Archive for March, 2008

Wonderbase of the Week: 87 Databases From Genealogical Publishing Company

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Colonial Families of the United States of America

This week’s Wonderbase is a compilation of 87 databases provided by the Genealogical Publishing Company. These databases are excellent resources for people researching immigrants who came to America during its early colonial days and its infancy as a nation. There are also a number of resources for Ireland, Canada, Barbados, Germany and England.

One of the highlights of today’s Wonderbase is a seven-volume series titled Colonial Families of the United States of America. This series is an excellent resource for people researching families with roots in colonial America. The volumes list prominent colonial families and outlines details including dates and places for births, marriages and deaths as well as derivative family lines. The information included in these volumes can be particularly useful because it can give clues to more primary sources that might be available.

The Wonderbase also includes a three-volume series titled Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. These volumes are particularly interesting because they are a record of the day-to-day happenings of a certain area in Virginia where many Scotch-Irish settled. Within these commonplace occurrences are an extraordinary amount of names that might not be found elsewhere.

Barbados, West Indies

Another excellent series of databases included in the Wonderbase is Barbados Records. These six volumes cover baptisms, marriages, and wills and administrations from as early as 1637 up to 1800. These records are typed extractions from the originals and are immensely useful for anybody with ancestors who participated in the colonization of Barbados.

In addition to these three excellent series are numerous other volumes with thousands upon thousands of names. As always, these resources are fully indexed and searchable.

Winners of the 2008 Logan Family History Expo 2008

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Congratulations to the following individuals who won subscriptions at the Logan Family History Expo.

Grand Prize Winner (includes: One year subscription to the WorldVitalRecords.com World Collection and Family Tree Software with one year subscription to Ancestry, a $500.00 value)

• Charlene Van Duren

Two Prize Winners (one year subscription to the World Collection, a $149.95 value each)

• Sandra Merrill
• Glenda Walker

Winner of the newsletter sign-up drawing (one year subscription to the World Collection, a $149.95 value)

• Leon Lemon

Searching for Burial Places

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

By Amanda Forson, WorldVitalRecords.com

While the Social Security death index available on WorldVitalRecords.com is extremely useful, it does not give the place where a relative is buried. Why is this? Burial places are not reported as part of the Social Security Master List, from which the Social Security Death Index is created. In light of this statement, what is a person to do? How is one to find the place where a relative has been laid to rest?

The following places may aid in this search:

FindAGrave- User-generated, this site often has pictures to accompany a given person’s information, at the very least of the cemetery site, and at the best, of the grave, and possibly even the person in question. FindAGrave is part of WorldVitalRecords, and easy to search as part of the Quick Search searching option.

Internment.net- This site offers cemetery searches by location, in the US and abroad. – http://www.internment.net

Cemetery Junction- http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/

Cemeteries of the United States- http://www.kandj.net/~kim/dontknow.html

The Tombstone Transcription Project- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cemetery/

The Political Graveyard- http://politicalgraveyard.com/
Resting places of politicians, large and small.

Hollywood Underground- http://www.hollywood-underground.com/
Final resting places for Hollywood celebrities.

Cyndi’s List- http://www.cyndislist.com/cemetery.htm
Motherload of links for cemetery listings, history, and just about anything you can think of for cemeteries and funerals.

There is no site that is all-inclusive of every cemetery in existence, or previously in existence. Many old cemeteries have been lost to underbrush or simply due to neglect. Others have been moved as the price of land became greater than the need for the cemetery to be in that exact spot. Such is the case with many older cemeteries that were previously located in Manhattan and currently located in Queens, New York.

In the age of computer information, volunteering to do transcription projects for what is local to you aids everyone. If you cannot find the exact burial by a quick Google search, or by searching these sites, then use the Social Security Death Index on WorldVitalRecords.com and call the cemeteries listed that are close to the burial place of the deceased. Further, try contacting the newspapers located near the area where a person died to see whether or not there was an obituary. Either of these options may yield good results.

