New website goes live

It has been a long road, but we have simplified our website and it is now active. We have corrected the broken links and simplified its look. Very soon we will have all the updates about the 2018 Seminar.

Welcome to MGC

The Massachusetts Genealogical Council works hard on behalf of genealogists. MGC

  • monitors legislative and administrative activities of governmental agencies which affect genealogists;
  • sponsors and presents legislation and programs designed to expand the resources and accessibility of services;
  • develops and promotes the growth, education and exchange of ideas among persons and organizations interested in the pursuit of genealogy; and
  • provides educational activities to advance genealogy.

As just one example, during the 2010 legislative session, MGC successfully opposed a bill that would have closed access to all vital records since 1841. That’s no typo, the year in the bill was 1841.

Both individual members and member organizations receive both the e-newsletter with updates on access to local, state, and federal records, and the triannual extended newsletter with in-depth background information.

Member organizations also enjoy:

  • one table in our vendor hall to present your organization to all attendees  at our Seminar that provides multiple tracks of presentations on genealogical and records access issues;;
  • invitations for your president and delegate to participate in our regular board meetings and to discuss issues of paramount importance to genealogists and historians alike; and
  • your organization’s web-link posted on the MGC website.

Massachusetts enacted its first law ensuring that public records remain accessible in 1639. The public good is improved when historians, genealogists, journalists, authors, investigators––all citizens––have access to records produced by our government. Genealogists owe it to themselves to advocate for open public records.

The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (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, genealogists are able to access Massachusetts vital records easily.

MGC regularly communicates about Massachusetts and federal legislative activities concerning records preservation and access in several ways: the MGC Sentinel, our blog; through electronic email bulletins, educational seminars, and through the MGC Newsletter.

Scroll down and click on links to see how MGC helps keep records open and accessible to the public.


These are the ways in which MGC works to keep records open and accessible.

Click on the links to learn more!


Find your Massachusetts legislator; learn how a bill gets passed, see which bills are currently before the legislature, check out where to park near the State House, and more! Click here to go to About Massachusetts Legislation.


Federal records like the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (SSDA) are in danger of being closed. MGC monitors national legislation and sends a liaison to the Records Preservation and Access Committee.

open records

Who are we? Volunteers that educate and advocate as laws are formed. People need open access to records for so many reasons: military repatriation cases, health family histories, probate and inheritance cases, press investigations, legal research, genealogy, guardianships, and historical research, to name but a few. We have a right to access public records!



MGC receives support from both organizations and individuals. Won’t you consider lending us your support, too? Our basic level is only $20 per year. Click here to find our Member Societies

MGC, Sharon, Mary Ellen - Version 2The MGC Board of Officers and Directors is run entirely by volunteers. We are always looking for help, and joining our team is a great way to learn about the genealogical community, conference planning, and of course, legislation. The pay is lousy, but the rewards are so satisfying! We’d love to show you the ropes. Click here to read more about the responsibilities of each position. You don’t need to be an expert — we’ll train you!