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Getting the Most Out of Attending the MGC Genealogy Conference: 10 Things You Need to Know
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Wait, Wait, There's More: Breakfast, Lunch, Prizes, Treasure Hunt, and Table Topics
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Break Through Brickwalls: Learn New and Wicked Good Genealogy Skills at the 2014 Annual Seminar
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Annual Seminar Michael J. Astrue Tennessee HR 295 Registration State archives Richard McCoy NERGC Rhode Island Tax Fraud FGS Delaware funding diagnosis Transparency Instruction Stan Nyberg Public Records Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) Donna Holt Siemiatoski medical pedigree Presidential Citation Public Records Judy Russell Oklahoma Free archives access Virginia Fred Moss DPH Congress Kate Auspitz mail forwarding War of 1812 Programs FOIA Ancestry volunteerism Georgia sysoon legislation Vendors closures SSDI open access land records Civil Records IRS Elections State House Jan Alpert NGS Lame Duck DMF; SSDI; Tax Fraud; legislation Jacobson v Massachusetts DMF HR6205 communication Advocacy IGS TIGTA audit Open Access RPAC Arkansas Ethnicity Advocacy Presenters family traits Alfred DeMaria Sharon Sergeant humane Society Showcase Records Access identity fraud Richard Nugent online registration threats to access DMF IAJGS Pennsylvania legislation Social Security Administration Melinde Byrne pensions FamilySearch blog SSA Rep. Sam Johnson (TX) Thomas MacEntee Sponsors Randy Seaver Billie Fogarty 2014 Seminar Linda McCleary Harold Henderson NFOIC S-1534 Speakers records access Georgia Archives 2012 Jan Meisels Allen Annual Meeting Mary Ellen Grogran volunteers Kenneth Ryesky New Hampshire public access Annual Meeting and Seminar Annual Seminar inheritable disease fraud threats to access budget cuts HR295 Arkansas Legislative State legislation Alvie Davidson Vital Records budget Health pedigree S1534 medical profile introduction 2012 Seminar David Rencher Newsletter NEHGS APG FGS Conference Genealogy Jan Meisels Allen Legal Genealogist legislation family medical history New Hampshire Tennessee IAJGS State Library legislators HR3475 records access HR3475 SSDI Federal health history Education SSA Lou Szucs award outreach New Jersey FGS Rep. Richard Nugent (FL) RPAC Massachusetts Records Access NAPHSIS ISJGS Identity Theft MGC records access Massachusetts Access civil records Bruce Cohen Congress seminar S3432 Henning Jacobson smallpox Georgia Virginia Senate APG Roundtable Death Master File

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Barbara Mathews

Barbara Mathews

Barbara serves as the Federal Records Director. She is a Board-certified genealogist who works for the Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America as a Verifying Genealogist and for the Welles Family Association as a Genealogist. Her volunteer service includes a stint as President of MGC. She holds a master’s degree in the management of non-profits from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University. You can read her own blog, The Demanding Genealogist, at demandinggenealogist.blogspot.com.

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Submitted by Mary Ellen Grogan:

Is this your first genealogy conference? If it is, please read this. You will enjoy the conference more and feel more comfortable when you know how things work.   Even experienced conference goers will find helpful information here.

Item 1, Conference Location: It is at the Mansfield Holiday Inn, 31 Hampshire Street, Mansfield, Massachusetts. There is easy access from the highway in all directions and lots of parking.   The hotel has a shuttle bus that will meet the Commuter Rail at Mansfield Station. Just let us know in the registration form that you will take the train, and we will arrange the shuttle.

From I-95 North or South: Take exit 7A, Route 140 South. At the 2nd set of lights, make a right into the Cabot Business Park. Stay in the right hand lane to the end. The hotel will be on your right.

From I-495 North or South: Take exit 12, Rt. 140 N Mansfield. At the fifth set of lights, take a left onto Forbes Blvd. Stay to the right and continue straight on this road, the road will change to Cabot Blvd. The hotel in at the end of Cabot Blvd. on the right.

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Paris Cafe During the Franco-Prussian War, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The MGC 2014 Annual Seminar has lots to offer beyond the standard one-hour lecture topics. Come to meet old friends, make new friends, buy great genealogy books, win prizes, find discounts, and have some great conversations.