Find My Past Partners With FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

UK Censuses To Be Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

PROVO, UT, March, 2008 —Find My Past, a family history and genealogy website based in London, England, containing over 550 million family history records recently announced its partnership with FamilyLink.com, Inc. to bring UK Censuses online at WorldVitalRecords.com (a service of FamilyLink.com, Inc.).

“I really admire what Paul is doing at WorldVitalRecords.com. We are excited to have our census records as part of the WorldVitalRecords.com’s subscription because it will make our census records more accessible to an American audience who probably wouldn’t think of using our company as the first place to look for these records,” said Elaine Collins, Commercial Director, Find My Past. “We are also excited for this partnership because WorldVitalRecords.com has a successful track record and will continue to succeed in the genealogical industry.”

The UK census records comprise WorldVitalRecords.com’s largest database in the World Collection. As part of this agreement, WorldVitalRecords has already added the 1861, 1881 and 1891 censuses to its collection. These records are the official civil registration records for England and Wales from 1837 to the present (2008). More census records will be periodically posted county by county throughout the year. These censuses include images, and also a key-word searchable index.

“Census data is the heart of genealogical research. We have been working for several months to provide this core collection to our extended network of family historians and genealogists. These records include millions of names; individuals who came before us and who have left legacies that can enrich our lives,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Census records are the number one resource for researching British ancestors. The census is used hand in hand with parish registers and shows families in groups, rather than single individuals. The census also gives ages, professions, birth places, and other useful information. These records, when completely posted by the end of the year, will comprise WorldVitalRecords.com’s first international census collection.

“We have worked with UK data archives–the academic offshoot of University of Essex–to enhance our data and to make sure it is the most accurate and searchable product that is available on the market. We are constantly improving it as well,” Collins said.

xxx

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
whitney@familylink.com

About Find My Past
Findmypast.com is a family history and genealogy website based in London, England, containing over 550 million family history records, with more being added all the time. Formerly named 1837online.com, we were the first to put the birth, marriage and death records of England and Wales online, for the purpose of allowing public access to the indexes, previously only available to search at certain locations in England. This achievement garnered the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2007. Findmypast.com was acquired by Scotland Online in December 2007 as part of their vision to develop a world class family history resource.

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, and the We’re Related application on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families.

About WorldVitalRecords.com
Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com, Inc. provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 600,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 9.4 million monthly pages views and has more than 25,000 subscribers. With thousands of databases–including birth, death, military, census, and parish records–WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearchâ„¢. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

Wonderbase of the Week: 1.7 Million Records From British Origins, Eneclann, and Ryerson

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This week’s Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com is a hodgepodge of excellent genealogical material containing 1.7 million records from three of our key partners: British Origins, Eneclann Ltd. New Publications, and the Ryerson Death Index. Click here to view the databases.

The databases from British Origins are the Militia Attestations Index, 1886-1910 and the Militia Attestations Index. Comprising nearly 100,000 names, these records are very valuable documents completed by applicants to join the militia regiments in England, Ireland and Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These databases include very helpful information about applicants including birthplace, regiment in which the applicant served and reference material for finding the original record.

WorldVitalRecords.com is able to provide these indexes through a partnership with British Origins. British Origins was founded in 1997 and offers online access to materials of excellent genealogical data from England, Scotland and Ireland.

Another database being launched today is the Index of Irish Wills, 1484-1858 from Eneclann Ltd. New Publications. This database includes a comprehensive index to the Testamentary Records in the National Archives of Ireland (formerly the Public Record Office). Unlike other indexes of Irish Wills, this index has been digitally indexed. This database includes more than 100,000 names, and covers a time period and location that can often be extremely difficult to research.

Eneclann Ltd. New Publications is a Trinity College Dublin campus company providing a range of professional services in the historical, heritage, archive and records management sectors. They have several products available at their shop (http://www.eneclann.ie/Research/index.html).

The Ryerson Death Index is an index to death notices appearing in contemporary Australian newspapers, with a heavy emphasis on newspapers from New South Wales. The index contains 1.5 million names. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. This index is created entirely by volunteers and will remain free on WorldVitalRecords.com even beyond the first ten days of its launch.

