The first owner of the volume was born in New York City on January 27, 1800, the eldest of nine children. In August 1830, he relocated to Clarkstown, New York, for health reasons, and in early 1831, he moved again to Haverstraw, New York. In Haverstraw, he found himself drawn to Christianity, and he soon joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, led by James V. Poots. He received an exhorting license on March 1, 1834, and may have eventually become a preacher.
The second of the three authors, C. W. Vanderpool, was born August 21, 1842, in Buffalo, New York. His father was a preacher and led a Sabbath school in St. Joseph, Michigan, where he lived in 1866. C. W. Vanderpool's mother, Helen Elmira Vanderpool, gave him the journal on March 30, 1866.
The third author of the book joined the YMCA in early 1885, and was likely quite young when he composed these journal entries.