Your Quick Tips, 17 March 2008

Share Your Bible Collection with Historical Societies
I live in the state of Virginia and often make use of the resources of the Library of Virginia in person and online. Among the resources available are photographic copies of the family records sections of family Bibles. The Library does not explain the source for these copies on their website so I finally contacted them about this.

I had previously thought that they only posted family record information from Bibles which were part of their collection. It turns out that they can photograph your Bible for the records and return it to the family.

I would suggest to your readers that they contact their local historical societies and state libraries in an effort to share their family information. This would also act as a “backup” to an individual’s family information should anything happen to the original Bible.

Thanks for allowing me to make a suggestion,
Ed Miller

Another Reason to Contact Historical Societies
Contacting the local historical society was the best thing I’ve done. The society I contacted charged a reasonable hourly rate (and in the end, they didn’t even charge the full amount).

I was at a block wall with regards to my grandparents and great-grandmother. I sent an e-mail to the local historical society for assistance. I promised to become a member and sent a donation that day. The president happened to be related by marriage to a distant cousin (unbeknownst to me). The researcher assisting me knew my great-grandmother because her own mother was in the same nursing home. She was able to share a few sweet stories.
 
The one gold nugget that I found was learning that my grandfather was married three times, and not just twice as I thought. Because the census records are ten years apart, the second wife who died in a tragic accident, never appeared in the census records. In 1910 his first wife was listed, she passed two weeks after the birth of my grandfather in 1912. He remarried at the end of 1920, after the census for that year had been taken. She died in 1926. He remarried again and that marriage is shown in the 1930 census.

The historical society was able to provide copies of local newspapers containing family information that I had not been able to obtain. They were exceptionally nice and always communicating via e-mail. It is worth a small or large donation to help historical societies. The amount paid was well worth the time and frustration it saved me.

Tammy Jacovides

Adding Comments and Corrections
I have been using the census records to search for the “Covert” family and the spelling variations are enormous. Many times I must search the index using everything except the last name. When I finally find the family, in one case it was “Lovert”, I use the “Comments and Corrections” to correct the last name so that someone else searching will not have the same trouble. Most people searching the index do not know they can insert corrections into the census index. I am sure there are great instructions somewhere about how to add a misspelled or alternate name to the census index. Please put them in the Journal. It would be a great help.

David G. Richardson
Marietta, GA

AWJ Editor’s Note: Good suggestion! You can find instructions for adding a correction and noting errors in the Ancestry Help Center.  

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If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:juliana@ancestry.com . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 17 March 2008

  1. I think the suggestion that family information from a Bible be copied and submitted to an historical society or any other facilty that archives materials is an excellent one.
    I was extremely dismayed recently to find out the a family bible whose records I was looking for had been given to a major historical facility in a major city and was destroyed after the pages with genealogical information had been copied. I realize that storage space is limited, but to destroy a family Bible is unconscionable to me, at least. After discovering this, I truly feel that a family Bible should be retained by the family.
    Also, if one desires to contribute anything to a facility, historical society, etc., make sure that there is an agreement about the rights that the library has with regard to the donated materials. I think that most people who donate family materials do so with the intention that the materials will be preserved there for posterity.
    Such is not always the case. If the donated items aren’t donated with restrictions as to what the facility can do with it, some items may very well be sold off should the facility need to raise funds. I’m sure that things have been sold off by facilities that were given with the idea that they would always be retained by the facility and made available for use by the general public.
    This is not to put down historical societies, etc. as the ones I have dealt with have been tremendous sources of help. It’s simply an economic fact of life that they are beset with increasing costs. Making a donation, as suggested by the poster, or even joining as a member, are both excellent ways to help ensure that a society can remain solvent so that donated items are not sold off.

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