Don’t Forget the Family Bibles
The old Bibles could be one of your most import resources. There could be all types of notes inside, along with the list of names, marriages, births and deaths.
This proved to be important to me in one case where a little girl was in a Bible but no mention of her in any of the census records. Most of the families back then had several children, twelve, thirteen or even seventeen was not uncommon. Also a good deal of children did not make it for one reason or another. Life was hard!
These old Bibles hold keys to this type of mystery. Especially when there will be no other source of information. In this case the only sources are the Bible, and the headstone. The only way I found the headstone was because it was in a private family cemetery that I visit often, and the headstone told me who the parents were. So this was easy to put together.
No Birth Records
This little girl lived only twenty-eight days. There were no doctors to run to, (not anywhere close anyway) families just had to do the best they could. This will be all I can ever find on this little girl. There will be no more records of any kind. Even if anything else was ever recorded anywhere (which I don’t imagine it was) it would have been in the court house and it burned down with all the records inside. I know that because my grandmother was born about ten years later and she told me she had to go get another birth certificate filed due to the courthouse fire.
On a brighter note though, I have hand writing samples of great-great grand parents because of a Bible. There are also other notes inside the Bible that are wonderful treasures in my mind. They will also make a great addition to the shadow boxes that I have planned for the future. Yes, my wall will be dressed with photos and items from the past. As I go through items, I plan what will be in those shadow boxes and what will be documented and passed on to other family members.
So, if you find yourself wondering around an old antique store and you find just one item from your family history. Keep looking, because if someone packed things up to empty a house or move, there could be more. And maybe they will fall into the hands of someone who really loves genealogy, and plans to preserve them for the future.
Jena spends her time researching her family tree as well as others. She travels, visits cemeteries and other historical places while gathering and collecting old photos, albums, scrapbooks and other pieces of memorable history to study and share. Jena is a retired teacher, has served as president with her local Historical Society, and maintains a community history page. She also loves photographing historical reenactments, cemeteries and historical places.