When users search the Ryerson Index on WorldVitalRecords.com, the search results will take them directly to the website for the Ryerson Index. There, the user can see the search fields at the top of the page with the results listed below. The Ryerson Index is free to access.


WorldVitalRecords.com Ranked #10 Most Popular Genealogy Site For 2008

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Kory Meyerink recently gave a presentation on the 50 Most Popular Genealogy Web Sites at the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy. WorldVitalRecords.com was ranked number 10 on this list!

Ranking Criteria

Meyerink felt this list was needed to minimize opinion ranking and to provide a useful list based on an extensive study of genealogical Web traffic. He first merged the rankings from Alexa.com, Quantacast.com, Compete.com and Google PageRank. Then he used Alexa’s top 100 under Genealogy, Kip Sperry’s Link List, Genealogy Sleuth List, cross-linked sites noted on Alexa.com as similar, and Yahoo and Google Directories to compile the list.

Meyerink used sites that were specifically designed for genealogical purposes (free sites, as well as paid), multiple sites from the same owner (if they had a different URL), sites of primary interest to genealogists, and sites that had a ranking of 2-3 ranking services. He did not include the following type of sites in the list: government, repository, general sites (Google.com, Wikipedia.org), and general reference sites (dictionaries, gazetteers, calendars, etc.).

About the Presenter

Kory Meyerink, BS, MLS, AG®, FUGA, has been involved in nearly every aspect of genealogy and family history for the past 20 years. Kory is an accredited genealogist in four geographic areas (Germany, Midwestern U.S., Eastern U.S. and New England U.S.). He specializes in tracing the origins of German and Dutch immigrants.

Click here to view the list of the 50 Most Popular Genealogy Web Sites.


Success Story: Finding Success After 30 Years of Searching

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008


The following success story was submitted by a WorldVitalRecords.com subscriber:

My story started when I was 3-6 years old. My Grandmother, Adeline (Addie) Briggs, Signor, Comstock, Mitchell, lived with us for a while, then left to go live in New Hampshire, and I was told she died there. But where???

Now that in the past 30 years, doing genealogy, I have been searching for her in every state we lived in, including NH, using all her names, (she outlived 3 husbands!). Since I am now the “oldest” and still searching using all three names, I now decided to go back to NH.

Christmas week this past year, 2007, I was at my computer and waiting for my youngest son and family to arrive. Having just started to subscribe to World Vital records, I got to the site, just put in her name, Adeline Mitchell, and up came 3 hits!!! I knew the first 2 didn’t match because of the birth dates, the 3rd one had NO birth date, but did have a death date, and it was between the date range I felt would be correct. Subtracting her birth date from the new found death date, I came up with the year I have of her birth!!!

I was so excited, and I saw on the info that I could check out Find-a-Grave, so I clicked on it, found a picture of the grave and was elated! Knowing that I wasn’t sure or done yet with the proof I wanted/needed, I took a chance and sent for the birth certificate in Concord, NH. My sister in Texas, another genealogist, was not sure it was our Grandmother, since she was younger than I, and never heard that NH was the place.

Lo and behold, when it arrived a few days later, there it was, with her mother’s maiden name on it!! What a Christmas gift to receive after 30 years of searching!! I can’t wait to go to Concord, NH, to see the gravesite. So, my advice, be patient and never give up! – Beryl Nulph

Wonderbase of the Week: 1851 Dublin City Census

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

The Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords.com is the 1851 Dublin City Census from Eneclann Ltd, a Trinity College campus company specializing in Irish history. The company is the largest research agency on the island of Ireland, and is the only digital publisher of historic records on CD-ROM, DVD and online.

The 1851 Dublin City Census index was compiled by Dr. D. A. Chart in the 19th century from the original census records–since destroyed in the 1922 Public Record Office fire. Chart’s index was converted to computerized form by Seán Magee. The index is accompanied by scanned images of the original 1847 Ordnance Survey Town Plans, to help users identify specific addresses.

