GSNJ Bible and Family Records

For more than 50 years, GSNJ has been collecting, processing, and indexing family Bible records; other family records; and notations submitted by researchers. The collection continues to grow and contains more than 6,100 records (primarily pre-1850) and are arranged in accession order.

View all of GSNJ’s Collections, including searchable Bible and Family Records index and learn how to obtain copies.

View and search only the GSNJ Bible and Family Records Index and learn how to obtain copies.


Submitting a Record to the GSNJ Collections

Researchers and families are encouraged to submit Bible and Family Records for inclusion in the GSNJ Collections—so that other researchers and future generations of your family may discover and enjoy them.

Bible and Family Records are submitted in two parts:
1) a photocopy or print (made from a high-quality scan of an original record) of the original record(s); if the information was written in a published Bible, include a copy of the title page as well, and
2) a transcription of the text found on the original record(s) and information about the submitter, transcriber, record, and the family (see below).

Transcriptions are important as the spellings of the names found in your family’s records are, most likely, more familiar to you than to those receiving them. Please transcribe the records using the following format—so that we may have an accurate record copy of your family’s information.

pdfDownload the following submission instructions as a PDF.


General Instructions

  • Copy or scan (color or black and white) your record(s). Make sure the image is as legible as possible. Original records may also be submitted to the collection. [Note that originals will not be returned but will be placed in the GSNJ Collection at Rutgers University Archives and Special Collections.]
  • Prepare the transcription of your record as per the following instructions.
  • Provide information in the sequence given below. After transcribing, please check to verify accuracy.
  • Set page margins of at least 1.25” on the left and at least 0.75” on the other three sides. (The larger left-hand margin is necessary as pages will be copied and bound into a hard-case binding.)
  • Print the image of your record(s) in color (preferred) or black and white.
  • Print the information about the record in black ink.
  • All submissions should be copied or printed onto high-quality 8.5 x 11” bond paper—preferably, acid-free paper.

Transcription Instructions

  1. Title
    Head the record with a specific title:
    – Bible record: “John Smith Family Bible Record,”
    – Non-Bible record: “Family Record of John Smith”
    – Sampler: “Record from Mary Smith’s Sampler”
    Records can be from any of the above plus scrapbooks, diaries, newspaper clippings, photo albums—wherever family information  is recorded.
  2. Owner and Copyist
    – Give name and address of the present owner of the record (if known).
    – Also give the name and address of the copyist and the date copied.
    – Note whether your copy was made from the original record or from a copy.
    – If your record is a copy of a copy, state when and by whom the earlier copy was made (if known), and where you found this copy.
  3. Description of the Record
    – Describe whether the record is from a Bible, book, needlework sampler, etc., and fully describe the original source.
    – For publications, give the following from the title page: a) title of book or Bible edition; b) author if applicable; c) publisher and publisher’s address; d) date of publication. Also note any gift inscriptions or owners’ names or other identifying information printed or written on covers, title page or elsewhere within the volume. Book measurements can be included, but are not essential.
  4. Biographical Information
    If known, provide background information on the early owner(s) of the record, including family origin and relationships, places of residence, and any helpful personal information such as civic, military or professional service, burial places, etc.
  5. Record Transcription—Accuracy and Arrangement
    – Copy the entries exactly as they appear in the original, letter-by-letter, even though you may know that some errors exist. Copy exact wording, spelling, punctuation, etc. Do not abbreviate or use ditto marks unless the original record does so.
    – Preserve the original order and arrangement of the entries as nearly as possible. If a group of entries, at the beginning of the record for example, appears to have been recorded all at one time, this fact should be noted. (This may indicate transcription from an earlier record or from memory, therefore allowing greater possibility for errors in prior transcription or recollection).
    If you know certain facts in the record to be in error or are missing, make a note accordingly and give the source of the correct information. Also note whether entries are missing (e.g. due to a paper loss), difficult to read or illegible, questionable or doubtful.
    Enclose all notes, comments, or text not found letter-for-letter in the original record in square brackets [ ] and/or include as footnotes at the end of the copy so they will not be misinterpreted as part of the original record.
  6. Loose Papers
    Copy all announcements, newspaper clippings or other records which may be laid or pasted in the volume or found with the record. Supply a suitable subtitle for this material (in transcriptions) so that it can be distinguished from the written entries in the volume.

Mailing Instructions

Submissions will be processed by the GSNJ Bible and Family Records Chair and included in the GSNJ Collections at the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University. A list of received submissions and their accession numbers appear in the first Issue of the year of the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey and will be added to the GSNJ’s master index.

If you have questions about any of these instructions contact us at

Mail submissions to:
Janet T. Riemer
GSNJ Manuscripts Committee Chair
P.O. Box 664
Hopewell, NJ 08525


Download the following submission instructions as a PDF.