Julian woman finds relatives connected to 1878 Bible

JULIAN, Calif. - A Julian woman made an amazing discovery after trying to track down the owners of a Bible from the 1870s.

Marcy Lehman knew she had something special but had forgotten about it until the recent fire in Julian motivated her to clean out her storage.

That special something was a Bible from 1878, which was something her friend gave her three years ago.

"She knew I was doing my family tree and I was into this research thing, and so she grabbed it and said, 'I know Marcy. She'll find the owners of this Bible,'" Lehman said.

Inside, Lehman found a marriage certificate and a list of births and deaths. She searched all the names on ancestry.com and was overwhelmed.

"1,956,704 results … that's amazing," she said.

She managed to narrow her search down to two families and emailed them.

A day later, she was contacted by a couple more than 2,000 miles away in Minnetonka, Minnesota named Chris and Kate. It was Kate's mom Patricia who recognized all the names Lehman had mentioned. 

10News spoke with Patricia Wall and her daughter and was amazed to hear about the connection to the Bible's owners: Patricia's grandfather John Wall Sr., who emigrated from Ireland in the 1800s and his wife Sarah Ann. The Bible was given to them by a Catholic church when they got married in 1878.

"That was the only part that I knew about," Patricia said.

Her father John Wall Jr., the last of their five children, died in the 1970s. He was the last connection to her grandparents.

"So this will really be something for us to see," she said.

Her daughter, Kate Meier, said, "You wouldn't expect that one day you'd get a message from across the country that someone has a piece of your family history that has all these missing links. It's pretty amazing."

"I'm just as emotional and happy about it as they are," said Lehman.

She plans to carefully wrap the Bible and mail it to the Wall family.

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