Reesor Family Bible

Reesor Bible History

The Reesor Bible is a treasure passed down in the Reesor family for hundreds of years.

It is a 1531 Froschauer Bible that was printed by Kristoffel Froschauer. These bibles were the German-Swiss bible published for the Reformed Church in Switzerland. It was basically Martin Luther’s translation from the Latin. Froschauer began publication of these bibles in 1529. This particular copy of the bible was owned by the Reusers in Europe and came across the Atlantic in 1739, with Peter and his wife, Elisabeth. It was then brought to Markham in Upper Canada in 1804, by his son Christian (1747-1804) and his wife, Fanny Reiff. It is truly a remarkable volume, printed on heavy paper, well bound between oak boards, with leather covering and brass corners. It is amply illustrated with woodcuts.

The old Reesor Bible actually is two books bound into one, the second being a "Chronikbuch" or chronicle book. The Chronikbuch has a separate title page which is dated 1579. Since the title page of the Bible is missing, it was always assumed that 1579 was the date of the entire work. In 1978 Amos and Ada Reesor took the Bible to Aylmer to be examined by David Luthy, an Amish Historian. It was he who identified the book as being two separate works. He also recognized the Bible as being a 1531 edition. There are several factors, including the dimensions of the book, the number of pages and the page number at the end of the New Testament, which identify the Reesor Bible as 1531 Froschauer.

The book remained in the family line until 2001 when it was donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario where it is benefiting from a carefully controlled environment.

Reesor Bible Conservation Project

The Reesor Family in Canada invites donations to the Reesor Bible Conservation Project to preserve this important piece of our community's history. The conservation will allow the Bible to be viewed and handled safely, while not removing all the evidence of its long life. We anticipate the work will begin in 2024 to be completed by 2025, the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism. We also hope to display the Reesor Bible at the 2030 Reesor Reunion, very close to its 500th anniversary.

The conservation project is estimated at $8,100. We'd like to exceed that amount to provide support for the ongoing work of the Archives, which does not receive government funding. Your generosity will help to preserve this important part of Reesor and Mennonite history.

Cheques can be made out to Conrad Grebel University College and put “Reesor Bible” in the memo line. Their address is:

Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Rd. N.,
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Online gifts by credit card can be made through the University of Waterloo website by clicking here

For Gift Designation, choose "I would like to choose multiple funds to support" to get a pop up window and choose "Mennonite Archives of Ontario". Then put Reesor Bible in the comment field.

You will receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation.

Fred Martin from Conrad Grebel writes

"Thanks for your passion for preserving this important piece of our community’s history! It’s nice to see people recognizing the importance that The Bible had in our ancestor’s lives and in ours."

Thank you for your generosity in maintaining the Reesor Bible. We are grateful to Conrad Grebel University College Archives for protecting this important part of our history.

Copyright © 2023 The Reesor Family in Canada Genealogical and Historical Society Incorporated
Markham, Ontario,     e-mail: <>