Genealogical Society of New Jersey
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Bible Transcription Instructions

Your record should be placed on a good grade of 8½” x 11” bond paper, preferably acid-free. Transcriptions should be printed by computer or by typewriter in black ink. Leave margins of at least 1¼” on the left and at least ¾” on the other sides. Please provide information in the sequence given below. After copying, check back to verify accuracy. Photocopies of original records are especially welcome; however, please make sure that all data is easily readable and include the supplementary information listed below.

Mail copies to Genealogical Society of New Jersey, P.O. Box 1476, Trenton, NJ 08607-1476.

  1. Title – Head the record with a specific title, e.g. “John Smith Family Bible Record,” or if not from a Bible, “Family Record of John Smith,” “Record from Mary Smith’s Sampler,” etc.
  2. Copyist and Owner – 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. Be sure to state 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 – Whether Bible, book, sampler, etc., 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. Accuracy and Arrangement – Copy the entries exactly as they appear in the original, 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. As nearly as possible, preserve the original order and arrangement of the entries. 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, 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 in square brackets [ ] 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.

WebPage updated: 21 June 2009