Thursday, January 11, 2007

World Vital Records

I've been spending some time using a new Web site: World Vital Records.

At first glance, this site shows a lot of promise.

This new web site, created by Paul Allen (one of the founders of Ancestry.com) currently contains free and subscription-based ($49.95 annual US) content. WorldVitalRecords.com will offer users international record databases, references to top genealogical resources, a blog planet, podcasts, videocasts, Webinars, expert advice, training, and user-generated content. WVR’s stated aim is to become the number two player in the genealogy industry behind Myfamily.com.

One of the features I like is some new accompaniments to searching the Social Security Death Index. Once you locate someone in the SSDI, and click on his or her name you are taken to a screen which shows the basic data but also has a couple of interesting new features such as a listing of “nearby cemeteries” and also a tab “See Neighbors” which takes you to another list of names of the individual’s neighbors (folks from the same zip/locality) who died +/- two years within that of the individual whom you are searching. There is also an “historical events” tab that lets you view important happenings on birth and death dates of the person. There is also a Geo Mapping Tool—a unique mapping feature that places information relevant to your searches on dynamically generated maps. For example, when you search for a surname, a map is created showing you the location of that individual's death, as well as the deaths of other individuals in the local area. On the map you can see nearby towns, roads, relevant information (like nearby cemeteries) and even historical timeline data.

The site also has newspapers from 33 states as well as other interesting content.

The site is currently advertising a special offer: Enroll today and get a TWO year membership for the price of one. Just $49.95! A pretty good deal in my opinion.

This site is another in the market promising the “one-stop” search for data that genealogists crave.

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