Archive for November, 2007

Black Sheep Ancestors Page Helps Locate “Interesting” Records

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Some subscribers to WorldVitalRecords.com have questions concerning ancestors with criminal pasts. While we cannot claim to know everything about the court system,* we can recommend a site that puts degrees of intrigue and interest into anyone’s family history if records are found on the site.

BlacksheepAncestors.com is an interesting site devoted to celebrating the ancestors that many families either do not know or who may want to forget. The “do not know about” clause comes from how many families, at the time of the event(s), do not tell children about particular relatives, or else only mention them in passing in such a manner as the family members know not to ask about them. Some relatives become forgotten in this manner, but the story is there to be found.

Information categories on the site include United States, Canadian, and UK records, along with International (pirates and buccaneers). For the United States, searches include prison and convicts, outlaw and criminals, court, executions, and insane asylum searches. For Canada, there are prisons and convicts, biographical black sheep ancestors search, court and execution records. The UK also has similar records.

Biographies on the site include the very famous and a few lesser known criminals, privateers, etc. including but not limited to: Blackbeard, Captain William Kid, Capt. Barbossa (the real story, better than Pirates of the Caribbean), Al Capone, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (again, the real stories), The Black Donnelly’s, Sir Francis Drake, Anne Bonney, Mary Reed, Captain Benito de Soto, Jack the Ripper, etc.

While unable to find any particular records on personal ancestors, it is certain that looking on this site should bring interesting reading and results whether inclusive or not of personal ancestry.

*Searching state, county, and local level court records are a good place to look for information of this manner.

Coming Soon: 700 Genealogical Books From Simmons Historical Society

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, World Vital Records, Inc. sent Amy Rhoads, Director of Community Building, cross country to Kentucky to pick up books from the Simmons Historical Publication Library.

Simmons Historical Publications recently partnered with WorldVitalRecords.com to make more than 700 of its valuable genealogical books accessible online for the first time. These databases will be coming online within the coming weeks!


Shown above: Books from Simmons Historical Publications

This collection contains rich, genealogical information, such as vital records, census records, deeds, wills, newspaper abstracts, court records, tax lists, maps, and much more.

These records are from Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Illinois.

WorldVitalRecords.com wishes to thank Laura Willis and Sherry Adams from Simmons Historical Publications.

New Functionality at WorldVitalRecords.com: More Accurate Searches and Faster Search Results

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com recently made several important functionality and performance improvements. First, WorldVitalRecords.com is now doing name proximity in all of its full text databases. This means that individuals who perform searches at WorldVitalRecords.com will now receive fewer results than they received before, however, the results will be much more accurate. This may come as a surprise to individuals who received thousands of hits on a particular name, and now they are only receiving hundreds. However, these hundreds of results will be much more accurate than the thousands of results they received previously.

For example, if one searched for “Dale Johnson” before, he might find a newspaper article that talks about “Dale Brown” and “Steve Johnson” but the page would come up as a possible match. Now, individuals will only find pages that have “Dale” and “Johnson” in close proximity to each other (in the same row, or adjacent rows).

Additional improvements: WorldVitalRecords.com has also worked on its functionality to provide a more consistent search speed, even with more complex queries. In the past, some queries at WorldVitalRecords.com performed faster than others. Now, all of the queries should provide results at a more constant speed. This search speed is more than ten times faster than it was before.

Further, WorldVitalRecords.com now has a dynamic counter on its site (located in the top left hand corner on the home page) that shows the number of names or records, as well as the total number of databases that are currently online.

WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, and We’re Related (on Facebook.com) have faster speeds because of the additional high speed database servers WorldVitalRecords.com has purchased and put into service. FamilyLink.com and We’re Related have also implemented Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Solution (S3) computing resources to provide rapid expansion to handle peak traffic flows. This means that WorldvitalRecords.com is the first to implement these leading-edge performance enhancements in the genealogy space.

WorldVitalRecords.com is pleased to bring its users these improved functionalities and will continue to work to provide its users with the most accurate search results available in the fastest amount of time.

WorldVitalRecords.com Major Sponsor At 4th Annual St. George Family History Expo 2008

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

PROVO, UT, November 27, 2007— WorldVitalRecords.com announced today its major sponsorship of the 2008 St. George Utah Genealogy and Family Heritage Jamboree to be held on February 8-9, 2008.

“Being a sponsor of this event is an awesome opportunity and privilege because we have never had sponsors before,” said Kimberly Savage, VP of My Ancestors Found. “I have attended conferences for 20 years, and this is an excellent conference. Professionals who are on the cutting edge of learning will be attending, along with the leaders in the industry, such as WorldVitalRecords.com, Footnote, Ancestry, and FamilySearch.”

“This is the first time WorldVitalRecords.com has had a sponsorship on this level, and we are thrilled to be able to contribute and be a part of this great conference. After attending last year’s expo, I realized the importance of this conference and was really impressed with the attendees and their interest and knowledge of genealogy,” said David Lifferth, President, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We’re really excited for this sponsorship opportunity and look forward to disseminating greater knowledge in this field through our speakers, as well as the services we provide.”

“Pirates of the Pedigree” is the theme for the expo, which will be held at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George. The purpose of the expo is for individuals to find their family treasures, without allowing pirates to rob them of discovering the real stories and facts from their personal pedigrees.

“My Ancestors Found’s goal in putting on family history events is to educate, motivate and inspire the beginner to the advanced genealogist. We love to have fun and invite all to share the excitement of the Family History Expo,” said Savage.

The expo will feature 101 presentations from well-known genealogists and speakers from all over the U.S, such as Richard Black from Godfrey Memorial Library, Myrt from DearMYRTLE, Kip Sperry from Brigham Young University, David Lifferth from WorldVitalRecords.com/FamilyLink.com, Leland Meitzler from Everton, Bruce Buzbee from RootsMagic, Inc., Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak from Roots Television, and Beau Sharbrough from Footnote.com. A complete list of all the speakers and their topics is available at www.MyAncestorsFound.com.

“The Family History Expo is more than a local or regional conference, it is an international event, with speakers and vendors from all across the US, Canada, and England,” Savage said. “The lectures, variety of vendors in the exhibit hall, syllabus, and program booklet are superior to many events. Providing the syllabus on compact disc and also in a paper format is always appreciated by our attendees.”

My Ancestors Found and FamilySearch will host the Family History Expo in the St. George Dixie Convention Center. More than 50 vendors and exhibitions will also be featured, along with many prizes and drawings. WorldVitalRecords.com will have an exhibit at the expo and will also present several classes on innovative tools to connect families.

“In just a short amount of time since WorldVitalRecords.com has launched, we have exploded in popularity. The next logical step for WorldVitalRecords.com was to partner with My Ancestors Found on a level such as this to show people all that we have to offer. WorldVitalRecords.com will be teaching classes, providing demonstrations, sponsoring the conference, donating prizes and giveaways, and will also have a booth for individuals to come and see all that we have to offer,” said Amy Rhoads, Director, Community Building, WorldVitalRecords.com. “WorldVitalRecords.com is using technology in ways that no other genealogy company has before. Utilizing technology in this way allows WorldVitalRecords.com to offer its services at such affordable prices, coupled with offer features and benefits for individuals take their genealogy research to the next level.”

Last year’s expo in St. George brought in over three thousand attendees. My Ancestors Found predicts that this expo may be one of the largest genealogy conferences of the year in North America.

“There’s something for everybody at this expo, no matter what their level,” Savage said. “Family history is an important link to the past. Genealogy isn’t just names and dates, its stories. It’s great to know who you are and where you came from.”

xxx

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
World Vital Records, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@worldvitalrecords.com

WorldVitalRecords.com Major Sponsor At 4th Annual St. George Family History Expo 2008

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

WorldVitalRecords.com Major Sponsor At 4th Annual St. George Family History Expo 2008

PROVO, UT, November 27, 2007— WorldVitalRecords.com announced today its major sponsorship of the 2008 St. George Utah Genealogy and Family Heritage Jamboree to be held on February 8-9, 2008.

“Being a sponsor of this event is an awesome opportunity and privilege because we have never had sponsors before,” said Kimberly Savage, VP of My Ancestors Found. “I have attended conferences for 20 years, and this is an excellent conference. Professionals who are on the cutting edge of learning will be attending, along with the leaders in the industry, such as WorldVitalRecords.com, Footnote, Ancestry, and FamilySearch.”

“This is the first time WorldVitalRecords.com has had a sponsorship on this level, and we are thrilled to be able to contribute and be a part of this great conference. After attending last year’s expo, I realized the importance of this conference and was really impressed with the attendees and their interest and knowledge of genealogy,” said David Lifferth, President, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We’re really excited for this sponsorship opportunity and look forward to disseminating greater knowledge in this field through our speakers, as well as the services we provide.”

“Pirates of the Pedigree” is the theme for the expo, which will be held at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George. The purpose of the expo is for individuals to find their family treasures, without allowing pirates to rob them of discovering the real stories and facts from their personal pedigrees.

“My Ancestors Found’s goal in putting on family history events is to educate, motivate and inspire the beginner to the advanced genealogist. We love to have fun and invite all to share the excitement of the Family History Expo,” Savage said.

The expo will feature 101 presentations from well-known genealogists and speakers from all over the U.S, such as Richard Black from Godfrey Memorial Library, Myrt from DearMYRTLE, Kip Sperry from Brigham Young University, David Lifferth from WorldVitalRecords.com/FamilyLink.com, Leland Meitzler from Everton, Bruce Buzbee from RootsMagic, Inc., Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak from Roots Television, and Beau Sharbrough from Footnote.com. A complete list of all the speakers and their topics is available at www.MyAncestorsFound.com.

“The Family History Expo is more than a local or regional conference, it is an international event, with speakers and vendors from all across the US, Canada, and England,” Savage said. “The lectures, variety of vendors in the exhibit hall, syllabus, and program booklet are superior to many events. Providing the syllabus on compact disc and also in a paper format is always appreciated by our attendees.”

My Ancestors Found and FamilySearch will host the Family History Expo in the St. George Dixie Convention Center. More than 50 vendors and exhibitions will also be featured, along with many prizes and drawings. WorldVitalRecords.com will have an exhibit at the expo and will also present several classes on innovative tools to connect families.

“In just a short amount of time since WorldVitalRecords.com has launched, we have exploded in popularity. The next logical step for WorldVitalRecords.com was to partner with My Ancestors Found on a level such as this to show people all that we have to offer. WorldVitalRecords.com will be teaching classes, providing demonstrations, sponsoring the conference, donating prizes and giveaways, and will also have a booth for individuals to come and see all that we have to offer,” said Amy Rhoads, Director, Community Building, WorldVitalRecords.com. “WorldVitalRecords.com is using technology in ways that no other genealogy company has before. Utilizing technology in this way allows WorldVitalRecords.com to offer its services at such affordable prices, coupled with offer features and benefits for individuals take their genealogy research to the next level.”

Last year’s expo in St. George brought in over three thousand attendees. My Ancestors Found predicts that this expo may be one of the largest genealogy conferences of the year in North America.

“There’s something for everybody at this expo, no matter what their level,” Savage said. “Family history is an important link to the past. Genealogy isn’t just names and dates, its stories. It’s great to know who you are and where you came from.”

xxx

Media Contact

Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
World Vital Records, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@worldvitalrecords.com

About My Ancestors Found

Tapis and Associates, doing business as My Ancestors Found (MAF), sponsors events to educate and inspire individuals to discover their heritage through sponsoring family history events, producing educational and instructional materials of value to family historians. Event and product details can be accessed through MyAncestorsFound.com.

About World Vital Records, Inc.

Founded in 2006, by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, World Vital Records, Inc. provides affordable genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 350,000 monthly visitors and nearly 20,000 subscribers. With thousands of databases including birth, death, military, census, and parish records, WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to extend your family tree. World Vital Records also runs FamilyLink.com, a social network for genealogists, and We’re Related, a popular Facebook application. Partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Ancestral Quest, Find A Grave, and FamilySearchâ„¢. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

Wonderbase Of The Week: 100 Fully Digitized And Searchable Books From The Quintin Publications Collection

Monday, November 26th, 2007

This week’s Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com consists of 100 digitized and searchable books from the Quintin Publications Collection. Most of the books are family histories for surnames that begin with the letters L and T. Other books in the collection include state and local histories.

The largest database this week is Western Massachusetts, A History, 1636 – 1925, Volume 1, which contains more than 228,000 names. This database can be especially useful for people researching ancestors who lived in or may simply have passed through Western Massachusetts. The volume primarily contains names of people of prominence in the region, but it is not limited to the wealthy and famous.

The majority of this week’s spotlighted databases are family histories that contain at least 1,000 names, and several include more than 10,000. The largest family history this week is The History of the Treman, Tremaine, Truman Family in America with The Related Families of Mack, Dey, Board and Ayers. This database contains more than 132,000 names.

Other large databases include Thurston Genealogies, 1635 – 1892 Second Edition with more than 94,000 names; Memorial of the Thayer Name, from the Massachusetts Colony of Weymouth and Braintree, Embracing Geneological[sic] and Biographical Sketches of Richard & Thomas Thayer, and Their Descendants with more than 57,000 names; and Genealogy of the Twitchell Family: Record of the Descendants of the Puritan, Benjamin Twitchell, Dorchester, 1637 – 1927 with more than 54,000 names.

All of the databases will be free for the next ten days (December 6, 2007). Remember that even if you don’t find your ancestors’ surnames in the titles, your ancestors may be listed in any of the volumes. Since all the databases are fully searchable, it is always worth a try.

Happy Thanksgiving From WorldVitalRecords.com!!!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

At this time of Thanksgiving, we, at WorldVitalRecords.com, reflect upon this past year full of many blessings. We want to thank our subscribers, our partners, our affiliates, and especially our families and friends who have supported us during our first year of business.

We plan to continue to give back by offering millions of free records, as well as free innovative tools to connect families such as FamilyLink.com, and We’re Related on Facebook.com.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

“I Found Your Nose!” Using Photographs To Help Place Genealogical Identity

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Searching for ancestral names, dates, and places is fun and good, but becomes more real with artifacts and pictures. During personal research this week came unexpected pictures for two of my four-times-great grandmother’s brothers. One of them, Alfred Mosher, had a picture posted online by a distant relative that made me take notice.

Living family normally looks like predecessors in diverse ways. I look more like my mother’s side and my sister looks more like our father’s side. Researching Alfred Mosher, my father’s great-great-uncle, the picture showed my sister’s nose. A personal hobby of mine is trying to see what traits come to each person in the genetic mixing pool. My sister’s nose is not the same as either of our parents or grandparents. Although I am quite sure that she is directly biologically related to our parents, the visual evidence for that feature has never come to light until now.

Corresponding with other researchers on this line brought the photograph of Alfred to my attention. My own observance brought the nose to mind. Having looked closer at the photographs of both relatives, I notice other traits that are similar–the basic facial carriage being the most recognizable. My sister’s hair was curled for the picture, so that is not a similarity, but subtle resemblances of eye placement, etc. when pictures are placed side by side gives me no doubts that my sister takes after this branch of the family for visual comparison, if not for other possible traits. Not knowing a great deal on the activities of this side of the family, I want to find out more. I want to continue researching and finding out whether there are other similar traits beyond the cosmetic. This is the result of finding pictures.

There’s more to a person than a name and a date. Whenever possible, including photographs or other artifacts helps make a concrete connection for descendents and helps install visual evidence of existence. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but make sure to label the evidence with archival-quality implements, and digitize whenever possible.

WorldVitalRecords.com is currently offering digital preservation packages starting at $39.95. If interested, contact Customer Service at support@worldvitalrecords.com or 1-888-377-0588 for more information.

WorldVitalRecords.com Introduces Valuable Scanning Service (Photos, Documents, Videos, and Slides)

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

PROVO, UT, November 12, 2007-WorldVitalRecords.com announced recently a new genealogical service to preserve photos, documents, videos, and slides.

“The idea behind our Preservation Package was to provide a much broader dimension into helping people preserve their family legacy. With thousands of printed photographs and old videos that can become damaged or deteriorate, it only made sense for us to offer a service that allowed people to convert their items to a digital format. It has never been easier nor more cost effective to do that than today,” said Scott Spencer, Call Center Manager, WorldVitalRecords.com. “Customers can experience the piece of mind knowing their precious memories are safe and secure. Best of all, they can share them with family and friends quickly and easily, anywhere, any time, online through FamilyLink.com.”

Many people have stacks of videotapes and old photos at home. Unfortunately, the quality will not last. For example, videotapes have an expected life of 7-15 years before the quality deteriorates, whereas DVD’s have an expected life of 100-500 years. Over time, photos and film can fade, discolor, deteriorate, dry out, or become brittle, regardless of how well they are stored.

In an effort to preserve these valuable tapes, photos, and documents, WorldVitalRecords.com now offers the following Preservation Package services:

* Converting 8mm, 16mm, miniDVs, and VHS tapes to a DVD
* Scanning photos and documents
* Digitizing slides and negatives
* Secure storage filing

WorldVitalRecords.com decided to offer this service after discovering that 91 percent of the WorldVitalRecords.com survey panel said they were concerned about preserving their family photos, videos, and/or documents in a digital format.

“I really see the need for digitizing documents, photographs, and other family history artifacts. These items that we have been collecting throughout our lives can be digitized so that they can be easily shared using the Internet, modern social networks, as well as emails,” said David Lifferth, President, WorldVitalRecords.com. “We should share these artifacts with friends and family who need them for their own family history research, as well as to preserve them for posterity.”

The stories on the importance of preserving photos and old documents are endless. For example, an employee at WorldVitalRecords.com mentioned that recently the water pipe broke in his basement. He had lots of photos nearby that were almost ruined. Other catastrophes such as the fires in San Diego and Hurricane Katrina have also caused many people to realize the importance of converting their heirlooms to a digital format for backup and preservation.

“A few years back we had some of our genealogy stuff in boxes in our garage. We had a flood, and it ruined everything in the boxes. I called my uncle the night before he died, and he gave me some information on my grandmother’s family, including information on our family line from Denmark. I wrote it down and had it with some other genealogy papers in my garage. All of that information was destroyed in the flood and no one has been able to track it back since. Everything that has to do with genealogy is in the house now,” said Alice Danby, Provo, UT.

One of the benefits of using WorldVitalRecords.com’s scanning services is that individuals have the option of having WorldVitalRecords.com upload all of their photos, and also store them for free on a secure server at FamilyLink.com, a social network for genealogists.

Half of WorldVitalRecords.com panel members said they were interested in a service that could upload their photos to a secure site to share with other family members of their choice.

Preservation packages are priced very competitively at WorldVitalRecords.com. Some packages are 50-70% off of the retail value.

Individuals can take advantage of this new offer by calling WorldVitalRecords.com at its toll-free number (1-888-377-0588).

Wonderbase of the Week: 200 New Databases Online From The Quintin CD Collection

Monday, November 19th, 2007

This week’s Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com consists of more than 200 databases from the Quintin CD collection. These databases are digitized books that are completely indexed and searchable and will be free to access until November 29, 2007. Among these databases are family histories, histories of towns, and biographies–all of which can be immensely valuable in family history research.

The Wonderbase is primarily comprised of family histories. Among these histories are several volumes with more than 30,000 names. The Descendants (by the Female Line) of Joseph Loomis, contains more than 101,000 names. Another family history, The Genealogy of John Lindsley (1845-1909) and His Wife Virginia Thayer Payne (1856-1941) of Boston, Massachusetts, contains more than 79,000 names. Even if these names do not seem familiar to you, it is possible that your ancestors’ names can be found in any of these volumes.

Today’s Wonderbase also contains a few local histories including (Lenoir) Happy Valley, History and Genealogy, which contains more than 34,000 names and The History of Nantucket County, Island and Town Including Genealogies of First Settlers, which contains more than 75,000 names. There are also a few histories of churches and organizations. All of these local histories can be extremely valuable to anyone with ancestors from these areas–not only because they might provide vital information–but also because they can provide clues that can point you in the right direction for future research.