The Lost Bible: One Woman’s Mission to Find Family Bible’s Owners

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MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — When Kaitlyn Ducote ran across an old Bible in a back room where she worked in Winston-Salem, the easy thing to do would be to simply leave it there. Instead, she's made it her mission to find the owner.

Ducote said she had a sense that it must have meant a lot to someone when she found the Bible more than two years ago. The owner bothered to write the names of their children, their birth-dates – even put a few keepsakes between the pages for safekeeping. Pictures, rose petals, even a chauffeurs' license from California issued in 1937 to one John Earl Dunn - all located within the bible.

Now, Ducote is trying to find out who it belongs to and return it to them. But that’s a challenge a lot bigger than it first appeared, despite the names of the people who owned it being printed right inside the Bible.

Husband and wife William and Kerry Dunn are the first names listed in the Bible, followed by their children, William, Charles, and Carolyn.

Ducote says she's not going to give up as she looks for the owner of a Bible that might be a century old.

Want to help Kaitlyn Ducote with her mission to find the owners of this family heirloom? Share this post on your social media accounts!

If you have a lead on who the Bible may belong to, email us at


  • Sue

    That is very nice and extremely interesting. Maybe the owner is not alive but if not then with all the names I think someone will realize where the Bible belongs. Good Luck with your mission!

  • Ann Trentham

    If you want help, you will have to provide a list of names in the Bible along with birth dates and locations. Also, more info on driver’s license. The pictures on your web site are useless for you cannot read them. I have been doing genealogy since late 1970’s.

  • Linda Jones

    I did about 15 minutes of research on ancestry and find a grave. William and Carrie Dunn are buried in Chester County Pennsylvania. Hopewell United Methodist Church Cemetery is where they are buried. According to Census records they lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania. William, Charles and Carolyn were listed on the census. There is also WWi draft card for William Dunn. I hope this is the right family and helps to return the Bible to the rightful owners. I also contact a person Ancestry, and asked that she contact WHNT TV concerning this Bible. I hope this information helps. thanks Linda Jones

    • lukebandit

      Linda, you are so awesome! What a great job of detective work! Can’t wait to see the rightful owners receive the Bible! God Bless you!

  • Terri Hildreth

    Found the family in 1920 in Dowingtown PA & 1930 in Modena PA, but need better pictures to do additional research — especially of the license. Also found John E baptism record atGrove United Methodist Church in West Whiteland PA. Need better photos and additional locations to do more, I think.

  • Briana Felch

    I posted messages to all the family members’ FindAGrave memorials that I could locate (from using the census records). Some are buried at Hopewell United Methodist Cemetery as posted, but a few are buried in other cemeteries in that county (Saint Agnes Cemetery & Northwood Cemetery). I was unable to locate children: Carolyn (didn’t see her in any census), Charles M., Leroy A, Austin M. & Anna Mary (all from the 1930 census). I located parents William (M.) & Carolyn / Carrie and their children William M., John Earl, Dorothy M., Walter A. & George F. (all from the 1930 census) & also Wm. M. Sr’s mother, Mary Dunn (1910 census), but it is possible that I missed one or more.

    • Terri

      On the 1920 census (in Dowington/Dowingtown), there is a couple identified as William’s (the father) brother-in-law and sister-in-law, so that’s another thread to pull.

  • Briana Felch

    I also posted messages to the Facebook page and the RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) Facebook pages so people will share the story.

  • Lisa

    Wonder why the person who found this bible did not take these steps? Looks like the viewers are resourceful, intelligent people! Awesome job guys.

    • Terri

      I wondered the same thing, Lisa. Maybe there is some kind of connection to the Tennessee Valley that wasn’t in the report.

  • Claire Aiello

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions and leads – we received many emails and calls, in addition to the comments here. We are working on getting in touch with the woman who found the Bible.

    • Rochelle Rabin

      I found this story posted to Facebook. I live in Chester County, PA, also, and recognize the cemetery names as being local. (In fact, I had a fellow named Dunn in my high school class.) I’m going to recommend that you share this story with the Daily Local News of West Chester, PA, and your sister station, “CBS 3” KYW-TV in Philadelphia, which covers our viewing area. There may be family left in this area that will recognize the names. This is a nice thing that you’re doing. I hope the family gets their Bible back.

  • Eilene Harkless Moore

    I had a huge family bible written in the Swiss language. It had been brought to America in the 1930s. It had about 50 huge color plates in it of bible photos; also some pictures of a couple when they were young. It had some written messages. I tried to find its owner for years (before internet) but without success. After the internet came together, about five years ago, I began to look for these owners again. I managed to find the owner after looking and searching information for about 3 months. A wonderful 92 year old lady invited me out for”tea” and I met her daughter, as well. The bible belonged to her mother, who died fairly young. Her father sod everything, including that magnificent bible with full page color pages. This lady had never even seen this precious bible. She blessed me and, indeed, I did feel blessed that the Lord led to to her. Eilene Harkless Moore

    • lukebandit

      What an incredible story! God works in mysterious ways. Why would that man SELL the family Bible for?? Blows my mind!

  • Wanda in PA!

    I’ve shared this on Facebook, since I’m from the Chester Co PA area. Please let us know if a relative has been found so I can let my Facebook friends know. Hope a relative is found so the Bible is reunited with the family!

  • Libby Brinton

    She should go to her local genealogy club/group and ask a member for help in returning the bible to a descendant. They’ll be able to tell her what to do and how to do it. I suggest posting a notice on Rootsweb.

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