School Records — Did your ancestor attend school? Overview Search The Bible often served as a central focal point of family life providing spiritual guidance and also serving as a register for recording births, christenings, baptisms, marriages, and deaths. Oftentimes, based on the way in which the event was recorded, the reader can sense the joy or heartache the recorder felt when they inscribed it in the Bible for example, see the Jordan family Bible , page 8. So even though family Bibles are considered a home source for genealogy, they may not be in your home. Be sure to back up the birth information with other sources. A source for Virginia family Bibles is the Library of Virginia , which has over 6, original or photocopied Bibles. We should never assume a Bible record is absolutely correct. A Death Record — A death record created in the s or after may include the birth date and place of the deceased. You can also find possible cousins who have that Bible by posting a family tree online through a free or paid subscription genealogy website, or by creating a blog or family website, so that potential cousins can find you. Did the person who entered the information have first-hand knowledge of the events?
Your Family Bible Are you lucky enough to have a copy of the ancestral family Bible? Whether you are a family researcher or are simply interested in American history, the family Bibles from North and South Carolina will be of great interest. This information enables African American genealogists to begin to trace their ancestry to a place and time in history. Be sure to back up the birth information with other sources. You can also find possible cousins who have that Bible by posting a family tree online through a free or paid subscription genealogy website, or by creating a blog or family website, so that potential cousins can find you. Would the informant have first-hand knowledge of the birth of the deceased? They tell deeply personal stories and expose a rich history hidden in the private collections of American citizens that remind us that all history is truly local. In other words, most states did not require a birth certificate to be filed until the s. Check handwriting in family Bibles with old letters you may have that are signed by the writer. The information should be verified with other records. School records are not always easy to find, but if you are lucky enough to locate them, you may find their date of birth! How has that record helped you? Is all the information written in different inks and handwriting — or does it look like everything was written at the same time? Generally, slaves are listed without last names for example, see page 7 of the Horton Family Bible. Oftentimes, based on the way in which the event was recorded, the reader can sense the joy or heartache the recorder felt when they inscribed it in the Bible for example, see the Jordan family Bible , page 8. The US census asked the question of what month and year each person was born. Prior to October in North Carolina, and January in South Carolina, vital records birth and death, specifically were not documented at the state level. Consider these things when using a census to verify birth information. For additional nationwide digitized family Bible records, see the Digital Public Library of America website. Substitute Birth Records for Genealogy November 6, by Amie Bowser Tennant Leave a Comment Birth records for genealogy are important documents, however, they were not always created. There are other options! Prior to the 20th century, Bibles were important gifts for newly married couples. Family Bibles—especially those from the southern US—may be of particular interest to African American genealogists whose ancestry trails often go cold prior to the Civil War. With censuses, the information is only as good as the person giving it. For example, this Texas newspaper column provides transcriptions of information from the family Bibles of readers.
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