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Looking for your family history

The first place many people begin looking for their familys history is in a Bible, and I'm not talking about Adam and Eve or all those begets. If we're lucky, one of our ancestors started a tradition of writing their familys marriage, birth and death records in their Bible. If we're even luckier, we know where that Bible is today. If we're Lotto-winner lucky, the information is correct.

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Thats right. Just because it's in the Bible doesn't mean it's true. If the records we're recorded as they happened, then they're usually right. But if someone entered the who, what and when in hindsight, then Heaven help the person who relies on those names and dates to be facts. I did that and wasted nine months researching the wrong names.

How can you know if the information in your Family Bible is accurate? Verify it. Check the data with county and state records the same way you'd look for any vital statistic. And right there is the biggest problem with many Family Bibles. A lot of people didn't record where the events happened. To overcome this problem, start with the latest dates in the Bible and work your way backward through the names, the same as with any family history.

What if you don't have a Bible filled with generations of invaluable facts? Try looking online to see if there is a Bible out there for your family. The Internet is filled with websites where lovely people have taken the time to list the family records from Bibles in their possession. Remember, though, this data still needs to be verified.

Many libraries, museums or archives, historical and genealogical societies, colleges and universities have Family Bibles in their collections. While some have websites listing their holdings, only a few have online Bible databases.Do not write these institutions asking if they have your family's Bible if they have online catalog access.Check their holdings to see if they have Bibles. Verify the catalog to see if they have a Bible with your surname. Call the library's assistance number to ask how you can access the family record information in that Bible, either via interlibrary loan of a microfilmed copy of the Bible or photocopies of the pertinent pages.If by photocopy, you'll want the Title Page, Copywrite Page, and all the Family History Pages; plus any extras inserted or written in the Bible, such as personal notes, newspaper clippings, etc.

If the repository does not have online resources, such as a historical or genealogy society in the area you're researching, write and ask if they have any Family Bibles in their collection.Give the surname you're researching and, if known, the wifes surname before marriage.If you know the exact area where the family lived and the time period, include that.Keep your letter short and professional.Include your email address, phone numberand a self-addressed stamped envelopeto give them a choice in responding.

eBay is a good place to look for lost Bibles, though it would be a miracle to find one for your own family.Also antique stores and flea markets located near your ancestors old homestead.Can't travel to the area you're researching? Check online for regional antique stores.Rescuing a lost Bible, even though not your own, from a seller and donating it to a preservation facility like those listed above would certainly assure a researcher a place in Genealogy Heaven.

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Sources

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 12/04/2016


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