Tenn. man on mission to return family bible found at thrift store


ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – A Tennessee man is on a mission to return a family bible to its original owners.

It was found just days ago at an Oak Ridge thrift shop. 

WATE Six On Your Side’s Elizabeth Kuebel spoke to the man who bought it. He’s now determined to find the family whose name is written inside.

Leo York believes it’s the Martin Family bible. A family tree for five generations is carefully inscribed inside. 

He’s now been doing his research and genealogy, trying to find the family it belongs to.

York believes it originally belonged to Ada Virginia Sharrett Martin.

Details of her family members are listed inside and mark some of their biggest life events.

“Baptisms, the deaths, the funerals, and the weddings,” York said.

York’s sister spotted the bible at the KARM store in Oak Ridge. He is interested in genealogy, so he gladly bought it. 

“I sort of treat it like gold. I’m very careful with it. I keep it in its box. I’ve cleaned and polished the box, wiped down the cover of the book of the bible, and actually put a little beeswax on it to help protect it,” he said.

The bible is almost 100 years old now – the last copyright printing date was 1926.

And it’s clear the family it belonged to has deep East Tennessee roots.

“Johnson City, Knoxville. This is very local, so I really need to find these people,” said York.

And that’s now become his mission: to return the bible to the people whose history is scripted inside. 

“I know that if somebody had a bible like that, that had my family information in it, I don’t know, I would probably ball. I would cry. I mean I would be so excited to see that,” he said.

If you know of any connection that could help Leo York do that, you can send him an email at k9luv.ly@gmail.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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