Recent Blog Posts

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

MGC Blog Tag Cloud

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


(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

Please Sign RPAC's Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights

Posted by on in General Legislation
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 7670
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

At the National Genealogical Society's Conference in Richmond, Virginia last week, the Records Preservation & Access Committee (RPAC) announced the Genealogists' Declaration of Rights: a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records, which has been threatened the last few years over concerns about identity theft and privacy. RPAC has worked with state and federal legislators as well as local public officials for more than twenty years in support of legislation and regulations that achieve a balance between access and privacy. The Declaration of Rights has been approved by the board of directors of the three sponsoring organizations: The National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). To read the full press release click here: Press Release RPAC Declaration of Rights Ver4 (3).

Now is the time to speak up! Genealogists and anyone interested in open access to public records, please sign this petition! Thousands of professional genealogists do research everyday on behalf of clients, government agencies, and attorneys. Of particular note are the many forensic genealogists who assist the Department of Defense in locating next of kin for the repatriation of remains from previous wars; assist county coroners in the identification of unclaimed persons; work with attorneys in locating missing and unknown heirs involving estates, trusts, real estate quiet title actions, oil and gas and mineral rights, and other similar legal transactions; trace and track heritable medical conditions where finding distant cousins can facilitate early treatment and possibly prevent a premature death; research stolen art and artifacts for repatriation; and identify American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians to determine  eligibility for tribal benefits.

Over the next few months, the Declaration will travel to the 34th IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 July–1 August 2014 and the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in San Antonio, Texas, 27–30 August 2014. The Declaration will also be available for signature at by genealogists not attending one of the conferences. I'm not waiting. I've already signed it, and so can you.


Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt is a Board-certified genealogist specializing in Massachusetts research. She has been taking clients for sixteen years and researches a variety of topics from Mayflower lineages to locating townlands of Irish immigrants. She is a case worker under contract to the US Army on repatriation cases, helping to locate family members of servicemen missing or killed in previous conflicts. She currently serves as a director at Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and editor of the FGS Voice Newsletter, and is past president of MGC. You can read her personal blog at


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

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 19 September 2017