Project overview

Thomas and Susan Wood Family Bible Records

North Carolina Family Records Online is comprised of North Carolina family history materials from the holdings of the State Archives of North Carolina and State Library of North Carolina. The searchable online collection currently contains

  • Nearly 1,500 Bible records (lists of birth, marriage, and death information written in North Carolina family Bibles) from the 2000+ copies of various donated family Bibles held by the State Archives of North Carolina
  • Indexed marriage and death announcements from five North Carolina newspapers (Raleigh Register, North Carolina State Gazette, Daily Sentinel, Raleigh Observer, and News & Observer) from 1799 to 1893
  • Photographs of headstones and general views of the Raleigh Hebrew Cemetery and the Hebrew section of Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh
  • Copies of genealogical research donated to the Government and Heritage Library.

About the Bible Records Collection

The Bible records found in North Carolina Family Records Online come from the State Archives of North Carolina's 2500+ holdings. North Carolina did not officially record births and deaths until late in 1913. The Bible Records Collection was begun to complement and supplement the official vital records recorded by the state. Entries in the Bibles typically record births, deaths, and marriages covering 200 years or more, usually beginning in the early to mid-1700s and continuing through to the mid-1900s. Many records also include references to other topics, such as soldiers who served in different wars. We have recorded this information to help you search for these topics.

In addition to being a valuable resource for pre-1913 birth and death dates, included in the collection are Bible records that list the names of enslaved persons or formerly enslaved persons, which is an invaluable resource for African American genealogical research. Records that contain slavery-related information have been noted with the record, and if you browse by topic you will find a link to every record with such a reference.

The records in the Bible Record Collection provide information about early North Carolina families that may not be available elsewhere for online research. To further broaden this availability, we are actively seeking to digitize Bible records donated by the public to add to this rapidly growing Bible Records Collection.

Donating Bibles If you are interested in donating copies of your Bible records that include information about North Carolinians to the State Archives of North Carolina for inclusion in this project, and at least one birth or death date in the record occurs before 1913, please review this brochure and/or contact the State Archives.

A note about the condition and content of the Bible records

Bible Record PicTranscriptions which accompany the Bible records were made by staff and volunteers who did their best to decipher sometimes hard-to-read writing.

Most of the scans you'll see online were made from the photocopies or photostats that were created up to 80 years earlier when families brought their Bibles to be copied and stored with the State Archives of North Carolina as part of the larger archive of North Carolina history. Records may include the original records, typescript transcriptions of the originals, or some combination of the two. Some pages are ripped, some have sections cut out, and sometimes information was crossed out or "corrected" by later generations.

Many of the records are quite beautiful, with 18th- and 19th-century children's doodles and drawings, photographs, hand-drawn family trees, and newspaper obituaries. You can sometimes track how literacy levels in a single family changed from generation to generation. The religion, language, type, and publisher of each Bible, which we have recorded for each record, might give insight into a particular family's social, political, and religious views, as well.

About the State Library of North Carolina

The State Library of North Carolina has provided services to North Carolina and her people since 1812. Among its many services, the State Library provides resources, programs, and services to anyone with a research interest in the history, culture, geography, economy and people of North Carolina. The State Library boasts one of the largest North Carolina-specific genealogical collections in the state and serves familly researchers from all over the country and throughout the world.

About the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina was first established in 1903 under the name North Carolina Historical Commission. Since its founding, the State Archives has been committed to the collection, preservation, and utilization of the state's historic resources so that present and future residents may better understand their history. To this purpose, the Archives safeguards the documentary and material evidence of past generations for the education of all citizens and the protection of their democratic rights.


Bible Record Pic

The State Library and State Archives would like to extend their sincerest thanks to everyone whose enthusiastic efforts made this project possible:

  • To Hans Scholle and Frank Scholle for transcribing the German Bible records.
  • To Bridget Jakub for creating an Access database that enabled us to build the geo-location map.
  • To Steve Case, Erin Bradford, John Leonard, Kate Kluttz, Sally Adams, Druscie Simpson, Debbi Blake, Larry Odzak, Beth Orcutt, Sarah Rice Scott, Alison Thurman, and Pam Toms for the tireless hours of work you put into transcribing the Bible records by hand.
  • To Robert Grant for scanning and processing all of the Bible records.
  • To Steve Case, Cynthia Jones, and Jennifer Ricker for scanning and processing the thousands of pages that make up the Marriage and Death Notices.
  • To Barbara Freedman, for her photographs.