Recent Blog Posts

bpl postcard
The Value of Open Public Records
Records and Repositories
Rate this blog entry:
0
10849762 815727755140585 6825543623968073505 n
MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
General Legislation
Rate this blog entry:
0
b2ap3_thumbnail_3560856061_20a83080d0_z.jpg
How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
Legislation Federal
Rate this blog entry:

MGC Blog Tag Cloud

Alfred DeMaria identity fraud Lou Szucs civil records family medical history Rep. Sam Johnson (TX) online registration Registration Ethnicity Ancestry Newsletter Delaware DMF Kenneth Ryesky Teresa Scott blog Elections S3432 Massachusetts Programs family traits Free FGS IGS SSA IRS Sharon Sergeant S-1534 Judy Russell HR295 Education SSA DMF; SSDI; Tax Fraud; legislation Thomas MacEntee Donna Holt Siemiatoski medical profile Health pedigree sysoon Richard Nugent HR3475 FOIA 2014 Seminar records access Legislative APG Senate State House State Library New Hampshire Arkansas David Rencher Legal Genealogist Speakers Advocacy public access Virginia Melinde Byrne Georgia State legislation Kate Auspitz Linda McCleary APG Roundtable NERGC records access 2012 Access Stan Nyberg closures open access threats to access NGS Annual Seminar Oklahoma legislation Annual Seminar health history Randy Seaver FGS IAJGS Alvie Davidson Helen Shaw seminar NFOIC Tax Fraud Lame Duck Advocacy Records Access volunteers Harold Henderson Arkansas Public Records introduction Vendors ISJGS archives Georgia Pennsylvania Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) Fred Moss Presidential Citation Michael J. Astrue TIGTA audit outreach Jan Alpert legislation Annual Meeting Instruction Vital Records Massachusetts Death Master File Identity Theft State archives diagnosis threats to access Annual Meeting and Seminar Rhode Island Barbara Mathews award Records Access NEHGS War of 1812 Bruce Cohen mail forwarding budget New Hampshire communication medical pedigree New Jersey Congress fraud Virginia DMF Jacobson v Massachusetts pensions funding HR 295 RPAC Tennessee Mary Ellen Grogran IAJGS smallpox FamilySearch 2012 Seminar RPAC Georgia Archives Transparency Genealogy inheritable disease SSDI records access Social Security Administration Henning Jacobson NAPHSIS Public Records Billie Fogarty Richard McCoy Tennessee Civil Records Rep. Richard Nugent (FL) budget cuts land records DPH Presenters Federal volunteerism legislation S1534 Jan Meisels Allen Jan Meisels Allen HR6205 Open Access legislators HR3475 FGS Conference Congress MGC Sponsors humane SSDI Society Showcase access

SUPPORT MGC Today!

(Online donations available
after website update in 2016.)
 
MGC has been recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts of support are fully tax-deductible and donors will receive a written acknowledgement for tax purposes.

MGC Sentinel logo MGC Sentinel Logo

MGC Sentinel

Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Records Access Hot Topic at NGS 2013

Posted by on in General Legislation
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 143672
  • 0 Comments
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

 

 

During the first day of the National Genealogy Society's 2013 conference, three events focused on records access.

Harold Henderson, CG, the luncheon speaker for the Association of Professional Genealogists discussed "It's Not Just the SSDI: How We Can Advocate for Genealogy While Still Practicing It." He painted a bleak picture, noting that we often are on the defensive in protecting records access. We need to "keep the toothpaste in the tube" by showing an interest broader than our personal families. Just as it's too hard to put toothpaste back in a tube, it is also too hard to get access to records that have already been closed to the public. Harold advised us to be involved in all levels of government action, from legislating bills to developing regulations.

Melinde Lutz Sanborn, CG, FASG, past vice president of MGC and current president of the American Society of Genealogists, titled her speech "Advocacy for Records Access." Melinde opened by discussing how the information on vital records is publicly known. We have some ways to go around records closure. As genealogists, Melinde reminded us that we have those newspapers, cemeteries, school records, high school yearbooks, and Facebook statuses to give us much of this information. From birthday parties to wedding notices to funeral notices, families make this information public.

She warned about "The Rule of 1" which means that the concerns or interests of one person lead to laws for us all. Records can be closed through law, regulations, or administrative restrictions. Her summary was to remind us that the greatest threat to records access is ignorance.

The Records Access and Preservation Committee took the afternoon's last lecture slot. The three voting members (Jan Miesels Allen, Jan Alpert, and Frederick E. Moss) presented "RPAC Strategies in a Changing Environment: Fraud Protection v. Access." They provided an overview of RPAC's function in the genealogical community as well as a slide show that teaches genealogists in individual states how to monitor their legislature. RPAC has been active in advocating for access in Oregon, Texas, and Connecticut this spring. In addition, current federal legislation involving the SSDI is undergoing hearings in Senate and House committees.

  • To download the slideshows and other RPAC documents, see the page on RPAC Publications here. There are two files that are PowerPoint presentations. Click on the links for the two following file names:
    • Open Access to Records: A Genealogical Perspective
    • Toolkit for State Liaisons–Jan Meisels Allen
  • To read a review the U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing that touched on the SSDI, read the RPAC blog posting here.

RPAC activities for April and May are also discussed in a blog by this contributor for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Please see the BCG SpringBoard posting here for details beyond the NGS presentation.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas News Bureau.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
Barbara serves as the Federal Records Director. She is a Board-certified genealogist who works for the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America as a Verifying Genealogist and for the Welles Family Association as a Genealogist. Her volunteer service includes a stint as President of MGC. She holds a master’s degree in the management of non-profits from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University. You can read her own blog, The Demanding Genealogist, at blog.demandinggenealogist.com.

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Thursday, 23 March 2017