The Cost of Getting Genealogical Records from the Government Could Go Up Nearly 500%. An Effort is Underway to Stop That.

I have written before about this outrageous proposal to increase fees nearly 500%. However, it is great to see CNN pick up the story and give the effort to stop the increase even more publicity. With millions of readers, a story in CNN can generate a lot of publicity.

The new article by Harmeet Kaur on CNN may be found at:

My earlier articles may be found here and here.


Cui bono? If records are already catalogued, digitized, and indexed by name(s) and year of arrival, the proposed “research fees” are all out of proportion to the effort it would be to find them. It would be far more EFFICIENT to simply put these documents online for free, just like the Library of Congress did with the Chronicling America project (in my state it was done with the MN Historical Society, and not all newspapers are online with free access via the LOC web site or via MHS; I hope to see all the state’s early newspapers online at some point since I do not live near the MHS library where one can scroll through microfilm rolls).
The proposed horribly expensive fees do not meet the criteria of the US Constitution’s Preamble that includes a mandate to “promote the general Welfare” for “We the People.” These are, after all, public documents, and our tax dollars already go towards keeping these documents…, which should be freely accessible to We the People.


This would put membership in lineage societies out of reach for many people.


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