Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dear Randy: "What is the Best Way to Make These Bible Records Known?"

I received this via email from reader Gloria recently:

"I started receiving your blog after I read about it in Roberta Estes' blog and it has prompted 'a question' about the birth and death records that were in my paternal Grandmother's Family Bible ... the first entry is 1828 ... last entry 1895. My son scanned these pages for me before the Bible was given to my oldest cousin. What is the best way to publish or make these records known?" 

My response to Gloria via email was this:

1)  You need to publish something online, and/or in a published journal, that will stand the test of time.  Something that will last, something that Google or other search engines will find when someone searches for one of the names in the Bible records.  Consider:

a)  Transcribe the Bible records, word for word, exactly as they are shown on the Bible pages, in a document (word processor, PDF, etc.).  Create a source citation for the Bible pages using Evidence Explained guidelines.  Explain the provenance of the Bible pages - how did you come to have it?

b)  Write a blog post of your own on your own blog.  However, that requires creating the blog and writing something more than about the Bible records.  Show the Bible page images and present your transcription and source citation.  Here is an example blog post (I didn't post images then):

c)  Write a guest blog post on some other blog, such as mine, or Roberta's, or someone else's.  I'm willing to publish guest blog posts.  I have over 5,000 readers every day.  The blog post should include images of the Bible pages and a transcription of the records.

d)  Write an article, or submit the records, to one of the major genealogy society periodicals - e.g., National Genealogical Society, New England Historic Genealogical Society, a state society, etc.  

e)  Write an article for the Bible records with the images and transcription, save it as a PDF and upload it to a service like It's free, searched by Google, etc.  

f)  For the surnames in the Bible records, and the locations in the Bible records, post an article in the Surname and Locality boards on the Rootsweb Message Boards.  Start at  See an example at the Family Bibles message board at  These messages can be found by Google searches.

g)  Transcribe the Bible records in a document, or with an image, and attach them as a Story for the persons in an Ancestry Member Tree.  That means you need to have an Ancestry Member Tree, of course.  Here is one of the Bible pages in the profile for my grandfather in one of my Ancestry Member Trees:

h)  Transcribe the Bible records and attach the transcription and page images as a Memory or Note for the persons on the Bible pages who are in the FamilySearch Family Tree, on, on, etc.  You may have to add as profile to the online tree if there is not one already there.

i)  All or some of the above.  

2)  One of the principles that many of us try to observe is:  Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe (LOCKSS).  Doing several of the suggestions above will help.

3)  Many of us have records like this in our family record collections.  I do.  When I die, my heirs may throw all of those records out or donate them to some place where they might languish unseen in an archived box in a repository.  Each of us needs to proactively do some or all of the suggestions given above.  

4)  Perhaps my readers have another idea - let's help Gloria with this in a comment to this blog post or in an email to me that I can pass on to Gloria.  


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Marian said...

The DAR Library has been collecting family Bible records (and transcriptions of them) for more than 100 years, with or without Revolutionary ties. The collection is included in the library's online catalog, meaning that people will be able to find it and order photocopies for a reasonable fee.

Its address is DAR Library, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. You can see the catalog here:

Unknown said...

In addition to copies/scans of the pages with family history information, it would be very useful to have a copy of the title page of the Bible and other pages that provide information about its publication, such as date, etc. This helps in evaluating the family information.