MIDLOTHIAN, Texas - A Midlothian woman is on a mission to find the owners of an old family Bible that is almost 150 years old. She's hoping you can help.
Debbie Lewis remembers the Bible dating back to 1870 sitting on her mother's coffee table for years. When she passed away about ten years ago, she says the Bible was one of the things she kept. It was stored in a box in the garage for about a decade until recently.
"My cousin contacted me and asked if I had my grandmother's Bible," she recalled. "I found it. And once I looked, I noticed it definitely wasn't my family's Bible."
Lewis believes the Bible was likely a garage sale or auction find. The inscription on the cover suggests it was given to Antonio Lucio and Amelia S. Martin of California as a wedding gift.
The book contains handwritten records of births and deaths that date back to the late 1870s. There's also pressed flowers that were mostly likely placed inside upon the death of a loved one.
There's also a picture of man Lewis suspects was Antonio Lucio himself or a relative. She says online research points to the Lucio family of Alameda County, California, which is in the San Francisco bay area.
"He was a settler there, a rancher and farmer. So maybe his family owns a lot of land there. Maybe they're still there," she said.
Father Jonathan Austin of St. Jude Chapel in Downtown Dallas says family Bibles have been around for ages. Even to this day, they help people document special moments in their lives.
"It becomes a family affair," he said. "My grandfather and grandmother passed onto me not only the book itself but the faith it's contained therein."
Lewis hopes genealogy buffs and folks on social media will help her return the family Bible to its rightful owner.
"I just hope we can find who it belongs to -- the family, give them a piece of their history," she said. "I just think it would be amazing to find them."