Visitors to the website of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) can now access family Bible records previously available only to patrons visiting TSLA's building. Over the past few years, TSLA volunteer Cinamon Collins scanned more than 1,500 family Bible records held at TSLA.
Most of the records were photocopied from privately-held family Bibles and preserved at TSLA by archivists and librarians. A new database on the TSLA website allows researchers to browse these records in their entirety, and a search function will ultimately include all of the thousands of names written in these unique documents.
"I am thrilled that the State Library and Archives and our volunteers have worked to make these resources accessible to all Tennesseans," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "The information recorded in TSLA's collection of Bible records is not only helpful for genealogy, but also a wonderful display of history at a very personal level."
"A major stumbling block in Southern genealogical research is the lack of recorded vital records prior to the 20th Century," State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill said. "Often, inscriptions in Bibles handed down from one generation to the next offer the only details about our ancestors' births, marriages, and deaths. This new tool lets Tennesseans browse hundreds of Bible records and perhaps find the missing links to complete their family trees."
To see if TSLA holds a Bible record for your family, visit the project online at http://tnsos.net/TSLA/Bibleproject. Individual names in most Bibles for surnames A through J have also been indexed.