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The Value of Open Public Records
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MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
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How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
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FGS 2013 Pres. Citation to MGC-smaller
Every year, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) holds a large national genealogical conference. The highlight of the conference for MGC this year was being awarded a Presidential Citation from D. Joshua Taylor, President of FGS, in recognition of our outstanding work in ensuring records access for genealogists! When our FGS delegate was called to the front of the huge hall to accept the award in front of all of her peers she was quite tickled and very proud. More than 1,500 genealogists gathered this year in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to learn, share, network and stock up on reading material! FGS members include genealogical societies, libraries, family societies, archives and companies, and all share the goal of studying the history of families. Regular ol' genealogists attended the conference in abundance and were not disappointed. MGC had a presence in the Exhibit Hall in the area known as Society Showcase, a small, village-like...
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I've been home from the FGS 2012 Conference in Birmingham, Alabama for a week now and am still catching up on spreading the news of all the great happenings there. Perhaps my favorite surprise was the success of the APG Roundtable, "Records Access: The Art of Advocacy," held on Tuesday, August 28th. Sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG) and organized by Diane Gravel, it was in the form of a panel moderated by Thomas MacEntee. The panel, consisting of Kelvin Meyers, Terri Flack, Alvie Davidson and Polly Kimmitt, were asked a series of questions about the current state of records access legislation. (The link at the end of this article gives more details on the panelists and questions asked). Though RPAC has traditionally been the group in which we place our confidence, the community is seeking more in terms of instruction, advice, outreach and coordination...
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MGC The issue of records access will be front and center at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2012 Conference in Birmingham, Alabama next week. For the first time, MGC will have a table at a national conference, and we hope to spread the word about our activities as watchdogs over public records. Our display will be in the Society Showcase section of the exhibit hall and attendees will find answers to many questions plus information on how to get more involved. It can be confusing to those not accustomed to the legislative process, but we aim to demystify! If you are in Birmingham, please stop by our table, pick up our newsletter and think about joining our society! APG On the Tuesday night before every FGS conference, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) traditionally holds their APG Roundtable. This year it is Records Access: The Art of Advocacy. MGC is thrilled to welcome APG to the...
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Did you know that this month marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812? If you are like most Americans you have very little knowledge of the circumstances of that war, but as genealogists it behooves us to learn more! We can be especially appreciative of the efforts of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to digitize and provide free access to the 1812 pension files. In conjunction with the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), fold3, and Ancestry.com, FGS is helping to digitize 180,000 pension applications representing an estimated 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. The collection will be available for free on fold3's website, here.  FGS has targeted the War of 1812 Pension Applications as a high priority project based on the value of the content for genealogists as well as the importance of preserving the fragile records. FGS is...
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At 3:00 pm Thursday afternoon, 10 May 2012, in Cincinnati, Ohio, RPAC met at the National Genealogical Society’s annual convention. On behalf of MGC, I attended as a Massachusetts liaison. What is RPAC? The Records Preservation and Access Committee is a three-person panel with an advisory board. The three panelists are delegates from the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. About a dozen people sit as advisors, but the bulk of the work and the bulk of the strategy comes from the three panelists: David Rencher, AG, CG, the Genealogist at FamilySearch in Utah; Fred Moss from Texas; and Jan Meisels Allen from California. Together for many years they have provided advice to state genealogical societies whenever access or preservation issues arise. Last year they supported our efforts to stop a bill that would have closed records back to 1840. This...
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