24 March 2009

Make your voice heard for vital records access in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Have Pennsylvania ancestors? Frustrated with tough access issues? It is time to let Pennsylvania legislators hear from you. In yesterday's Lebanon Daily News, Pennsylvania professional genealogist wrote his column describing what is needed from genealogists in order to help pass a bill that would loosen up the access requirements. You can read Jim's column here. I thank Elissa Powell, also from Pennsylvania, for pointing this out on another list I monitor.

Pennsylvania isn't the only state with over the top restrictions on old vital records. I am so happy with the indexes to state level-reported Minnesota births and deaths via the Minnesota Historical Society and Ancestry.com and the films of the actual records at the MHS and the Family History Library, that I forget about the opposite being true in many other places. There are good states though, including Missouri and Arizona with both indexes and actual images online.

For a great listing of various vital records and other genealogical gems online, visit this site compiled and frequently updated by Joe Beine. CyndisList.com also has great vital records connections.

The FamilySearch pilot site has indexes and some images to vital records. This is a enormous project and the website tells how you can become involved with the indexing at home and at whatever amount of time you can give.

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