Sunday, June 23, 2013

Exploring World Vital Records

Exploring World Vital Records

I renewed my subscription to World Vital Records and hadn't used it to do any research in a while, so decided to see what I could come up with.  I did a search for the Ritchhart surname alone (no first name) and came up with several items listed.  As I scanned down the list I came upon the name of the family history book I published in August 2011 entitled Breathing Life into Family Ancestors.  When I clicked on that listing it displayed the Index pages of the book 375-377, which contained all of the Ritchhart names in the book.  What was most impressive is that they were all hyperlinked, such that when I clicked on them that took me to the place in the book where that individual was discussed.  Thus, the whole book had been scanned and was available.  They were also selling a copy of an e-book version for $3.03.  Not sure how they can do that when I have the copyright and without giving me any royalty.  I need to look into that a little more!  I assume they must have purchased a copy of the book from Amazon or the publisher, AuthorHouse; in order to scan it for inclusion in their data base.

I then decided to explore their Newspaper Archive Collection.  Like most search sights, you can either search their total data base or just specific collections.  Once again I was impressed that I did find several obituaries about Ritchhart ancestors or family members.  As I examined the listings more closely, almost all of the listings were from newspapers in two different cities where ancestors had lived; Joplin, Missouri and Anderson, Indiana.  I was disappointed that when I clicked on a selection, the full page of the newspaper was displayed; but the article of interest was not highlighted.  Thus, you had to search the total page to find the article containing your person of interest.  I also found it difficult to crop, enlarge and/or print the article of interest.  I finally ended up highlighting the article, copying it and pasting it into Microsoft Word.

Since I also subscribe to MyHeritage, which owns World Vital Records, I was concerned that they might both have the same data bases; thus, I was wasting money subscribing to both.  However, in looking more closely, I don't think that is the case.  World Vital Records does include MyHeritage's Family Trees; but each has collections that the other doesn't.


If you are traveling to Ireland in the near future you should be aware of this service that was announced today.  These genealogist are apparently available at the National Library in Dublin to assist visitors with their Irish research.  You can learn more at,  Following is the announcement from Eneclann.

Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Library of Ireland

 Eneclann and Ancestor Network have assembled probably the largest ever team of Irish genealogists with a huge range of expertise, including our own Fiona Fitzsimons and Carmel Gilbride; Brian Mitchell (author of the Irish Genealogical Atlas; Guide to Irish Church Records); renowned Irish-American genealogist Eileen O'Duill; and the research team behind the Genealogy Roadshow - Aiden Feerick, Hilary McDonagh and John Hamrock, to name a few. 

This crack genealogy team will be a wonderful resource for overseas visitors and the home audience alike, and a good news story in the year of the Gathering.  This is the second year that the Eneclann-Ancestor Network partnership has brought you the NLI's Genealogy Advisory Service, this year operating on extended hours to give you even more opportunity to research your family tree.