Anthony Wayne Family in The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library

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by John D. Beatty

The Allen County Public Library has added an artifact of historical and genealogical significance to its collection with its recent acquisition of the Anthony and Mary (Penrose) Wayne Family Bible.

General Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) was a staff officer of George Washington during the Revolutionary War and later took charge of the American army in the 1790s. His military victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers helped to establish American control of the Old Northwest Territory. The artifact complements a manuscript letter of General Wayne, which the library acquired in 1994.

Published in 1788, the Wayne family bible was presented by Wayne’s wife Mary to their son Isaac Wayne, a Philadelphia attorney, probably soon after the book was published and contains what appears to be her inscription to him. Perhaps it was Isaac Wayne who carefully recorded the deaths of both of his parents on the bible’s flyleaves, as well as his own marriage and the births and deaths of his children. Later, the bible passed to Isaac’s niece, Mary Wayne (Atlee) Evans, daughter of William Richardson Atlee and Margaretta Wayne, and wife of Issachar Evans, who continued the tradition of recording family events in its pages.

More than sixty years of family information is recorded, and the result is a virtual manuscript genealogy of vital events, representing possibly the most significant primary source for the study of Anthony Wayne’s descendants. A variety of genealogical documents accompany the bible, including two fragments for the ancestors of Issachar Evans; pages from the Robert and Margaret Towers Bible, published in London in 1756; and pages from the bible of Jonathan and Mary Gostilowe and Robert T. and Eliza (Ridgway) Evans, published at Oxford, England in 1762. Among the other documents is a typescript description of the Anthony Wayne birthplace at Waynesborough, Pennsylvania.

Article taken from the Genealogy Gems[1]: News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 13, March 31, 2005