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Calling all members of the Gidney family in Aylsham - are you missing your family bible?

PUBLISHED: 14:29 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:29 27 November 2017

Frontispiece of the Gidney Bible

Frontispiece of the Gidney Bible

Is your name Gidney and has your family lived in Aylsham since the 18th century?

A family bible recording all Gidney births from 1762 to 1805 was handed in to Attleborough heritage centre.

And a woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been tasked with finding the rightful owner.

She said: “An anonymous donor handed it in. I visited there during heritage open days and was given it, along with the task of finding the rightful owner. The bible is dated 1675.

“Books are only valuable if they’re rare, preferably in good condition. The bible is the commonest book in the world and this copy is in very poor condition. It therefore has no monetary value but could be a precious family souvenir.”

She is looking for a descendant of Jeremiah Gidney, possibly born in Aylsham in 1762, to pass the bible on.

She added: “The inscription at the front of the bible reads ‘Jeremiah Gidney. This Book be Given by Ann Flegg in the year of our Lord 1762’.

“It was addressed to ‘the Reverend Mr Thos. Browne in Aylsham’, and several births are recorded inside.

“The last entry is Frederick John Gidney, son of Mary Gidney, who was born between six and seven o’clock in the evening of Monday, January 20, 1805 and baptised by the Rev W Beckwith at St Edmund’s Church.

“Another part of the recorded history is of Thomas Davy Gidney who went on a secret expedition on Saturday, May 26, 1800. He was part of the 2nd Queen’s Regt of foot.

“A loose piece of paper in the bible may also be a clue. Written on the type of paper one would use for household accounts there is an inventory of furniture in 22, Mount Pleasant. It lists the items in the entrance hall and includes sword, dagger & two riding whips, also the coat of arms. “There’s also a picture of a cow by Blazely. Perhaps the descendant still has this painting?”

There were nine Gidneys living in Aylsham in 1821, according to that year’s census, and Mt Pleasant still exists in the town.

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