The Family Bible

Family Bibles are such an important resource for genealogy and very popular during the 1700s and 1800s. The traditional family Bible is a standard Christian Bible (any denomination or translation will do), with pages in it for recording family births, deaths, and marriages. The pages may be at the front, middle or end of the Bible, depending on the particular publisher for each one. Family Bibles became extremely valuable genealogical records, as they record information that might not have been (and usually wasn’t) recorded elsewhere such as county or state records.

Children who died as children for sure were recorded in the Bible and might not been on any census record if they were born and died within that ten-year period. Also, their name would not have been in the censuses before 1850. What is neat to view is the different hand-writings of entries over the years as different relatives entered the information. Remember, for the most part, these entries are first-hand knowledge, usually written when the event happened.

But if don’t know of one in your family, here is how to find them if no one in your immediate family has one. Check the online eBay site, old ones being sold (usually by people who got them at antique stores and don’t know the original family owners). They will list the names written in the Bible.

Make sure you have checked with all available living relatives, all branches, someone may have the family Bible handed down to them.

Using Facebook site, see if there are any FB sites of people with the same surname you are searching. If found, put a request in for searching for a family Bible with that family name.

Another resource is a local genealogical society of the hometown your ancestors lived in. Rather than throwing away a family Bible, someone might have donated to the genealogical society or even to the local museum. If they do not have the actual Bible, they may have scanned digital images of each of the record pages.

Photos: Family Bible pages from Bixler, Groff and Musselman.

Related Blogs:

Every Name

Family Bible Records at the DAR

Two or More Versions

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