Thomas Donaldson Bible first page analysis and more…


The first sentence says ” Come people attend whilst I do retal (retell) my travels? from my sin to my …..(last 2 words are illegible). My best guess is “from my sins to my present state”  because that makes sense according to context. I am pretty sure it is a testimony of Thomas Donaldson’s faith. I am not sure what denomination he was considering I can’t find any church records on him. I do know that most of his children were Baptist.

Thomas says the book is his. His daughter Polly Donaldson (born 1797) practices her penmanship on this page.

Thomas’s son, William Donaldson, wrote the bottom part which is somewhat illegible. The handwriting is distinctly different from Thomas’s handwriting above. It was probably written after Thomas died in 1811.

I have gleaned a few things from this Bible.Firstly, Thomas Donaldson could read and write. He was somewhat educated. Secondly, this particular Bible was published in 1794 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained it after his marriage to Mary Cook Donaldson (they were married 1792/early 1793).

My question is how did Thomas Donaldson come into possession of this Bible? Was it sold in South Carolina to individual citizens or did one of his relatives bring it over from Scotland when he/or she immigrated? Was it a gift of some sort? I want to find out the answers.

Why I am here…..

My name is Samantha Nifong. I am an avid history buff. My grandfather ingrained in me the love of Civil War history when I was a child. He taught me about Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He took me to my first reenactment when I was 10 years old. My father continued to stoke the fire of my interest in history by taking me to Civil War battlefields throughout my teenage years.

I majored in US History at the College of Charleston. I also took Historic Preservation classes. My favorite classes were the ones about Charleston history and Charleston architecture. I think I learned more about Charleston History by walking the streets in downtown Charleston than in the classroom.

All my education and research skills have brought me to my freelance work in genealogy. I have made a vow to myself that I would find out as much as I can about my past; where I come from; the lifeblood of my ancestors within me.