MHSS Mennonite Historical Societty of Saskatchewan
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1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
& 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

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Family Records Found in Rare Old Bibles

Shelves of Rare Books at the Archives of MHSS

It has been well-known for many generations that if you wish to keep your family records in a safe place, you should write it into your family Bible. It is somehow assumed that that is one treasure that will always remain in the family and be easy to find.

That proves not to always be the case anymore. More often now we have old Bibles and rare books come into our MHSS Archives. Often these are steered to us by a second-hand shop that has received these old Bibles as a cast-off donation, but the staff recognize that these volumes may have great historical value.

It has occurred to our archives staff that we need to let people know of these family heirlooms. Those individuals especially, who are doing family genealogy research may be thrilled to discover names and dates that are vital proof for missing links in their searches. Of course, we need to get this information out there where you can learn about it. [The top two shelves on the right are specifically old Bibles].

In May of 2018 Peter Adsten, a volunteer at the archives prepared a 26 page document listing Rare Old Books. Most of these are German; a few are in English. About a shelf and a half of these rare old books are big family Bibles with some pages of family records in the front. Although Peter has recorded the names of the heads of the families in each Bible, he has not entered every name given in the individual Bibles.

Therefore, we recommend that you open or download and read the latest Rare Books List, keeping alert for names that could be part of your family tree. Then you need to call the Archives and make arrangements to visit when Peter is working there, so you may - with his help - examine these books, for clues that apply to your family records.

Please note that once books are in the archives they cannot be removed again. They are permanently kept in the archives, and these rare books are kept in a specially locked room. However, you may visit and look at these books for your research.

To give you a glimpse of such Bibles we have some photos here of one German Bible which includes 5 geneology pages of Peter K. Harder born 28 September 1906 and Tina Wiebe born 29 May 1906, and their children. Most of this information is written in that elegant Gothic script that is becoming rare too.

A rare old Bible with the record of Peter K. Harder and his wife Tina Wiebe and their family.
[The first page of the Harder Family Record]
the other side of the title or first Family Record page
[The second and third pages of the Family Record]
the fourth and fifth pages of the Family Record.
[The fourth and fifth pages of the Family Record]

You will find the telephone number and the hours the Archives are open listed in the footer of each page of this website. You can also uses the contact form to email the archives. But then you should allow extra days for a reply becauses the archives is not open every day.

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Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS)
Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K 7H8
Archive Hours: Monday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. Wednesday: 1:30 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.