Topics we cover today are:

Breakfast and Lunch

The 2014 Annual Seminar schedules registration from 7:30 to 9:00 am on Saturday, July 26th. Arriving early gives you plenty of time to enjoy the breakfast pastries, coffee, and tea. It's a great time to meet up with friends, pick up your syllabus, and decide what to see and do for the rest of the day.

You will have a chance to catch up with friends later in the day, when lunch tables include hosted topics. There are only seven seats available at each table. If you picked a topic when you registered, we'll make every effort to fit you in. Other topics will be available that day. We expect to add to this list in the coming weeks.

Your luncheon ticket will be in the registration packet. Select either  chicken Française (boneless chicken cutlet in a lemon caper sauce) OR vegetarian four cheese lasagna with marinara sauce. Both are served with fruit cup, rolls, vegetable, double chocolate fudge cake, and coffee or tea. If you have any food restrictions, please notify us.

The current list of table topics is:

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"Little Professor," Courtesy of ClipArtPal.com

 

We've planned a lot of fun for our upcoming July 26th Annual Seminar. There will be vendors selling genealogy books, organizations showing their activities, an Ancestor Treasure Hunt, a silent auction, friendly lunch table discussions (you pick the topic), a quick annual meeting, and a full set of lectures about genealogy.

Our speakers bring decades of experience to us, many of them having worked at important local repositories. Walter Hickey retired from the National Archives/Waltham. Alice Kane has worked in Microtext at Boston Public Library and in the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Judy Lucey, Michael Leclerc, and Drew Bartley honed their mad genealogical skills at NEHGS; Drew and Michael have moved on to toil in other vineyards. Those of you who have taken the Boston University genealogy certificate course will recognize Julie Michutka's name from her work there. MGC's own Mary Tedesco, and Mary Ellen Grogan will speak as well as Board-certified genealogists Shellee Morehead, and Barbara Mathews. Maureen Taylor is nationally-regarded for her pioneering work using photographs for genealogy research. It's a group of expert and experienced speakers, so we hope you will find energy and ideas for your own research.  See their biographies and photos at http://massgencouncil.org/index.php/schedule.

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10000vaccinated
Boston vaccination drive in 1902.[1] The Massachusetts Genealogical Council sent me to Phoenix, Arizona, last summer[2] to attend the national conference of the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, an organization involving the vital statistics registrars in the 50 states, cities of Washington, DC, and New York, NY, and five U.S. territories. I was to learn what concerns registrars, what drives them, and what we could do to support the registrar here in Massachusetts. Little did I know that this would lead me to a Supreme Court case, coercive vaccinations, a founder of NEHGS, and the state vital record database. Only a fraction of the conference attendees were registrars. The majority of attendees were public health statisticians, working for agencies such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, similar agencies in other states and in Arizona’s counties, the Indian Health Service, the Veterans Administration hospitals, the U.S....
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  The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is the public face of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF), opened to the public through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The SSDI is only 60% as large as its parent, the DMF. Different federal agencies have access to one or the other in the course of performing their duties. For example, the IRS has full access to the DMF but Homeland Security and the Justice Department are only permitted to see the reduced SSDI.[1] One of the biggest causes of the difference in size between the two files is the November 2011 redaction from the SSDI by the Social Security Administration of 4.5 million deaths, 2.5 million of them in Florida, a red-hot zone for consumer identity theft.[2] Genealogy websites providing access to the SSDI also redact some information from the file. The subscription websites voluntarily stopped including social...
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The Civil Records Committee wants you to know about upcoming changes to the information genealogists will be able to access in the Social Security Death Index. These changes are part of the revenue-generating provisions in the bipartisan budget compromise bill that is currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress. The bill passed the House of Representatives last night. It will be heard in the Senate soon. The changes to the SSDI will take place 90 days after the budget bill passes and is signed into law. The revenue-generating provision mandates that any death reported to the Social Security Administration be withheld from the Social Security Death Index until the end of the calendar year following the third anniversary. This means that a death that takes place, let's say, July 4, 2014, will not appear in the SSDI until January 1, 2018. We and others have blogged about the upcoming changes. You...
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Here at MGC, we’ve been watching the U.S. government confront the massive issue of fraudulent payments. The IRS has been hemorrhaging money by issuing refunds to people without checking to see if the tax returns are truthful. The scope of this problem is staggering. See our post, “The Bottom Line on Tax Fraud? $5 Billion per Year,” from August 5th, 2012. Of that $5 billion, $415 million in potentially fraudulent returns were issued to dead people. As the Washington Post showed in its November 3rd, 2012, infographic, the IRS receives a full list of the nation’s dead from the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. The IRS simply wasn’t bothering to check tax returns against the DMF before they issued refunds. The U.S. Congress has been watching this situation and has called administrators in for questioning. Over the past two years, the IRS has made some progress in halting fraudulent...
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IAJGS 003
  Jan Meisels Allen discusses PRAMC activities.Photograph by Barbara Mathews.   Early in August Boston had the honor of hosting the annual convention of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. The Park Plaza was abuzz for a full week of presentations, an exhibit hall, and cultural events. Many MGC officers and members attended. I was there on Monday for a presentation of IAJGS's Public Records Access and Monitoring Committee (PRAMC) given in conjuction with the Records Access and Preservation Committee here in the U.S.. Jan Meisels Allan, Kenneth Ryesky, and Janet Alpert presented the well-attended Monday session. There was a lot of material to cover. PRAMC looks at records access issues internationally. The European Union is considering a General Data Protection Plan. Among the types of data considered for protection are the materials that genealogists commonly access. People would be required to opt-in to having their information accessed in the...
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  Did you know about Ancestry's Guest Account or NEHGS's Free Account? Two of the biggest paid subscription sites for New England genealogy include free-access materials on their websites. In addition, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints has an entirely free site at FamilySearch.org. Many people on budgets have been accessing any or all of these sites at libraries and Family History Centers. I just thought it would be nice to go over what you can access from home. Here's a little more information on these free or guest services.   New England Historic Genealogical Society's AmericanAncestors.org Here are the databases that are free at the New England Historic Genealogy Society's website: Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 Social Security Death Index NEHGS Library Catalog  Irish Immigrant Advertisements, 1831-1920 Index to Revolutionary War Pensioners New York Wills, 1626-1836 Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati Gloucester, MA: Burials  Ware, MA...
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  On April 16, 2013, tweetmyjobs.com published a help wanted notice for a Registrar of Vital Records and Statistics Administrator VIII for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was a day shift job with a salary range from $48,478.04 to $118,278.12 per year at a facility at 150 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester. Yes, the job at the top of the Department of Vital Records and Statistics was vacant. Early in June our previous registrar, Stan Nyberg, was awarded a lifetime membership in the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to recognize his retirement. Quoting from the posting, here are the job requirements: 1. Seven - ten years of managerial experience, at least three - five years of which is in health care administration, public health, public administration or business operations.2. Masters or doctoral level education in a relevant discipline, i.e., Public Health, Public Administration, Health Care Administration or Business...
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surveyor
  FamilySearch.org, the free access website managed by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, recently opened an image base containing 5.776 million Massachusetts deeds. They are arranged by county and within each county by book. The image base includes the grantor and grantee indexes as well as the deed volumes themselves. With this image base, we can now experience deed research much as we would standing in the registrar of deeds office ourselves. We can look up something in the index and then pull the correct volume to find the deed. To make these images accessible, FamilySearch provides a description on the FamilySearch Wiki, which you can view here. The landing page within FamilySearch for the land record images is here. This information has hit the genealogy community by storm. Following so quickly on the heels of accessible images for Massachusetts vital records, it is exciting....
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    During the first day of the National Genealogy Society's 2013 conference, three events focused on records access. Harold Henderson, CG, the luncheon speaker for the Association of Professional Genealogists discussed "It's Not Just the SSDI: How We Can Advocate for Genealogy While Still Practicing It." He painted a bleak picture, noting that we often are on the defensive in protecting records access. We need to "keep the toothpaste in the tube" by showing an interest broader than our personal families. Just as it's too hard to put toothpaste back in a tube, it is also too hard to get access to records that have already been closed to the public. Harold advised us to be involved in all levels of government action, from legislating bills to developing regulations. Melinde Lutz Sanborn, CG, FASG, past vice president of MGC and current president of the American Society of Genealogists, titled her...
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Emergency Room Entrance
  Richard McCoy was a member of the records access panel sponsored by MGC at NERGC 2013. His information on medical records and issues of confidentiality and errors struck chords with everyone. Rich has sent us a list of stories on this topic to share. Thank you, Rich!  Jordan Robertson, "How Medical Identity Theft Can Give You a Headache that Will Last for Years," Bloomburg Business News, posted 8 Nov 2012; http://go.bloomberg.com/tech-blog/2012-11-08-how-medical-identity-theft-can-give-you-a-decade-of-headaches/ : viewed 23 April 2013. Angelo Young, "Your Hospital Records Might Not Be As Safe from an Identity Theft As You Think," International Business Times, posted 10 February 2012; http://www.ibtimes.com/your-hospital-records-might-not-be-safe-identity-thief-you-think-1074552 : viewed 23 April 2013. David Schultz, "As Patients' Records Go Digital, Theft and Hacking Problems Grow," Kaiser Health News, posted 3 June 2012; http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/June/04/electronic-health-records-theft-hacking.aspx : viewed 23 April 2013. Federal Trade Commission, "Medical Identity Theft," Consumer Information; http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0171-medical-identity-theft : viewed 23 April 2013.   Photograph Courtesy of Microsoft...
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MGC took on several responsibilities at the 2013 New England Regional Genealogical Conference last week in Manchester, New Hampshire. We ran a discussion on Open Records, we sponsored a luncheon, we put on a special interest group, and we had a booth in the exhibit hall. Records Access Panel We had looked forward to having Thomas MacEntee as our panel discussion moderator. From Chicago, Thomas led a discussion on records access at an annual meeting of the Association of Professional Genealogists. We adopted his format which included skits to make it more interesting for the audience. Alas, there were torrential rains in Chicago and the flooding there together with airline computer problems nixed his attendance at NERGC completely. With Thomas's inspired format, we began to panic. Micheal Leclerc, Genealogist and blogger at Mocavo.com, came to our rescue. He was willing to take on the improvisation as well as moderate a discussion...
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After two days of sponsored activities, Saturday gives MGC officers and directors a chance to spend time in the exhibit hall booth and to attend lectures. The exhibit hall is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MGC is in booth 101. As you walk in the main entrance, we are in the first aisle of booths. The booth is filled with take-aways. Don't miss information about our upcoming Annual Meeting and Seminar on July 20th in Worcester. The seminar features the dynamic speaker Judy Russell, CG, CGL. Friday needs a bit of recapping. Laura Prescott did a fantastic job as our luncheon speaker yesterday. She delighted us with stories of records access from Massachusetts and from throughout the U.S. She gave us many ideas for approaching the "gatekeepers" of repositories and government offices. She closed by rallying us to work for access and preservation. MGC also hosted a Special Interest Group...
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Lunch, sponsored by MGC, features Laura Prescott Laura's lunch topic is "Jousting with the Gatekeepers."  Lunch requires pre-registration. If I don't run, soon, I'll be late myself... Special Interest Group: "Records Access Denied?" Tonight NERGC features the Special Interest Groups, or SIGs. They are designed to be information get-togetheres around interesting topics. They start at 7:00 and end at 9:00. (The end time of 10 is a typo in today's program.) Our SIG will be on the 12th floor of the conference hotel, in the Governor's Suite. We will have a wonderful nighttime view of Manchester and surrounding towns. Come by just for the view if you want. Our informal program plan is to have a mini-workshop. We'll have our laptops there. Tell us what state your are from and we'll figure out how to use the internet to find out if your legislature is considering bills that might limit your...
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MGC's Access to Records for Genealogists -- 3:15-4:15 pm, in the Stark Room. It's not just your average panel discussion! Today's MGC Open Records Access discussion will include some fun as well. The Massachusetts Genealogical Council is sponsoring "Access to Records for Genealogists" from 3:15 to 4:15 in the Stark room. You don't want to miss this one. Thomas MacEntee will be our emcee and moderator. After a brief panel discussion about issues, we will move into an improvisational skit. Come get a few laughs while you learn about the sense and complete nonsense of SSDI closure to prevent tax fraud. Thomas MacEntee, Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, Richard McCoy (vital records registrar of Vermont), Sharon E Sergeant and Barbara Mathews will acting the parts of a U.S. Congressional staff person, a newspaper reporter, a police detective, a victim of identity theft, and a genealogy society leader. Who gets which role????? Come and...
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Multiple state governments
  In the U.S., there are 57 varieties of vital statistics: the fifty states, five territories, Washington, DC, and New York City keep vital statistics in their own systems. The federal government requires reporting to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and to the Social Security Administration, to name just two. To do this, all 57 entities and the federal government must agree on how to transmit information. There are two ways in which these groups work together. The 57 recording entities are involved in the non-governmental National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS). From its side, DHHS has evolved the Model Act and Regulations, a set of suggestions about how individual states can enact law and develop regulations about how to implement that law. The states are not required to implement the Model Act and...
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Genealogical societies in Oklahoma and Georgia are asking for our support now. If you are concerned about records access in these states, please consider supporting the efforts of genealogists in them to keep records available. In Oklahoma, a law enacted in 2011 limited access to all vital records to those people named in them. The regulations caught up to the law recently with serious repercussions, particularly for death records. If you have been denied a death record from Oklahoma in the last two years, please send a description of your experience to this email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In Georgia, there continues to be serious concern about the ability of the Georgia State Archives to remain open to researchers. Right now the state legislature is considering two bills. One would move management of the archives from the Secretary of State’s office to the University of Georgia System. The other, put forward by the...
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USHouse in session gov doc

