An Ancient Bible 274 Years Old

(Article from the Napanee Express Feb. 24, 1893)


†††† Seven generations in one family. One of the relics of the late C. V. Benson.At the residence of Portland Benson, in the township of Sophiasburgh, county of Prince Edward, may be seen an old relic in the shape of a Bible.It was printed in the Holland Dutch language at Amsterdam in the years 1618-1619.It has been handed down in the Benson family for six generations, the youngest son falling heir to it.This book is no small volume, it being 14 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 6 inches thick.It has ornamental brass corners, some of which have torn off.There has also been brass clasps, which have been broken.The board covers have been split, but have been fixed by recent generations with slats put across them, which have been nailed and clinched.The leaves of the book have turned quite brown with age.The book contains an Index, the Old Testament, Apocryphs, Concordance and New Testament.The chapters are numbered by using the Roman numerals, the Dutch style of letters being used.The verses are numbered by English figures.There are several maps, most of them torn, and several leaves both in the front and back of the book are gone.There are no autographs written by any of the former generations, or if there has been they have been torn out.On a whole it shows its antiquity.As for the book being in the Benson family for 7 generations, Matthew Benson, a U. E. Loyalist, came from the U. S. about the year 1783 and settled in Prince Edward Co.He was a Dutchman and could read this Bible, and he said he was the third generation of youngest sons that the book had been handed down to, which would mean that he was the fourth generation that had had this book.The book has probably come to America shortly after it was printed, for the Dutch portion of America was given to England in a treaty of peace between England and Holland, 1670.After this the Dutch would not be so likely to come to America.It evidently stayed in the United States for a hundred years or more, and then came with Matthew Benson to Canada about the year 1783.Matthew Bensonís youngest sons were twins, namely Richard and John Benson.the Bible after Matthewís death was disputed as to the owner, and sometimes it was in one family and sometimes in the other.It was taken from John Bensonís family and given to W. H. Benson, the youngest son of Richard Benson.He by moving about the country, the book got in strangers hands.Portland Benson, grandson of John Benson, found the book and purchased it back into John Bensonís family from Rev. W. D. P. Wilson.Portland Benson is the youngest son of the late C. V. Benson.The Bibleís lineage would be, Matthew Benson, a U.E. Loyalist, was the third generation of youngest son, fourth generation that had possessed the book.John Benson, his youngest son, Cornelius V. Benson, his second son, Portland Benson, his youngest son.John Bensonís youngest son was Richard Benson, who died in his youth.Heldbrand Benson was the next youngest, and his youngest son is Arkland Benson, the rightful heir.He at present is in Australia, too far away to lay any claim to the book.This Bible is truly an ancient relic its equal would be hard to find in this new country.In olden times things were made substantial, so as to last for ages, and prized for their age, but this new country and these last generation have too much love for change, and a greater desire for things that are new, to preserve anything that is old.And then to think that it has been for seven generations in this family shows that for this length of time they have been true converts to the Christian faith, if not always a true follower of Christ.It also shows that they have been true to their principles, in as much as, leaving their ancient home, Holland, for America and again leaving the United States for Canada, simply for their love of true principles.What greater evidence could we ask for their love of truth, which was taught in the book they preserved and cherished.




A Centenarian

Celebration of Mrs. Bogart's 100th Birthday

(Article from the Weekly Commercial Advertiser, Oswego, Sept 18 1872)


†† On Saturday last, the 10th instant, Mrs. Bogart, of Adolphustown, was one hundred years old. The day was celebrated by the members of her numerous family by a general gathering at the old homestead; her children and grand-children came with their families from Chicago, Chatham, Hamilton, Toronto, Lindsay, Belleville, Napanee, Picton, and from the Townships of Prince Edward and Lennox and Addington.

†† Mrs. Bogart was the eldest child of James Lazier, who came to the Bay of Quinte about 1790 and settled near Northport, from whom the numerous families of the Laziers in Hastings and Prince Edward are descended; these families joined in paying their respects to their venerable relative. A steamer, chartered for the occasion, by Mr. D.D. Bogart, left Belleville at 8 o'clock, with one hundred and thirty people on board, accompanied by a band of music; they arrived at 12 o'clock and were met by a large number of relatives, who had come up a little before by steamer from Picton. In another hour, a steamer gayly decorated with flags, brought the Napanee contingent. Altogether there were not less than 400 relatives of Mrs. Bogart present.

†† The venerable lady who that day completed a century of life, was as cheerful and gay as the youngest of her great grand children. "Can you see us all with such old eyes, Grandma?" asked a prattling little great grand daughter;"I can see every thing but the back of my head my dear" she replied with a twinkle in her bright eye - and indeed, so she can.She sees and reads with ease, and her mind is so clear that she enjoys reading exceedingly, though she complains that her memory of recent events is almost gone. One of her grandsons asked her about something that had happened the day before, she replied "I can't remember, I am getting old, and my memory is not good." Wishing to test her memory of early life, he said, "Grandma do you remember the young officer that fell in love with you at Fort Oswego when you were moving to Canada?" She burst into a gay laugh and relied, "Indeed I do, what put that into your head."

†† Among those present were Mrs. Bogart's two brothers, Messrs. John and Abraham Lazier, of Prince Edward, gray-haired old men of 80 and 83, respectively, but standing as straight, and stepping with the elasticity of ordinary men of 50 years.

†† After she had received the affectionate greeting of her relatives, all parties proceeded to a grove near by, where hundreds of her old neighbors had gathered, to pay their respects to one who had been the friend of their grand parents, and whom they had known and loved from their own childhood. Seated upon a raised dais, covered with crimson cloth, the old lady held a levee, and received the congratulations of her friends. After dinner had been served, an artist took several photographs of Mrs. Bogart, and then her descendants grouped around her; her great grand children sitting at her feet, and her two brothers on either side of her chair; after two or three attempts had been frustrated by the bobbing up of little heads, a good picture of this group was taken.

†† Two beautiful poems inscribed to the venerable matron by lady friends were then read by Rev. George Meacham, M.A. her grandson, and a short address was delivered by Mr. W.W. Dean, another grandson. †††Mr. Dean mentioned a few facts which may be interesting to our readers. Mrs. Bogart was brought, a young, and according to the family traditions, a beautiful bride, to the farm on which the celebration was held 78 years ago; the farm is now the property of Peter Bogart, the oldest son of her eldest son, and a more lovely spot cannot be found in the Dominion. The grove in which they were assembled was for many years a wheat field, but having been allowed more than half a century ago to relapse into a state of nature is now covered with large trees. Mrs. Bogart had eleven children, of whom only five are living. Of those who are dead several lived to an advanced age, the eldest being over 75 years at his death; she has had forty-six grand children and eighty five great grand children nearly all of whom are living, some of the latter have nearly reached manhood.

†† Mrs. Bogart bore the excitement and fatigue of the day wonderfully well. Just before leaving, a physician, who happened to be of the party, felt her pulse and found it perfectly regular, and tolerably strong, indeed, he said that the majority of young people have not as good a circulation as this old lady, through whose veins the blood has coursed for a hundred years.

†† Bidding her an affectionate and not untearfulgood bye, the party broke up at five o'clock, well assured that they had taken part in a celebration that could happen in very few families, and the like of which they would never witness again.