Friday, May 11, 2012

The Continuing Saga of the VI Records

Last night I posted that the new record set from vanished (Virgin Islands Records Vanished from  Through e-mail, spoke with George Tyson of the Virgin Islands Social History Association (VISHA), the provider of those records, and he told me that the collection will be back, at least most of it.  Apparently there was a lack of communication and some records were posted accidentally.

While some records belong to the public (National Archives, etc.), some, particularly church records, do not.  In order to obtain the vast collection, VISHA worked with each record provider to gain access.  Not all of those agreements allow posting to the internet.  Until the owners agree, their records cannot be made available.  VISHA asked to pull the records until they can be parsed out and/or permissions are granted.

While I would love to access those records, I have to support VISHA’s decision.  We, as genealogists, rely on the goodwill of our record holders and must respect their wishes to maintain that goodwill.  If we don’t, we can expect private institutions to close their books to us completely.  That would be very bad.
George said that the plan is to post the remaining collections soon.  Since I, personally, am most interested in the records from the Danish National Archives (since I can’t go there easily), this is very good news.  Once they go back up I will continue my series on how to use the collection.


  1. What a drag! I looked through the records quickly the other day when I saw your post about the collection.
    I found an Ancestor of mine on the first page of the Free Men of Color list! Daniel Barnes.
    I was going to try to go back just now to look closer at the records but couldn't find them on Ancestry so I went back to you post on the message board to get the link and saw that you ad updated the info about it being taken down. Hopefully it will work out and go back online. Thanks for looking in to it and finding the answers.

  2. From my conversations with VISHA, that list will probably be back online. It is a public document. I'll keep you updated if I hear anything. Meanwhile, do you know where that particular collection came from? If it's NARA, maybe I can help you.

  3. Good to hear. I only hope that the records that weren't supposed to be posted are not the ONE RECORD in which I would have found the answer to my brick wall! Thanks for the update.

  4. Isn't that how it always works!! Read my latest blog posting about how ONE RECORD broke my brick wall: A Burgherbrief Brings Down a Brick Wall (