This index covers central Dublin–the inner city area between the canals–and consists of approximately 59,000 names and addresses of heads of households, from 21 civil parishes, 15 on the south side of the Liffey (St. Audeon, St. Andrew, St. Anne, St. Bridget, St. Catherine, St. James, St. John, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Michael, St. Nicholas Within, St. Nicholas Without, St. Patrick’s Deanery, St. Peter, and St. Werburgh) with a total of 33,565 entries or 56.9% of the city’s population, and 6 parishes on the north side (St. George, St. Mary, St. Michan, St. Paul, St. Thomas, and Grange Gorman) with a total of 25,429 entries or 43.1% of the population of Dublin city.

The destruction of the 19th Irish Census returns is probably the greatest loss that genealogy in Ireland has suffered. Irish genealogists have tried to fill this gap using extant documentary sources from the 19th Century, as census substitutes.

The most commonly used substitutes– the Tithe Applotment Books (compiled 1823-1838), and Griffith’s Primary Valuation (compiled 1848-1864), and Thom’s Directories (compiled after 1845), are of little or no use to researchers tracing ancestors in Dublin City. All these surveys are based on land or house holding, and do not attempt to document actual residence, in particular they do not reflect the practice of “tenement dwelling” in Dublin city, common in the mid 19th Century, whereby two or more families occupied apartments in a house.

One important census substitute has survived for the capital city however, and that is an index of the heads of households in Dublin City from the 1851 Census of Ireland as compiled by Dr D.A. Chart.

A particular feature of the census was that family members absent from the household on census night were also included; in 91 households the head of household was absent or away including Thomas Shaw, who was absent from a canal boat at Broadstone (Royal Canal) Harbour.

Another 30 heads of households are recorded as gone away, though the precise meaning of this term varied; it was used to encompass individuals such as Mary Ann Plant of 31 Mecklenburg St. Lower, who had gone to America; Michael Byrne, formerly of 84 Church St. who had gone to [the] poorhouse; and Michael Fields of 8 Rogerson’s Quay who had gone to sea.

In 122 cases the head of household had removed, an ambiguous term which encompassed:

(a) changes of address within the city, as in the case of Isaac Usher formerly of 18 North Earl St., who removed to Kingstown;

(b) emigration, including William Branagan of 7 Aldborough Place and Thomas Fitzgerald of 2 Parkgate St., both of whom removed to England; and even

(c) admittance to hospital – a Bridget Rafferty formerly of Brown St. North, was recorded as having been removed to [the] asylum.

This level of detail–though relatively rare throughout Chart’s Index–is particularly useful for the genealogist trying to track approximate dates and routes of migration.

Where the male head of household was absent, Chart recorded the wife or female head of household in his index. This information was provided from 66 households (approximately 27% of all absentees noted in the 1851 census) by the wives or other female relatives. By also recording the women present on the night of the census, as well as the absent male head of household, Chart may have allowed for the possibility that some of these women may in fact have lived independently from their men-folk, for whatever reason. However these numbers are negligible, and do not substantially alter the statistics.

In a small number of cases Chart distinguished heads of household with the same name, by noting on their occupation, or their spouse’s name.

The index is not confined to householders, but includes persons working in various institutions on census night. These include: the Royal, Richmond and Arbour Hill Barracks; the North and South Dublin Union Workhouses; Trinity College Dublin; the Royal Dublin Society; the Rotunda, Meath and Richmond Hospitals; the Dublin House of Industry; the Richmond Bridewell, and Grangegorman Prisons; the Bank of Ireland; Jury’s Hotel, etc.

WorldVitalRecords.com Major Sponsor at Logan Family History Expo

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

WorldVitalRecords.com is a major sponsor at the upcoming Logan Family History Expo. Here are the details of the conference:

Just what you’ve been waiting for!

A one-day EXPO designed to supercharge your ancestral quest.

WHAT: The Logan Family History EXPO

WHERE: Eccles Conference Center ~ 5005 Old Main Hill ~ Logan, Utah (on the campus of Utah State University)

WHEN: 8 am to 6 pm ~ March 22, 2008 Saturday

THEME: Families by the Dozen

10 jam-packed hours of genealogy!

