there aren’t any there. I’d love to see a photo of Minnie or William when they were younger; well William at any age actually.

Advertisements

The Family Bible

3 Jun

After spending several nights (one per week to maintain my sanity) trying to confirm the name of William R. Norris’ father, I finally got my mom to dig out “The Bible.”

 The Bible? Why had I never seen this Bible before. She gave such a mysterious and all-knowing persona to it. Every time I told mom about what I had or hadn’t found she would say, “I’ll have to dig out the Bible.” She never did. After my last post about so very many William Norris’ with none matching up quite right, I needed to see this Bible.

It had at some point been passed down to my great-grandfather Doc, and then to my Grandpa. Apparently Mom had never seen it before stumbling across it a few years ago, though. It was my understanding that within its pages there was a family tree of some sort. Apparently old bibles had these. I, for one, had no idea. I was so nervous to see “The Bible” and find out who William R. Norris’ father really was. There had been a sort of thrill to the hunt, and now the moment of truth…

My first impression was, “How intricate!” The cover is fantastic. The marriage page for William and Minnie is even more fantastic. The information is written in beautiful calligraphy on an illuminated manuscript style page. These are the facts about their wedding that I summarized from the page.

William R. Norris married Minnie Lee Rose in Montgomery, AL on Dec. 1, 1886 in the presence of S.L. Rose and S. Elizabeth Rose.

The next several pages listed births, deaths, and marriages. William and Minnie were there, along with my great-grandfather and his brothers Elmer and William Jr. and another brother who died as a baby. Here are a few dates, that I noted to begin with.

  • Samuel Leslie Rose (S.L.) died May 3, 1904 (Minnie’s father)
  • S. Elizabeth Rose died May 16, 1890 (Minnie’s mother)
  • Minnie Lee Rose born Oct. 23, 1868 in Benton, AL
  • William R. Norris born August 13, 1859 in Marion, AL
  • Elmer Wharton Norris born Dec. 23, 1887 in Montgomery, AL
  • William Robert Norris Jr. born April 3, 1890 in Montgomery, AL
  • Leslie Alanson Norris born Oct. 3, 1892 and died Nov. 15, 1892

There were additional dates that I didn’t include here, because I already knew them. There are many wedding dates too, which I’ll save for later.

You’ll see pictures of the Bible in my next post. I’m afraid I didn’t have a camera that day, and the pages are too frail to scan

In addition to these amazing pages, the Norris family Bible also contained an envelope full of obituaries from various family members. Here, I found one for Minnie Lee Norris that stated that they’d moved to Colorado in 1904. That was definitely one of the questions in my mind. I knew they were in Alabama in 1900 and in Colorado in 1908 (the year William died), but I wasn’t sure when they’d moved.

One of the other questions my aunt and mom had about Minnie was why she stayed here after William died. To our knowledge, they’d moved to Colorado (like so many) in hopes of curing William’s tuberculosis. They were here for four years before he passed away, which must’ve been long enough for the Norris’ to set down new roots. One of the things that we learned from the Bible entries was that both of Minnie’s parents died before she moved to Colorado with William and her boys. This could be one reason why she didn’t feel like returning to Alabama…or maybe she just liked it here.

Overall though, the facts in the Bible were a little disappointing at first. Amazing as it was, it didn’t have the one piece of information I was looking for. Who was William’s father? He wasn’t mentioned anywhere… Or was he?

In looking back over all of the entries, Mom and I noticed that the baby Norris who died within a year of being born had a very interesting name. Leslie…Alanson…Norris. The middle name Alanson couldn’t be a coincidence. It looks to me as if the baby was named after both Minnie and William’s fathers (Leslie being Minnie Lee’s father’s middle name, and Alanson being William’s father). This was a HUGE indicator that Alanson was indeed the father of the “right” William.

The next big  clue was that, according to the Bible, William was born in Marion, AL. Since I’d found the Alanson Norris family in the 1860 census (under A.B. Norris),  in which that William was one year old, I guessed that the Norris’ would still live in the town where William had been born. If the town from that census record was Marion, AL, then I felt confident that Alanson/A.B. Norris was, in fact, my great-great-great grandfather.

As you can see (if you click on it to make it larger)…

…there it is on the top of the page; Marion, AL.

At the bottom of this page, you’ll see A.B. Norris, his wife, and several children listed.

At the top of the next page, you’ll see William, age 1.

One mystery solved. Many, many more to go. Oh, and something VERY exciting (in addition to the Bible pictures) in my next post!

%d bloggers like this: