Archive for April, 2007

New Records from Massachusetts: Massachusetts Magazine 1910

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com recently launched a new Massachusetts database: The Massachusetts Magazine 1910, Volume 3

This database will be FREE to access until April 20th.

The Massachusetts Magazine 1910, Volume 3

The Massachusetts Magazine 1910, Volume 3 database is a collection from the Everton Library. This quarterly magazine was devoted to the areas of history, genealogy, and biography. The magazine was issued in January, April, July, and October.



Wonderbase of the Week: Army Records From Korean and Vietnam Wars, and World War II

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

This week at WorldVitalRecords.com our Wonderbase of the Week includes a variety of army records, including databases from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as World War II. All of these databases will be available FREE to access until April 19th.

Click on the links below to access each of the databases.


Army Casualties 1956 – 2003
(Free until April 19th)

This database contains information on U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile occurrence, including while missing in action or while prisoner of war, or non-hostile occurrence in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War. In particular, it provides unit information the series creators had been able to locate about the following: more than 37,000 of the 38,200 casualties from the U.S. Army, more than 11,000 of the 14,836 from the U.S. Marine Corps, more than 1,700 of the 2,584 from the U.S. Air Force, more than 2,200 of the 2,564 from the U.S. Navy, and all 7 from the U.S. Coast Guard. Each record includes identifying information for the casualty, such as name, service number, date of birth, date of death, and city and state of home of record, and as much unit information as available from Military Command to task group or the equivalent.

US Korean Casualties 1950 – 1957 (Free until April 19th)

This database was created to maintain a centralized information source within the Department of Defense for memorials to those who died due to combat during the Korean conflict and other public issuances. This series contains selected descriptive data about U.S. military personnel who died by hostile means (i.e. battle deaths) as a result of combat duty in the Korean War. The data were usually extracted from Department of Defense Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) as well as from each of the four military services of the Department of Defense. Coverage dates are for dates of death; inclusive dates are for dates records entered into the system. The series lists as the home of record the county for those casualties in the Army and lists as the home of record the city, town, or municipality for those casualties in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Vietnam Casualties 1956 – 1998 (Free until April 19th)

The Office of the Secretary of Defense created this series as the official repository for records on U.S. military casualties in the Southeast Asian combat areas during the Vietnam Conflict and used the database as the source for official information about U.S. military personnel casualties related to the Vietnam Conflict and for disseminating statistical data concerning them. This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or non-hostile occurrence or who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnamese Conflict, including casualties that occurred in Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand. This database contains both final and nonfinal records; a data field in each record distinguishes between them. Final records, also referred to as the “last” records, represent the most current official information about a deceased casualty or about repatriated personnel; nonfinal records, also referred to as “previous” records, are those that precede the final records. Each record includes: the casualty’s name, service number, file reference number, date of birth, date of death or repatriation, date Southeast Asian tour began, record processing date, city and state of home of record, the casualty’s military service branch, country of casualty, type of casualty, military grade and pay grade, military occupation, service component, race, religion, length of service, marital status, sex, citizenship, the reason or cause of casualty, whether the casualty involved an aircraft, the status of the casualty’s body (whether recovered or not), whether the casualty was posthumously promoted, and the South Vietnam province where the casualty occurred, when applicable.

World War II Prisoners of War 1941 – 1946 (Free until April 19th)

This database contains information about U.S. military officers and soldiers and U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees. The record for each prisoner provides serial number, personal name, branch of service or civilian status, grade, date reported, race, state of residence, type of organization, parent unit number and type, place of capture (theater of war), source of report, status, detaining power, and prisoner of war or civilian internee camp site. Records of prisoners of the Japanese who died also document whether the prisoner was on a Japanese ship that sank or if he or she died during transport from the Philippine Islands to Japan. There are no records for some prisoners of war whose names appear in the lists or cables transmitted to the Office of the Provost Marshal General by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

World War II Prisoners of Japanese (Free for 10 more days)

World War II Prisoners of the Japanese database includes records from 1941 -1945. These records were compiled to provide NARA with more complete data on World War II prisoners of the Japanese. The database contains information on military personnel and a few civilians who were prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. The records include name, rank, service number, branch of service, source of the information, unit information as available from parent unit to subordinate unit, and notes.

Gorgas Hospital Mortuary 1906 – 1991 (Free until April 19th)

Index to the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary Registers, created, 1979 – 1991, documenting the period 1906 – 1991 Creator: Department of Defense. Department of the Army. U.S. Army South. U.S. Army Garrison Panama. Directorate of Logistics. Transportation Division. Mortuary Affairs Section (10/31/1979-12/31/1999). (Most Recent) Series from Record Group 185: Records of the Panama Canal NARA did not receive data for the following seven years: 1912, 1917, 1918, 1955, 1960, 1965, and 1980 (October 1979 to September 1980). 1979 is the date of the computerization of the index when the U.S. Army took control of the mortuary operations. Part of: Record Group 185: Records of the Panama Canal Function and Use: The database was created to serve as an electronic index to the records of individuals processed by the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary. Scope & Content Note: This series is a necrology and partial index to the mortuary’s registers and contains records of 26,213 U.S. military personnel, employees of the Panama Canal Commission and its predecessors, and Canal Zone civilians processed through the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary between 1906 and 1991. Records in the database include: name, social security number or other unique personal identifier, age, race, nationality, occupation, employer, date of death, place of death, the date the body was received by the mortuary, the person identified as being responsible for the remains, the place of burial, date of cremation, disposition of cremation remains, register entry number, marker, section, row, grave, cost, and remarks. The data file contains some obvious typographical and data entry errors such as misspellings and data from two fields erroneously entered into a single field. Overall, less than 3 percent of the records are affected by these obvious errors.

Genealogy in 15 Minutes a Day (or Less)

Monday, April 9th, 2007

We just started a new genealogy column in our weekly newsletter called Genealogy in 15 Minutes a Day (or Less). If you do not receive this FREE newsletter, sign up now and stay up to date and everything that is happening at WorldVitalRecords.com.

This column has been designed to provide our users with ideas for taking genealogy in small bites, savoring each step on a daily basis. By spending only fifteen minutes or less a day, a person can (theoretically) spend nearly four days straight on genealogy over the course of a year.

This may not seem like much, but for a busy person, it’s over half a week dedicated simply to doing genealogy. If a person wants to, an increase to twenty minutes a day is another day added, and a decrease to ten minutes a day allows for about two and a half days’ worth. For those scared of genealogy, two days out of 365 should not seem too treacherous.

None of the tips in this column must be done in any particular order. Just done, period. Whether it takes all of the hour and three-quarters worth of time devoted to the task or less does not matter.

Do not feel like you have to do everything in under the amount of time specified. Do not feel like you have to extend the time period, either.

If it takes more than an hour and a half, and if you want to, keep working on a given task for fifteen minutes a day until the job gets done. This is meant to be quick, easy, and painless. It is less than the time needed for watching one movie during the week– Genealogy for those who don’t normally like genealogy.

This week: Use of Google Alerts

Day 1
What already exists on your family? Instead of taking fifteen minutes every day and searching every surname, use a computer to do it for you: Google Alerts allows you to search daily, weekly, or even as-it-happens for a particular search term, whether that is a surname, a county, or an individual ancestor. I have current alert set for Forson, Gawthrop, Kinner, and other names that are relevant to my personal interests.

Day 2
Read what comes up from the alerts. During the first batch of search results, you are learning to filter out what is relevant and how to make the searches better and more specific.

Day 3
Modify search terms for Google Alerts to make the information more specific.

Day 4
If you come to relevant search terms giving information on the people in question, follow the links and read the information given there.

Day 5
Record relevant information into your genealogical data management software. Make sure to include bibliographic citations.

Day 6
Send an email to the online submitter or publisher of the information found in Day 5 to see whether or not they have more information, expressing that you are interested in sharing information.

Day 7
Check WorldVitalRecords.com for new information on a given ancestor. This means going to Quick Search and typing in the surname for an ancestor and narrowing the search results by state or area (as needed). Look over the information that comes up.

Search 4 New International Genealogy Community Pages at WorldVitalRecords.com: Albania, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, and Uganda

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com has added 4 new International Genealogy Community Pages to its site. The following country pages are now FREE and accessible at WorldVitalRecords.com:

With the addition of these new pages, WorldVitalRecords.com now has 44 International Genealogy Community Pages!

Individuals can use the search engines found on each community page to find information on each country relating to genealogy and history, as well as travel and maps.

“WorldVitalRecords.com has provided additional resources for genealogical research with the inclusion of the international pages,” said Amy Rhoads, Director Community Building. “These international pages can further genealogy work with the addition of these supplemental resources.

Individuals who have a site they would like to add to the search engine, or who would like to provide input as to countries for which they would like WorldVitalRecords.com to build a search engine site should send an email to international@worldvitalrecords.com.

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New Parish Records, and Genealogical Histories From New Jersey and Massachusetts

Friday, April 6th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com released the following new parish records and genealogical histories: (Click on the title to view the database.)

Eccleshall Parish Register 1573 – 1618, Volume 1 (Free until April 13)

The Eccleshall Parish Register contains the baptism, marriage, and burial records for Eccleshall Parish for the years of 1573-1618.

Eccleshall Parish Register 1620-1656, Volume 2 (Free until April 13)

The Eccleshall Parish Register contains the baptism, marriage, and burial records for Eccleshall Parish for the years of 1620-1656.

Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, Volume 3 (Free until April 13)

This record contains the history and achievements of New Jersey’s founders, and those from New Jersey who assisted in the founding of the United States.

History of Rehoboth, Massachusetts 1643-1918 (Free until April 13)

When Rev. George H. Tilton, A.M. wrote his “A History of Rehoboth Massachusetts,” he included in it the vital parts of an earlier history of the town published in 1836. Rev. Tilton felt that enough time had elapsed since that history to add to it which he did in this book. The book begins with the settling of the town, its history during the Revolution and the Civil War. It also contains chapters on education, the Antiquarian Society, agriculture, native trees, cemeteries, and other items of interest. It also contains many illustrations.

The Registers of Smethcote, Shropshire 1609-1812 (Free until April 13)

Smethcote is a parish in the diocese of Lichfield, and in the rural deanery and hundred of Condover. It lies 9 miles south west from Shrewsbury, and 5 miles north of Church Stretton. The Parish Register contains, Baptism, Marriage, and Burial records. The records were kept in Latin and cover the years 1609 to 1812.

Is Hugh Wallis a Name or a Database?

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

The answer to this question is yes! When searching Google for Hugh Wallis, the first hit is IGI Batch Numbers: British Isles and North America. This is a site that turns the IGI from individual searches for one family (or one individual) into searches for entire parishes and towns of people with that particular surname.

This is not to say that every place within the British Isles, Canada, and the United States will be listed, but every place that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) has extracted (recorded names from original vital records) from the early days of the Church’s extraction program to now. For instance, when looking for Williamsburg, Ontario, there were no results, but a search for Goshen, (Orange County), New York comes up with the following batch numbers:

Goshen, Orange (First Presbyterian Church) J530931 1806-1816 M530931 1805-1816 1840-1895 K530931 1806-1816 M530932 1776-1804 1817-1839

A search for the surname, Kinner, within the batch that includes the First Presbyterian Church, returns many hits. Another search for Babell In Ynys, Monmouthshire, Wales: Babell In Ynys Ddu (Welsh Calvinistic Methodist) C095391 1828-1837.

For those who have family from the UK, Canada, or the United States, this tool aids when a person knows a particular area where their family comes from, to see whether or not a family surname exists there.

NARA Records Worth Some Cost

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Cannon

By Amanda Forson, WorldVitalRecords.com

After the recent news of the proposed 238 percent increase in costs of Civil War pension records from $37 to $125, many genealogists who deal with American records are “up in arms.”

A few questions emerge from the battle between the cost of one�s heritage and the ever-increasing prices for basic necessities in America. Those necessities include not only the breach between what senior citizens receive through Social Security benefits versus current cost-of-living charges, but on the flip side the government also has to pay for utilities, structures, personnel, and what it takes to run a building. These costs do not include funding special projects like microfilming, digitization, or preservation of the originals, just in case something happens to all the “copies” floating out there.

Average and beginning genealogists have become used to viewing readily-available digital images of scanned or original documents through libraries or other public places for subscription-based services. No one likes to pay for genealogical materials until they find something they deem useful, and then money becomes the medium to their solution. No one wants to pay for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, etc., but these are costs associated with living. What is not seen are the “hidden costs” built into systems of supply and demand in normal living expenses, and in �normal� genealogical expenses. These would be transportation of records, climate, humidity, and light controls, expenses of copying, training of those who work with records, stamps, paper, and the list continues. NARA seems to be trying to alleviate these costs by farming out information to subscription sites with varying content and price ranges.

The question is whether or not the Congressmen in charge of the hearing on finance, understand what those records mean to their constituents. In order to receive records in a timely manner, I hired a local record searcher from the DC area to find three pension records for me. By the time she was done, she had the pensions along with the widow�s pension stacks totaling 318 pages for the six documents. She copied everything, and without the widow’s pensions, I would not be able to prove that the third generation back from 1900 for my mother�s side is related to the fourth.

After reading all 318 pages, I found copies of original marriage certificates of cousins and tales of missing brothers and sisters otherwise unknown. Re-constructing intra-family relationships and personalities began as affidavits for family members recounted bearing false witness by a brother about a widow. Very little information about these families existed previously, according to my knowledge. Further, I found medical genealogy, my current genealogical obsession, since medical examiners testified about direct causes of death for many early ancestors. To my surprise, many of her direct-line ancestor’s causes of death were the same as my mother’s. This makes sense, but I had not considered it as I had little information on the matter previously.

The pensions allow me to prove what happened in the past and to increase my personal life expectancy for the future through changing my personal habits and taking better care of myself than was available to them at the time.

The pension total cost was $125, ironically the same amount that one record would cost if the proposed fee increase occurs. I was happy to pay the cost as the content within the records was unique, or at least I had not found it elsewhere despite searching the Family History Library and various online subscription sites for anything of even remote applicability without fruition. The question here is the cost for what one receives, with emphasis on receiving information that is pertinent to the needs of the researcher.

Were the price consideration $50, would the public complain? Without $125 reference point difference, would people complain about the cost or even suggest gradual cost shifts? Was it worth it for me to have these three corresponding and corroborative records? Yes, and I did not wait for price changes to affect my decision. Was it worth $125? I paid that now so as to defray spending $750 in the future.

The records are important to the nation, but for the individual, they are priceless. Contact those who make decisions in Congress. If unsure, Google your state and House of Representatives or Dick Eastman’s links to those who are directly on the subcommittee on finance. Only when people take action will costs go down or “normalize.” The value is inherent; the price is not.

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Listen to Family Roots Radio

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
Family Roots Radio

Family Roots Radio is a new genealogy radio show on the Internet. Dick Eastman was the featured guest last week on the show. He spoke about Maximizing Your Genealogy Software. If you missed the show, you can view it here. Listen to the show.

During the show, WorldVitalRecords.com also played an ad featuring Leland Meitzler, Managing Editor, Everton’s Genealogical Helper, and mentioned a special offer.

To listen to WorldVitalRecords.com’s latest genealogy offer, you must install Flash Player.

During the show, Kory Meyerink (Family Roots Radio host) mentioned that he visited with Paul Allen, CEO, WorldVitalRecords.com at a conference recently. Meyerink said that he hoped to have Paul on the show and that he “always appreciated his vision.” Eastman said he “wouldn’t want to miss that one.”

As part of the program, Meyerink and Eastman explored a number of different genealogical software programs. Ancestral Quest 12, which is currently being offered for FREE at WorldVitalRecords.com with a 1 or 2 year membership, was ranked the Number 3 in the 2007 Genealogy Software report (see below).

Genealogy Software Reviews 2007

Legacy
Family Tree Maker
Ancestral Quest
#4 Personal Ancestral File
#5 RootsMagic

In looking for a software program, Eastman advised listeners to first define the requirements they need for a program. He also suggested that individuals should try out the programs for a few hours before they make a purchase. He also suggested that each software program have the following features:

1. Source citation
2. GED COM (Genealogy data communications)

New Functionality: Search Genealogy Records By State With New Drop Down Menu at WorldVitalRecords.com

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com has added a new functionality to its site. Individuals can now search for records by state with a new drop down menu. They can also view databases by title or category with a drop down menu as well.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Type a name into the Quick Search box on the home page, or click on the View a List of All Databases box.
  3. Once you type in a name, two boxes will show up (Sort List by and Narrow list to). The Sort List by box allows the individual to sort a list by Title or Category. The Narrow list to box allows individual to search records by state.

WorldVitalRecords.com strives to provide its users with the best searching experience possible. These new features were added to provide easier and faster searching at WorldVitalRecords.com.

Search More Than 9 Million NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Search More Than 9 Million NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

WorldVitalRecords.com adds another large Wonderbase to its site

Provo, UT, April 2, 2007 - More than 9 million World War II army enlistment records are now searchable online at WorldVitalRecords.com through a shipment provided by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), one of the largest archives in the United States.

“The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, preserves and provides access to billions of genealogical and historical records, photographs, and computerized resources. I am pleased that WorldVitalRecords.com is including these NARA records on its site,” said Kip Sperry, Professor of Family History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

NARA created the database in 2002 in conjunction with the Bureau of the Census. The World War II Army Enlistment database contains the majority of the Army enlistments during World War II from 1938-1946.

“I am very grateful that the government went to such great lengths to track all of the valuable details of each individual’s life over time. I am very excited to include that depth of detail for our members at WorldVitalRecords.com,” said David Lifferth, President, WorldVitalRecords.com.

The World War II database contains the serial number, name, state and county of residence, place of enlistment, date of enlistment, race, grade, Army branch, term of enlistment, longevity, nativity (place of birth), year of birth, civilian occupation, marital status, education, military occupational specialty (1945 and later), height and weight (before 1943), component, and box and reel number of the microfilmed punch cards.

“The World War II generation brought us out of the Great Depression and established much of the American modern infrastructure we enjoy today. We celebrate their lives with the inclusion of these records,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, WorldVitalRecords.com.

At WorldVitalRecords.com, these NARA databases are part of a global search, allowing users to search all of the databases at one time. These records will also be enhanced with geomapping and the Google Book search features.

“This new database at WorldVitalRecords.com adds a wealth of material from the rich resources of NARA. With this addition, the records of millions of veterans have been made available to researchers,” said Robert Freeman, Director of the Saints at War Project at Brigham Young University.

xxx

Media Contact:

Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
World Vital Records

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@worldvitalrecords.com

About WorldVitalRecords.com

Finding your ancestors can be overwhelming, and expensive. At WorldVitalRecords.com, we’ve made it easy and affordable for individuals to connect to their families and find answers to their genealogical questions. WorldVitalRecords.com was founded by Paul Allen, who also founded Ancestry.com, one of the leading genealogy companies. WorldVitalRecords.com aims to be a top player in the genealogy industry and will offer users international record databases, references to top genealogical resources, including Everton’s Online Genealogical Helper and Family Group Sheets and Pedigree Files, a blog planet, podcasts, videocasts, Webinars, expert advice, training, and user-generated content