The U.S. House of Representatives in session, www.house.gov.

Every indication so far is that this year will again see efforts to close the SSDI in two ways: first by legislation to close it for three years to all but fraud investigators; second by legislation to make the Freedom of Information Act inapplicable to the Social Security Administration (it was by FOIA that the SSDI was opened two decades ago). Either method would work against genealogists.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Sam Johnson (R TX 3) was reappointed chair of the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. The announcement can be read at http://samjohnson.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=316913.

At this time, at least one bill has been filed using text that would close the SSDI for two to three years. Rep. Richard Nugent (R FL 11) filed this bill, known as H.R.295. You can use the Library of Congress THOMAS portal to find the bill’s text and to track its passage at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas. Select “bill number” and type in HR295. The resulting page will provide many access points: to the bill text, to the current committee assignments, etc.

Rep. Mike Capuano (D MA 7) is planning to submit a similar bill. His office has been approached by immigration and tax people in government to submit a bill covering their issues. We were able to contact his Issues Director Kate Auspitz in order to pass on information showing that the core issue is inter-agency communication rather than access to the social security numbers of dead people. We made a case for genealogical access during the critical three-year waiting period for compassionate reasons.

While Congressman Capuano sees merit in our arguments, we will need to make those arguments again at the committee hearings in order to have change happen. We explained that such testimony had been purposefully cut off last year. His office pointed out that he is in the political minority in the House and not able to force a committee chair to permit our testimony. We need to keep our community ready to submit testimony and to be able to articulate the issues when the time comes. So how do we learn that?

