Home » March 2018 » Books to Benefit Returns 1880s Marriage Certificate to Family

Books to Benefit Returns 1880s Marriage Certificate to Family

German marriage certificateBooks to Benefit, a local nonprofit organization that raises monies for STAR Adult Literacy and YouthBuild McLean County’s literacy programs through its semiannual book sales, has once again found a home for a piece of family history.

Among books recently donated was an 1880s German Bible in which was found a marriage certificate. The certificate, dated 1886, was split and in pieces after being folded and stored in the Bible for over 130 years.

Volunteer Dr. Mary Ryder meticulously pieced together the fragments onto archival paper where she discerned the groom was Henry Sauder from Roanoke and his bride was Anna Eicher from Olio Township in Woodford County. “The certificate was beautifully illustrated and had to be preserved,” noted Ryder. “Each scene depicts the marriage cycle through Biblical references.”

After much sleuthing Ryder succeeded in finding the great-great granddaughter of the couple, Jennifer Vielhak of Mackinaw. On Wednesday, March 28 at 10:30 a.m., Books to Benefit will present the framed certificate and the German Bible to the family at the Books to Benefit storefront, 360 Wylie Drive, Suite 700 in Normal.

presenting the German marriage certificate“In addition to its mission to support literacy, Books to Benefit has placed rare works in academic libraries, literary archives, museums and presidential libraries throughout the nation,” shared Jackie Langhoff, president of Books to Benefit. “In October we returned a book from the Civil War era to a local family who are direct descendants of the owner.” Read coverage from Lenore Sobota of The Pantagraph.

Books to Benefit is currently accepting donations of gently used books for the upcoming June 14-17 sale. Donated books may be dropped off on-site, Wednesday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or in local drop boxes at the YWCA in Bloomington, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington or in front of the Books to Benefit location. To learn more about this event and how Books to Benefit supports literacy, visit www.books2benefit.com, fb.com/books2benefitbloomington or phone (309) 531-8320.

Books to Benefit is a local 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization passionately working to support literacy. The proceeds of its semiannual book sales benefit STAR Adult Literacy and YouthBuild McLean County’s literacy programs, provide financial support for the Books to Benefit Community Service Scholarship Award at Heartland Community College, encourage volunteerism through community service, and assure that works of scholarly importance and/or unusual publication history or content find appropriate homes offering ready access to these works.