Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MA Records

Massachusetts records have been open and unrestricted for 365 years. HelpUs to keep it that way by supporting the work of MGC with your letters tothe legislators in this state. Information follows for both residents andNon-residents of Massachusetts. The 1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties states:"Every Inhabitant of the Countrie shall have free libertie to search andveewe any Rooles, Records, or Regesters of any Court or office except theCouncell, And to have a transcript or exemplification thereof writtenexamined, and signed by the hand of the officer of the office paying theappointed fees therefore." The current bills in the legislature call for restricting access to allbirth records since 1910 and all marriage and death records since 1950.These records are currently open public records and are the entry point forgenealogical and medical history research. Closure of these records is indirect opposition to the Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative. Seehttp://www.hhs.gov/ familyhistory for more information. The indexes to these records are restricted in the same manner. This isunprecedented in our state. It will deny use by all non-governmentalindividuals: researchers in genealogy, medical history, probate heirs, banksjournalists, and historians. Contact should be made immediately. We stopped these bills in 2003 – but nowsupport for them in the legislature is formidable. If YOU don’t speak now,these bills will change the face of genealogy in Massachusetts and beyond.MOST EFFECTIVE: a signed letter with your reasons for opposing theseclosures, using your own words. ALSO: telephone calls, face to face meetings, and e-mails. SHARE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT: urge your sympathetic relatives, friends,neighbors, and the professionals listed above to do the same.Contact information for your representatives and senators is available from:http://www.mass.gov/legis/
Your town clerk’s office
The state house at (617) 722-2000
The postal address is:
Representative (or Senator) _______, State House, Room _______, Boston, MA02133.
If you are out of state, please send your letters to:
The Honorable Robert A. DeLeo, Chairman,
House Ways and Means Committee,Room 243, The State House,
Boston, MA 02133; Tel: 6i7-722-2990; Fax:617-722-2998; Email: Robert.DeLeo@state.ma.us Sally Rolls Paviasallypavia2001@yahoo.com

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