Some of you may be very lucky to have in your possession an old, old family bible used by your ancestors not only for religious purposes but also for a place in which births, marriages and deaths were documented for the family.
Consider yourself lucky if you have one.
Such bibles with the identification of births, marriages and deaths for family members may be the only place you will be able to find such vital record information, especially if the events occurred before it was the norm for vital record registration for such events (generally pre-1860s in the U.S.).
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) publishes the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly Journal. One of the sections of this journal is titled “Family Bible Collections”. It is within this section that contributors provide the society with transcribed lists of materials contained in the bibles the contributors have in their possession. The ISGS has been collecting this data since 1988. You will generally see the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded by ancestral family members that were transcribed and provided to the Illinois State Genealogical Society.
Here are some of the family names I saw in this quarterly section from the 2017, Volume 49, Number 1 issue:
- Houston Family
- Dillon Family
- Ebert Family
- Ellsworth Family
- Elmore Family
- Eury Family
- Geddes Family
- Graves Family
- Gumbel Family
- Hieser (Hiser) Family
The section also identifies for the particular bible the name of the person who submitted it, who owns the bible, family places of residence (if available) and births, marriages and deaths. The submissions do not have to be only for Illinois ancestors. The society does prefer submissions to be of pre-1920 dates.
Sometimes other non-religious, non-vital record information can be found in these bibles. Things such as recipes, poems, other family contacts etc. might be found.
My point on sharing this with you is twofold. Consider just browsing through the issues we have of this journal and look to see if any of the surnames you are researching are contained in the listings. You can find this journal on the 2nd floor of our library on the magazine shelves. We have this journal in our collection going back to the Fall of 2013.
If you personally become a member of the society you will receive the journal that contains this information as part of your subscription.
Better yet, check out the link below to the Society that will get you to the “Bible” part of the website to see the entire list of names that have been submitted to the society. You might find a connection, especially if the name is not a common one.
My second point is to consider being a submitter to the Illinois State Genealogical Society of any bible material you may have in your own possession. Check the link above that will also give you information on what it takes to be a submitter to the society of bible records you have in your own possession.
Bible records are a hidden resource of valuable material. You won’t always hit a home run with this material, but if you do it will be like a goldmine.
I want you to at least be aware of this resource from the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Maybe you will find a connection previously unknown to you.
Check out the link above to access the list of surnames compiled from bible information submitted to the society. Consider being a submitter and use the same link for information on how to be a contributor.
Schaumburg Township District Library