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This year sees new efforts to curtail genealogical access to the Social Security Death Index (known to the government as the Death Master File). Rep. Richard Nugent of Florida submitted HR 295 (view the text here). Section 7 of the bill closes SSDI access for about three years. The only people who could win access in that crucial time would be those who can certify that they are investigating fraud. The bill would hamper the efforts of compassionate work by forensic genealogists, including those who find the next of kin for Unclaimed Persons or those who do similar work for servicemen killed in action. This two-year legislative session will need monitoring and our timely responses. Be ready to lend your voice when it is needed. Sign up for the IAJGS alerts email list. Learn more about IAJGS's Public Records Access Monitoring committee here. Jan Meisels Allen has announced that IAJGS will...
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The United States Treasury Department's Acting Deputy Inspector General for Audit just released a lengthy report about the extent of income tax fraud in the U.S. The audit was conducted as a direct result of the Senate and House hearings we have been watching over this past year. Their findings are stunning. You can read the report here. Surely the subcommittee chairs will move their legislation (H.R. 6205 and S. 3432) out of committee with a favorable report with the support of the audit results. Between 2010 and 2012, the fraud more than doubled from 440,581 instances to 1,125,634 instances "meeting the characteristics of confirmed identity theft cases." In 2011, these returns amount to $5,221,018,184 in potentially fraudulant payments. Much of this fraud is apparently generated by criminal groups. It is significantly limited geographically. The report provides the following table. The addresses in the table are unique residential addresses. Five homes...
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dog-days-of-summer
Blog Posting from Sharon Sergeant, member of the Civil Records Committee: It might be the dog days of summer, and the last few months of the current two-year Congressional session, but we are still seeing new legislation being introduced. The latest, sponsored by Rep. Richard Nugent of Florida, condenses previous bills that included closure of the Social Security Death Index (Death Master File or DMF) into a new bill, H.R. 6205. It was introduced on July 26th and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The full text of the new bill can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr6205ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr6205ih.pdf or http://tinyurl.com/8uq9kos  The head of the Senate committee dealing with this issue also filed a new bill, S. 3432, which you can read at http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2012reports/201242080fr.html These bills have the least restrictive wording on closure of the Death Master File. The DMF (which genealogists know as the SSDI) would be closed for two...
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We are soliciting your input. Have you ever been denied records by any state simply because you are not a resident of that state? It recently came to our attention here at the Massachusetts Genealogical Council that some states have their own Freedom of Information Acts, but that these are designed to restrict records access. With this restriction in place, a hypothetical situation would be that a reporter for the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune or the Boston Globe would be unable to access the records. What is true for reporters is true also for genealogists and historians. Delaware law Chapter 100, Section 10003 (a), restricts access to any citizen of the State: All public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizen of the State during regular business hours by the custodian of the records for the appropriate public body. Virginia also restricts records access...
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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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Remember when we all heard about a subcommittee hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives about closing the SSDI? There were four bills regarding this, three in the House and one in the U.S. Senate. That Senate bill (S.1534) comes up for a hearing this week. At 10:00 AM Eastern time, on Tuesday, March 20th, the Senate’s subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth has a hearing titled, “Tax Fraud by Identity Theft, Part 2: Status, Progress, and Potential Solutions.” THE HEARING The website for this subcommittee is multipurpose. Before the hearing you can use it to learn who will be testifying and how to submit your own written testimony. During the hearing (10:00 AM Eastern time), you can go to this page to access a streaming video of the hearing itself. The page is: http://finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=8c908260-5056-a032-525c-4f663b8d35f8 THE BILL Senate bill S.1534 is sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who...
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What follows is the text of the letter I sent to the subcommittee whose hearing two weeks ago did not permit genealogists to testify in person. This is my personal letter which I submitted as a result of my work and my life. It does not represent the Mass. Gen. Council's opinion and was not pre-approved in any way. Today was the last day to submit testimony online. Did you submit testimony? Have you contacted your own Congressman or Senator about this? Now is the time to do that! Please let us know in the comments what you've been doing to make your own opinions and your voice heard. Barbara Jean Mathews Certified Genealogist*Post Office Box 399Lexington, MA 02420 February 16, 2012 Testimony Submitted to theHearing on Accuracy and Uses of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File    Dear Mr. Johnson and Subcommittee Members,  I am offering this testimony as...
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  U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (TX) submitted a bill on 18 November 2011 called the “Keep IDs Safe Act.”[1] It was given the number H.R.3475.[2] As Rep. Johnson is the chairperson of the Social Security subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, this bill was immediately scheduled for a hearing before his subcommittee. That hearing took place last week. It was delayed by a few minutes so that at least one other member of the committee could be present before testimony was taken. The testimony was limited to only those people whom Rep. Johnson had pre-approved.   When researching bills here in Massachusetts, I keep a three-column Excel spreadsheet. Column 1 contains the part of the Massachusetts General Laws which describe vital records where each paragraph is in a different row/cell down the column. Column 2 contains the text of the bill where each Section of the bill is in...
Tagged in: DMF HR3475 SSDI Tax Fraud
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Open Government Plan
We are pleased to have a guest posting from Trish Hackett Nicola, CG, of Seattle, Washington. She posted this information on the Members Only list of the Association of Professional Genealogists and has given us permission to republish it. Trish writes: This is what the FTC says about identity theft. It doesn't mention the SSDI. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft//consumers/about-identity-theft.html "How do thieves steal an identity? Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold. Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including: Dumpster Diving. They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it. Skimming. They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card. Phishing....
©Trish Hackett Nicola; the OpenGov logo is in the public domain and was taken from the Social Security Administration's own webpage
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