The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:
November 2, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), in conjunction with the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), calls upon its members as well as the genealogy community to help fight increased restrictions to Virginia vital records – records that are important to the genealogy research process.
What's Happening with Virginia Vital Records
On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) will vote on to extend the current access restrictions by another 25 years - to 125 years for birth records and 75 years for marriage and death records!. Between now and November 22, 2011 you can send your comments to the committee members and let them know why the restrictions to access should not be extended.
What You Can Do about Virginia Vital Records Access
- Read the Memorandum to the Genealogical Community by Peter E. Broadbent, Jr., Former President of the Virginia Genealogical Society: http://www.geneabloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/20111101-Memo-re-VA-Vital-Records.pdf (opens in PDF)
- Read the public comments from the October 17, 2011 JCHC meeting to understand the arguments being made for and against increased restrictions: http://services.dlas.virginia.gov/User_db/frmView.aspx?ViewId=2589 (opens in PDF).
- Download this sample letter to the members of the JCHC, add your insights and comments and add your name and address at the end: http://www.geneabloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Sample-Letter-JCHC.doc (Opens in Microsoft Word)
Send your letter via email to:
Senators, General Area, Email address
Linda T. Puller, Fairfax, Prince William, email@example.com
George Barker, Fairfax, Prince William, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake/Portsmouth, email@example.com
Edd Houck, Fredericksburg/Orange, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Lucas, Portsmouth - Brunswick, email@example.com
Ralph Northam, M.D., Norfolk, Matthews, Eastern Shore, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Wampler, Bristol and Southwest, email@example.com
Patricia S. Ticer, Alexandria/Arlington/Fairfax, firstname.lastname@example.org
House of Delegates, General Area, Email address
Ben Cline, Amherst – Lexington, email@example.com
Bob Brink, Arlington, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Bulova, Fairfax, email@example.com
Rosalyn Dance, Petersburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Garrett, M.D., Lynchburg, email@example.com
Algie Howell, Norfolk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey Morgan, Gloucester, email@example.com
Dave Nutter, Radford/Roanoke, firstname.lastname@example.org
John O’Bannon, M.D. Henrico, email@example.com
Chris Peace, Hanover, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy and paste the entire block of addresses here:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take a minute and get involved. Even if you don't have Virginia ancestors, realize that other states and entities look at what is being done regarding vital records access - your state or municipality might be next!
Email or write the contacts listed above and let them know as a genealogist and family historian what it means to access such records. Don't be afraid to get personal - share your success stories or how you've helped a client using vital records.
About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more, visit http://www.fgs.org.
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