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Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records
Come Hear MGC's Presentation at the Mass. State Library!
Tuesday, December 17th
Massachusetts State House, Room 442
The Massachusetts State Library, located at the Massachusetts State House, holds a monthly Brown Bag Lunch. The attendees tend to be from the Massachusetts Legislature and other offices in the State House, probably more aides and administrative staff than legislators.
The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) will present "Learning About Your Family History" at a Brown Bag Lunch on December 17th. MGC was founded in 1980 and is the umbrella organization representing Massachusetts genealogists, historical societies, and individuals concerned about records preservation and free and unfettered access to civil records. MGC serves as the records access watchdog and provides a reality check for the Massachusetts legislature regarding access issues. Thanks in large part to efforts by MGC, Massachusets is one of very few states where the public is still able to access all vital records.
MGC President Mary Ellen Grogan says, "We want attendees to be aware of what is available for genealogy in Massachusetts and the importance of records access. We can't teach them everything about genealogy, but we can show them some basics on how to research family history. We will look at some of the resources at the State Library: town histories, vital records, maps, city directories, and town reports. Genealogy is not as easy as it seems on TV, but everyone can do it, especially in Massachusetts. It is rewarding and provides insight into the story of family."
In addition, MGC Director of State Civil Records Teresa Scott will address the importance of compiling a family health history. Genealogy serves as a means to construct medical family histories which are increasingly being requested by physicians to assist them in diagnosing and treating patients. Information in birth and death records helps us reconstruct families and trace genetically inherited diseases. The Social Security Death Index enables researchers to locate long lost family members who may have critical information family health issues.
Immediate Past President Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CG will speak briefly on military repatriation case workers. Various branches of the US military hire genealogists to help them locate next of kin and DNA donors of servicemen lost in previous wars, for which use of vital records and the Social Security Death Index is a constant necessity.
Presenters will be able to open MGC's website (www.massgencouncil.org) and show off our new Health History Chart, and perhaps FamilySearch.org to show online death certificates. MGC's Director of Communications Mary Tedesco will tweet live updates as well.
MGC is happy to be presenting this introductory genealogy talk at the Massachusetts State House. Won't you bring a brown bag lunch and join us?
To register, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HLVCRK7. You may also call the Reference Department at 617-727-2590 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to let the State Library know you will attend.