Numerous enquiries relating to local history and archaeology sent to the Forum website. One of the most interesting was from Barbara Triplett-Decrease from Michigan. The enquiry, with a remarkable outcome, was dealt with by Peter Crawford.
Barbara had in her possession an old family Bible, printed by Mark Baskett in 1763, with births and marriages of a Paisley family surnamed Smeal /Smail. The earliest entry was the birth of James Smeal in 1761. Another family member, Thomas Smeal married Jane Watson in Thread Street, Paisley in 1820. Their son, Robert Smail, who was born in 1830, was married in America.
The earliest entries in the Smeall family Bible
Barbara had attempted to find descendants of the family in Canada and U.S.A. without success. Because the Smeall family could not be traced she was keen that the Bible should be returned to Paisley and sent it to Peter. Peter contacted Paisley Heritage Centre, who were keen to accept the Bible and add it to their archives. Paisley Library had the Bible rebound and arrangements were made for Barbara to present the Bible to the Heritage Centre on her proposed visit to Paisley in September.
On 19th September 2016, at a ceremony held in Paisley Heritage Centre, Barbara formally presented the Bible to Provost Anne Hall. The beautifully rebound Smeall Family Bible will now be part of the Renfrewshire Archives.
The Presentation of the newly-bound Smeall Family Bible
Russ and Barbara with Provost Ann Hall and Peter Crawford