Mining the Family Bible

One great resource for doing your family history is to find and use a family bible. Many families used to record the births, marriages and deaths of family members in the bible. These may be some of the only records that you can for generations back. They may also give you a clue as to who to look for and when.

When you find a family Bible it is important to handle it with care. Often the Bibles are quite old and fragile. You should be sure to keep the Bible in a place where it will not be damaged and keep it out of the sun. If the pages are very old you should not make photocopies of the pages but do the copying by hand.

The Bible should contain birthdates, and often birthplaces as well. It can go back several generations and may be a great place to find the first information that you need for your search. It may also help you fill in the holes in the research you are doing. They can be used to record the events of extended family as well.

When you copy the information by hand pay close attention the spelling of the names and the dates. The dates will give you a good starting point to look in census records, but the spellings of the names may change slightly, so you should be looking for variations on the spelling.

After you have copied the information out initially you may want to chart the information separately from the original list. This will allow you to see the different branches of family recorded in the family bible. For example if a grandmother were listing the births of her grandchildren she would also list which family they belonged too. Seeing the chart may make your search that much easier to complete.