Mystery over treasured Derry family’s Bible discovered in attic in England

An English family who discovered a vividly illustrated vintage Bible in the attic of their home, are hoping to reunite it with the Derry family who once treasured it.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 10:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 11:56 am
The Crucifixion as depicted in one of the vivid illustrations.

The large leather-bound bible contains a number of clues as to who might have owned it, as one previous owner took the time to record the marriages, births and deaths that had occurred within the family on the inside leaves of the 65-years-old book.

The Bible also contains newspaper clippings of local people dating back generations and appears to have belonged to a family named ‘Gallagher.’

The King James Bible was printed by William Collins & Sons Company of Glasgow after receiving Royal consent from the then young Queen Elizabeth II in June 1954, acting on the authority of previous permissions granted by Queen Victoria for a previous edition.

The Crucifixion as depicted in one of the vivid illustrations.

The weighty tome was sent to ‘Journal’ offices by the family who found it in the hope of reuniting it with its owner or their descendants.

A letter accompanying the Bible, written by a woman from County Durham, states: “On clearing out our attic, we came across this old family Bible with handwritten details of names, marriages, etc. It does not belong to our family.

“However some family members who lived for a while in Derry in the 1970s say that it belongs to the Gallagher family, who then lived in the Fountain area of Derry.

“Two names were mentioned by them - Anne Gallagher and her brother Sidney Gallagher, who also lived in Derry back then.

The front cover of the Bible.

“I believe the Bible was somehow stored at the home of our family members, then resident in Derry and that it became mixed up with our own family possessions during a house move.

“Hopefully, you will be able to reconnect the Bible with the Gallagher family. I do not know if they are still in Derry or if they read the ‘Derry Journal’ - but hopefully some of your readers will be able to alert them to this if you publish details in the ‘Derry Journal.’ I’m sure the Gallagher family will be grateful.”


Among the marriages recorded at the front of the Bible are those of Jean Gallagher and Bob McMenamin on October 8, 1960; Andrina Gallagher and James Winston Nutt on August 31, 1961; James Alexander Gallagher and a Miss McCrea on September 5, 1961 and James Gallagher and Mary Temple (no date given).

One of the illustrations within the Bible.

Births recorded include Jean Gallagher (1937); Jim Gallagher (1939); Andrina Gallagher; Sidney Gallagher; Ann Gallagher; John and Malcolm MacMenamin; Patricia Nutt and Linda Gallagher.

Deaths recorded meanwhile include Grannies Temple, Gallagher and Creswell.

There are also newspaper photo clippings of Sidney Gallagher in plays at Foyle College and at the 1st Derry Boy’s Company, as well as a postcard to Miss Ann Gallagher of Kennedy Street from someone named Valerie. Further to this, there is also a City Commandant’s Office Certificate of Service for Ulster Special Constabulary for Sergeant Instructor James Gallagher, who served locally from 1937 until he retired in May 1962.

Anyone with information in relation to the Gallagher family, is asked to make contact the Derry Journal on 028 71272249 or e-mail [email protected]

One of the illustrations within the Bible.
One of the illustrations within the Bible.
Births, deaths and marriages are recorded in the Bible.
Sidney Gallagher from one of the newspaper clippings found inside the Bible.