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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bible Pages Treasures

Bible Cover for Malinda Williams
Did you ever wonder why your family doesn't have a family bible with all your family facts? Perhaps it does but you just don’t know where to find it. Our Genealogical Society was approached by a crafter who purchased some old books from an estate sale and when she went through the books she found parts of bibles. She allowed our Society to scan the pages and now they sit on our Society Library computer. From these scan pages appear to be two different families.

I thought I would take the information from the bibles and put them onto Ancestry.com and make the tree public for the world to see. Okay, this sounds like a good idea until I read in another blog that Public doesn't necessarily mean public to Ancestry.com. It means that anyone who has a paid subscription to Ancestry can see the public member trees. Well this makes me very sad, because I always thought the trees were a free part of Ancestry. Well they are, sort of. They are free to create, but the only way people with “guest” accounts (those non-subscription account holders) can view other trees is to be invited to the trees. Now I wonder if they can see enough to ask to be invited or do they not see the trees totally and only get invited because they know the owner of the tree through other means.

Okay, so if Ancestry.com public trees are not so free, I need another way to get the information from these bible pages out to the masses, so I have decided to publish them on the Societies blog. So I will put them on future blogs but I wanted to discuss the usefulness of bibles. In my first example I have what appears to be the Hauser family and consisted of two pages of information. The first page appears to be written by the same hand at the same time and extends to the first entry of the second page. However, the last two entries appear to be written later and perhaps not at the same time of each other.

My second example is of the Dusenberg family and consists of five pages from the bible. These pages have titles of Birth, Marriages, Deaths, and Misc. Many of the entries appear to be written at the same time, but others appear to be written as they occur or at least at a different time.

Our town is unique in the sense that we have retirees and winter visitors from all over the US and Canada coming to our town. Because of this, when they pass away and love ones are left sorting through their items, family doesn’t always know what to do with their items. Many have estate sales and everything is sold, even items us genealogist consider sacred such as family bibles, letters, photos and such. We see these items as gold mines of information to be harvested, recorded and saved. However, crafters look at these items as items to be used in their latest craft project. I have seen many beautiful things done with old books and photos but the recipient of the item might not know or care about the history associated with those items.

So the other option for the loves ones is to donate the items to a local genealogical society. This is where our society gets many of these items. Unfortunately, this might not be the area where the research was for. I know I look at genealogical societies where my ancestor’s lived hoping to find treasures donated to them from my families collections. However, I never really thought about what if they moved in their later years and thus the items are across state or across country from where the majority of their live events occurred.

I would like to see more genealogical societies (ours included) to post these rare holdings or at least list these rare holdings online so when others are doing their Internet Searches on their family, they might get a hit and discover the treasures that were hiding and now are waiting for them to discover.