I was so impressed after researching World Vital Records that I even called and talked with one of their analyst, who answered some of my questions.

This turned out to be such a good on-line resource that I wrote about it in a recent issue of Treasure Maps Genealogy newsletter. Here are step-by-step tips on how to search their free genealogy databases (with plenty of screen shots).

Here's WHY - and more important,
HOW to use this valuable resource:

Try this for yourself. Please follow along with me. It will not cost you a dime…

Here is a special link: World Vital Records

This will open in a new window. I want you to see it from this specific page so you can do a surname search with me.

 This will give you an quick idea of what they have:
  • "Affordable access to 1,004,261,874 Names in over 6,600 Databases"
  • "World Vital Records includes over 1 BILLION searchable names online…"
  • In short, they have a "U.S. Collection" and a "World Collection."

From the link I mentioned above, you can see exactly what is in each collection and their reasonable monthly memberships. It is worth it just to go look and see what they have available, BUT…there are tons of FREE genealogy databases.

IMPORTANT: You DO want to take a look. Join, don't join - whatever. BUT, HERE'S WHAT YOU WANT TO TRY: In the TOP LEFT corner of this World Vital Records page, you can do a search and find plenty of free information.

World Vital Records Search Box
 LOOK where it has the two boxes "First Name" and "Family Name."

From here, you can type in any of your surnames (last names) in the "Family Name" box and click on the "Quick Search" button.

Doing a search on World Vital Reocrds 

Now, for the sake of example, try a search with my surname - Ragan.

 
 
Here's an overview of the results for the search for Ragan:
Results from World Vital Records

There are: "15,774 matches in 581 indexes for: Ragan." Impressive, yes?

You will see several of these results for Ragan that are in "World Membership" and in "US Membership." Yes, you have to sign up to see these. But WAIT…

Free Access on World Vital Records

NOW LOOK on the right-hand side of these results and look for the ones that say "Free Access." 

 
 
 
 
Example of results in free genealogy databases

Yes, that is FREE ACCESS. For example, there are 383 listings in the "Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892 - 1924)" result. And it actually takes you to good information.

Good information from the databases on World Vital Records

More results from free genealogy databases

What about the 485 listings in the "UK 1881 Census" result?

CLICK on the "UK 1881 Census" link (again, Free Access).

More great results from World Vital Records

On the top of the list, there is a Robert Ragan who was 20 years old in 1881. Do you see it?

To the right of that Robert Ragan listing, CLICK on the "More Details" link. This is important. You can click on any of the links that says "More Details" and find…

MORE DETAILS, indeed. HooRay!

They actually have real, valuable information and are not pushing you to sign up (the dreaded 'false result' that you see so often on commercial genealogy sites).

I give them so MUCH credit for setting up their databases like this. So, as you see, this is a resource worth looking at even if you don't join their service.

Now, try different searches with the surnames that YOU are researching:

  • Or from this area:
  • I know that I've found valuable information, and that Treasure Maps readers are having success with this wonderful online genealogy database resource.

    Many have been so impressed that they even signed up for the U.S. Collection and World Collection databases, and some of the many other genealogy databases that they offer.

    Use it and enjoy!