CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Public Library has put a database of family Bibles online and available for searching by the public.
State Librarian Chuck Sherrill told The Chattanooga Times Free Press early Bibles served as the place where families marked milestones such as weddings, births and deaths.
The database of 1,500 Bibles may serve as a treasure trove for genealogists and historians, a record of a time when Tennessee was wildly dangerous and human life seemed especially small and fragile.
Sherrill says among the Bibles in the database are one from 1538 and a book dating to 1753.
Southern Adventist University history department head Lisa Diller says historians are often fascinated by comparisons of information in family Bibles to government data.