KEYNOTE
This year’s keynote speaker is Timothy G. Cross, the Product Manager for New FamilySearch. The theme “Families by the Dozen” is all about finding the tie that binds families together forever. Come learn about New FamilySearch and how to find entire families, not just one ancestor.

CLASSES
MyAncestorsFound.com has gathered the Cream of the Crop when it comes to knowledgeable and creative family history instructors. With this amazing group of teachers lined up you will have more than 36 fantastic classes to choose from including the latest about New FamilySearch, Welsh research, DNA, Hispanic research, Scottish research, immigrant and US ancestry, and what to do about digital copies of documents in your library and on the net at FamilySearch, WorldVitalRecords.com, DearMYRTLE.com, Generation Maps, RootsMagic and more. Find out how to write personal histories, document your sources, get organized, surf the web, and use the latest genealogy software programs. Learn about the records centers in our region that are chock full of information to help genealogists climb their family trees.

THE EXHIBIT HALL

Jam-packed with over 20 displays and vendors

  • Test drive software programs
  • Browse books
  • Bargain hunt among preservation treasures
  • Demo the latest internet technologies
  • Have Pedigree Wall Charts printed onsite (Bring your digital file) �

PRIZES

Thousands of dollars in fabulous prizes will be given out both days to registered attendees!

Some of the prizes that will be given out are:

And the list goes on and on including software, books, family history supplies and more.

Q & A BOOTH
Be prepared for a select group of instructors who will be on hand to answer your personal research questions. The value of a one-on-one consultation with a professional genealogist far exceeds the cost of admittance to this event. Professional answers will open your mind to new research strategies.

GENEALOGY Rx
DearMYRTLE is so excited to help attendees discover missing ancestors and honorable pioneers on their pedigree charts and says, “I’m bringing my clipboard so that I can focus on writing out actual genealogy prescriptions for what to do next!”

YOUR ANCESTORS ARE JUST WAITING TO BE RE-DISCOVERED

No need to put it off any longer! Spring is almost here, so focus on your genealogy and family history with help from Professionals who are teaching at this super great genealogy conference.

MORE INFO

Register online at www.MyAncestorsFound.com or call 801.829.3295

Middle Names: How To Use Them and How Not to Use Them

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008


By Amanda Forson, WorldVitalRecords.com

Middle names are something that in some cultures can be genealogically golden, and in others can make research a pain. If performing Spanish research, for example, middle names are traditionally the lineage of the family through matriarchal lines.Modern trends have changed matters mildly depending upon the family, but in that culture’s research, having the middle names is a critical part of research.

American, British, and some other cultures also often use middle names, though usually limited to two or less middle names per individual. When performing searches on WorldVitalRecords.com and for online genealogy in general, it is wise to note that a full name is often too much information with which to begin searching. Start with less information entered into search boxes versus more. Just because you know the information on an individual does not mean that everyone else does.

When trying to find information, bits and pieces mesh together to make the full picture. Another research may not know that (hypothetical) Jacob John Hamblin was born in Caroline County, Maryland on October 5, 1880. They may only know that there was a Jacob Hamblin from Caroline County, Maryland. If searching for “Jacob John Hamblin” there may be zero results, whereas Jacob Hamblin may come back with sixty or more. Bottom line: When searching WorldVitalRecords.com, less is more.

On the other hand, if Jacob John Hamblin was born and died in October 1880, and had a little brother who was born Jacob James Hamblin, born 1882, then the middle names would be critical to searching for the right brother, and in making sure to differentiate between the two.

There are also cases where men or women were known by their middle names. In these cases, some documents may have them by their first and/or middle names. When searching for this information, do searches using both the first name, and then, separately, by the middle name with other search terms as needed.

Middle names can help or hurt research, but I mostly consider them useful for further leads more than cementing research in such a way as to hold up my research. When researching, remember to keep the mind open. When writing reports, histories, etc., narrow that openness to only what has been directly or indirectly proven.

If trying to research with an inflexible mindset, disaster strikes as resources are overlooked. “Keep the mind open, but not so open that the brain falls out!” (1.)

1. Paraphrased from James Oberg, NASA scientist and science fiction writer