DON'S FREEWARE CORNER - FEB 2020

BIBLE GENEALOGY


Don's Freeware Corner articles are printed in the UTAH VALLEY TECHNOLOGY AND GENEALOGY GROUP (UVTAGG) Newsletter TAGGology each month and are posted on his Class Notes Page https://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html where there may be corrections and updates.

BIBLE GENEALOGY

2020 Donald R. Snow - Last updated 2020-02-10

THE BIBLE

While reading the Bible recently, I wondered if there were some way to visualize all the family relationships that it has and I thought about starting a genealogy database of all the names in the Bible, myself. Then it occurred to me that probably someone has already done that, so I started looking. I thought that if I could find a GEDCOM file of that data, I could open it in Ancestral Quest or any other modern genealogy program. This article contains the results of that search.

RESULTS OF A DUCKDUCKGO SEARCH FOR BIBLE GENEALOGY

DuckDuckGo is a search engine, like Google, but, unlike Google, it doesn't track where you have looked, so I have it set as my default search engine. Searching for Bible Genealogy the first problem that came up was which Bible translation to use, since there are many and the names may not be the same in each. I looked for one that was closest to the King James Translation and found several websites. The next problem is that most of the hits relate to Bible genealogy wall charts and that's not what I'm looking for. Searching for ' "bible genealogy" .ged ' (without the outside quotes; .ged stands for GEDCOM)) brought up a CNET website  https://download.cnet.com/Bible-Genealogy/3000-2135_4-75820205.html .  Note: this plays a short video about freeware which you can skip if you click on the Download Now button.  What you see is the first few lines of a GEDCOM file of all the people in the Bible. A GEDCOM file is a text file in a particular format that can be imported into genealogy programs. Here is a screenshot of the first few lines of it.

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These are only the first few lines and it goes on for hundreds of lines. Scrolling through it you see all the names with notes about that name and the Bible reference of where that name occurs. The GEDCOM tags are the words at the left such as NAME, BIRT (birth), SOUR (source), etc., and those tell the genealogy program where that data goes. Importing this GEDCOM into a genealogy program allows use of all the display features of the program such as pedigrees and descendants views. My main data entry database is Ancestral Quest, but RootsMagic, Legacy, or Family Tree Maker, or any other genealogy program, would also work. So how do you download the GEDCOM, since there is no download button to click?

By experimenting on the website, I discovered that, if you right click anywhere on the page and click Save As, it offers to save the whole thing as a text file, which it is, with the name Bible_Genealogy_v1-0.txt . The extension .txt shows that it is a text file. By changing the file extension to .ged , either before or after saving it, you get a valid GEDCOM file that can be imported into a genealogy program. I imported it into Ancestral Quest and all 3087 names and their relationships are now available to examine. Here's a screenshot of the first part of the name list from Ancestral Quest.

https://uvtagg.org

DISCUSSION OF THE DATABASE

This database seems to contain the names of everyone mentioned in the Bible, but not the Apocrypha. The scripture reference where the name occurs in the Bible is shown in the notes and sources. Some individuals have more than one name, e.g. Noah - Noe, and it is not explained why, but perhaps Noah is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible besides Genesis 5:29 and his name is spelled there Noe. When I first thought about compiling such a database myself, I wondered how to handle that problem and realized I needed a better background of ancient languages and people. But, without an explanation, I'm left wondering if some of these might really be two separate individuals. You notice that there are no surnames and that's reasonable since surnames only came into use a few centuries ago. So, to search for a name, in this database you must start with ", " [comma space] before the name. Before surnames were used, sometimes to distinguish people, a location was used such as "from" and that's where we get names like van, von, de, etc. For an interesting history of surnames see the Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surname . I have found this database very helpful to show me the relationships mentioned in the Bible.

Here's screenshot of Ephraim's ancestry from this database in Ancestral Quest.

https://uvtagg.org

OTHER BIBLE DATABASES

There are other databases containing Biblical genealogy and some have been submitted as Community Trees on FamilySearch. You get to these on FamilySearch by going to Search > Community Trees. In experimenting with finding some Biblical names there, I searched the Pedigree Resource File for Joseph son of Jacob and Rachel and found the pedigree for Ephraim in this screenshot.

https://uvtagg.org

CONCLUSIONS

For these scripture databases it would be helpful if they included an approximate time frame of when the person lived, even if this were only a relative time frame so you could tell who came first, but that may be asking too much. It's helpful to me just the way it is. Now I wonder if anyone has done the same for the other scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, e.g. the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The other scriptures don't have as many people mentioned by name; for example the Book of Mormon only mentions four women by name, as I recall. Most of the people mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants are listed in the Early LDS databases which my wife and I worked on this as an assignment in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission. It's online at http://earlylds.com/ . My introduction can be found by searching for Intro in the First Name field. I hope you find these scripture databases as helpful as I have.
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