Old Family Bible Reveals New Wonders

by Miff Crommelin

In 2010 an article appeared on the Crommelin Foundation website about an old family Bible that once belonged to the Verplanck-Crommelin family in New York. This heirloom is now housed at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Inside the flyleaves of this Bible were recorded the births, deaths, and marriages of early ancestors who were amongst the first to settle in pre-revolutionary America. Pasted into it were additional entries that were cut out from an earlier Dutch Bible, thus it contains family history dating back to 1667. The website article has transcriptions of all the entries that were recorded in the flyleaves, thanks to images that were sent to us by Amelia Peck, curator of the American history wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Then, on her annual trip to New York in December 2011, Lucy Godwin of Vancouver, Canada, paid a visit to the 'Metropolitan' and met with Amelia Peck, having booked an appointment with her prior to making the trip. Lucy Godwin is a descendent of Louis ("of Lisburn") Crommelin and has a keen interest in our family's history and genealogy. She was asked to bring back a few more bits of information including a picture of the wedding dress that Judith Crommelin wore upon her marriage to Samuel Verplanck. Judith was a daughter of Daniel Crommelin and Marie Le Plastrier who founded the notable Daniel Crommelin and Sons banking and trading company in Holland. Judith was betrothed to her American cousin, Samuel Verplanck, whose mother happened to be Mary Crommelin, a grandaughter of Daniel who arrived in New York in 1694. They were married in Holland in 1761. Samuel and Judith once owned the Verplanck Family Bible and duly added their entries to it.

Another request was to have Lucy obtain some images from inside the Verplanck Family Bible, not just the flyleaves. Much to everyone's surprise the Bible is profusely illustrated with biblical scenes and old maps of the World and the Holy Land as it was understood in 1715 when this Bible was published. The inside of the Bible had never been examined or photographed before. Indeed, illustrated Bibles of this vintage are very rare and valuable. Here, then, are some of the illustrations that Lucy Godwin discovered in her short fact-finding trip to the 'Met' last December.

Note that the west coast of North America and the east coast of Australia were still uncharted territories. The world would have to wait another 50 years before Capt. James Cook began the first of his 3 voyages into the Pacific Ocean to complete man's understanding of the globe. Later Capt. George Vancouver made a preliminary survey of North America's west coast, some 77 years after this book was printed.

Years in which certain prophesies
were believed to have been fulfilled,
and others which have yet to be fulfilled.

With appreciation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
and Amelia Peck,
curator of the American history wing.