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Bible Records

Before births, marriages, and deaths were recorded in courthouses, they were often recorded in the family Bible. Many older Bibles and even modern ones have special forms or blank pages that are intended for recording family events. When you cannot find a vital record, Bible records make a good alternative. The most reliable Bible records were those recorded on or near the time of the event. A family Bible purchased in 1905 that has names and dates for people who lived in the 18th Century could be information that has been passed down through the family and may not be totally accurate. When documenting family events from a Bible, be sure to note its publication date when you cite your sources. It is best to make a photocopy of the title page, the back of the title page if that is where the date of publication in printed, as well as the sheets with family information.

If the information was recorded in the Bible over many years, take note of the handwriting. Was the information written by several people? What was the style of the handwriting? Was it written in ballpoint ink?  These observations may give clues to the time period in which the information was recorded.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members and chapters nationwide have made it a project to record Bible records in private collections across the United States. Many of these family Bible records have been published. They are available at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C and in other library collections.

The National Genealogical Society has a Bible record project that invites private individuals to scan their Bible records (the title page of the Bible with date of publication and pages with family records). These records can be searched on their website at www.ngsgenealogy.org/library/biblerecords.htm;at no charge and if you would like to see the complete record, it can be ordered for a fee. 

To find Bible records in the Family History Library Catalog, check the library catalog “Keyword Search,” putting in your surname and the word “Bible.”

Help Me!  Are there collections of Bible records in my state? Where can I find them?

Help Me!  In my Bible, there are names and dates but no places. How can I find out where these people came from?