The family Bible can be an important source of information to your genealogical research. Among the so-called “home sources” that you seek out, it can be a great compendium of recorded information. There is always the question of whether the information recorded in a Bible is reliable or not. Most professional genealogists will warn you against placing too much weight on the entries you find there. There is no real way to tell precisely when an event was recorded or by whom. Someone may have transcribed information from another Bible or other source documents, or the person may have entered all of the data at one time. As a result, there may be transcription errors or lapses of memory that may cause names to be misspelled, first and middle names to be reversed, and dates to be misremembered and off by days, months, and even years.
There are five major factors that you should consider when working with a Bible and the entries it contains. Taken together and weighed with other evidence you may already have acquired and studied, you can assess the possible credibility of the entries you find. Let’s explore the five points of assessment.
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