Family Bibles sometimes, but not always, include family members' birthplaces. Make sure that you have asked your family members whether or not they are aware of any old Bibles that are still in the family. When you find information in actual Bibles, check the publication date of the Bible. If the Bible was printed in, for example, 1871, but a birth is recorded for 1851, it is obvious that the information about that particular birth was not written down at the time of the birth, but was written down several years later. Information recorded after the fact is less likely to be accurate.
Sometimes the Title Page of the Old Testament, giving the publication date, is missing. In that case, check to see if there is a Title Page for the New Testament.
When you cannot find family Bibles among your own family members, check with genealogical societies in the area where the family lived. They may have or be aware of the location of local Bible records. When you are searching for Bible records, be sure to look under both the maiden name and married name.
Next, search through the transcribed Bible records belonging to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). These transcribed Bible records are available at the DAR library in Washington, D.C., local DAR chapters, and on microfilm through the Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L. D. S.). See the Maryland State Archives List of Institutions of Interest, including L.D.S. Family History Centers, and the D.A.R. Library in Washington D.C. for more information about these two libraries. Recently a researcher completed an up-to-date finding aid for Bible and other records compiled by the Genealogical Records Committee of the Maryland Society, DAR.
The Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Historical Society also have important collections of Bible Records.
The Genealogical Council of Maryland has published Volume I of an Inventory of Maryland Bible Records, and is working to complete Volume II. The inventory does not give the complete record of the Bible, but it does describe the contents of the Bible and tells where it can be found.
Persons who own old Bibles should consider making copies of the records, and publishing them in one of the genealogical journals, and/or depositing copies of the family records in repositories such as the Maryland State Archives, the Maryland Historical Society, as well as local genealogical societies. In this way the records can be preserved, even if something happens to the Bible.
Return to the Reference & Research page.
This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.
350 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, MD 21401 | MD toll free (800) 235-4045 or (410) 260-6400
Fax: (410) 974-2525 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Directions & Hours