How To Rescue A Family Bible



For generations, there were families who carefully recorded meaningful family events into the back of their Bibles. Sometimes, those Bibles are lost, forgotten about, or discarded. A company called Bible Rescue helps rescue those Bibles and return them to a family member.

CHRON.com has a blog post written by Patty Taylor regarding rescuing family Bibles.  

Family Bibles are often seen at estate sales or in thrift stores. While this may seem tragic to a family genealogist, there is hope to rescue this valuable resource. Bible Rescue is an organization that does just that! Bible Rescue is a non-profit founded by Joseph Kerry because he often visits estate and thrift sales.

Kerry’s first rescue was a find at a yard sale, and when it began to rain, he felt the Bible and the valuable information it contained should be rescued. He knew that the rain could destroy the names and dates carefully penned throughout generations. So, he purchased this treasure, taking it to his office in Ogden, Utah. The concept of Bible Rescue was born with a vision to reunite these lost records with living descendants. Thousands of records including names, birth dates, weddings, relationships, marriages, deaths, and burial places have been saved since the founding of Bible Rescue.

Kerry, and other volunteers, continue to rescue Bibles. These family heirlooms are respectfully shelved and photographed, and the information is shared with Ancestry and FamilySearch in hopes that the Bible will once again find its home with a family member.

How might you discover if you have a Bible waiting to be claimed? Family surnames may be searched the Bible Rescue website: biblerescue.org. You can also follow the Bible Rescue Facebook page as new additions are added frequently. Names that are recorded within a Bible are shared in an online database, as well as the Bible ID number for reference when emailing to request more information. You can remain up-to-date by joining the email list or sign up for alerts for a specific surname on the Bible Rescue website.

Patty Taylor noted that since there is no full-time paid staff at Bible Rescue, you may complete a request form on the Bible Rescue website to volunteer. Financial support may be provided by sending donations to Bible Rescue. As you browse through a thrift store, you might search for donated family Bibles to purchase, and then mail the found item to Bible Rescue. 

It’s important to reunite these family history resources to living descendants in an effort to break down “brick walls,” provide another detail and simply give the family a piece of their past history. So, while you are out on your next garage sale adventure, be sure to keep a close eye out for a missing heirloom — The Family Bible. Be a rescuer and purchase to send to Bible Rescue and provide hope for another family genealogist.

Bible Rescue (at biblerescue.org) has a search link at the top of their website where you can search for a bible by name, date, or location. There is a separate button to Browse All Bibles.

Bible Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit that has three primary missions:

Rescue family Bibles

Record the family information inside each Bible

Reunite each family Bible with living descendants

Since their founding, they have rescued almost 1000 family Bibles with thousands of entries referencing names, birthdates, weddings, relationships, marriages, passings, and burials.

Each family Bible they rescue is sent to FamilySearch where they carefully scan each page of family history and make it available on the website, free of charge. So even after the family Bible is reunited, the family history remains available to everyone.

Related Articles On FamilyTree.com:

Family Bibles From Tennessee

Family Bible As A Resource

Searching Through Bible Records

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