Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Virginia Vital Record Access in Danger - Your Help Needed Now!

Calling all genealogists and family historians - especially if you are concerned about access to any and all vital records. Right now plans are in the work to increase restrictions for Virginia vital records - to 125 years for birth records and 75 years for marriage and death records!

What's Happening with Virginia Vital Records

On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) will vote on to extend the current access restrictions by another 25 years. Between now and November 22, 2011 you can send your comments to the committee members and let them know why the restrictions to access should not be extended.

What You Can Do about Virginia Vital Records Access

Here is how you can get involved:
  • Send your letter via email to
Senators, General Area, Email address

Linda T. Puller, Fairfax, Prince William, district36@senate.virginia.gov
George Barker, Fairfax, Prince William, district39@senate.virginia.gov
Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake/Portsmouth, district14@senate.virginia.gov
Edd Houck, Fredericksburg/Orange, district17@senate.virginia.gov
Louise Lucas, Portsmouth - Brunswick, district18@senate.virginia.gov
Ralph Northam, M.D., Norfolk, Matthews, Eastern Shore,  district06@senate.virginia.gov
William Wampler, Bristol and Southwest, district40@senate.virginia.gov
Patricia S. Ticer, Alexandria/Arlington/Fairfax, district30@senate.virginia.gov

House of Delegates, General Area, Email address

Ben Cline, Amherst – Lexington, delbcline@house.virginia.gov
Bob Brink, Arlington, delrbrink@house.virginia.gov
David Bulova, Fairfax, deldbulova@house.virginia.gov
Rosalyn Dance, Petersburg, delrdance@house.virginia.gov
Scott Garrett, M.D., Lynchburg, delsgarrett@house.virginia.gov
Algie Howell, Norfolk, delahowell@house.virginia.gov
Harvey Morgan, Gloucester, delhmorgan@house.virginia.gov
Dave Nutter, Radford/Roanoke,   deldnutter@house.virginia.gov
John O’Bannon, M.D. Henrico, deljobannon@house.virginia.gov
Chris Peace, Hanover, delcpeace@house.virginia.gov

Copy and paste the entire block of addresses here:
district36@senate.virginia.gov; district39@senate.virginia.gov; district14@senate.virginia.gov; district17@senate.virginia.gov; district18@senate.virginia.gov; district06@senate.virginia.gov; district40@senate.virginia.gov; district30@senate.virginia.gov; delbcline@house.virginia.gov; delrbrink@house.virginia.gov; deldbulova@house.virginia.gov; delrdance@house.virginia.gov; delsgarrett@house.virginia.gov; delahowell@house.virginia.gov; delhmorgan@house.virginia.gov; deldnutter@house.virginia.gov; deljobannon@house.virginia.gov; delcpeace@house.virginia.gov

And don't forget to follow the Records Preservation and Access Committee blog at http://www.fgs.org/rpac/ to follow all the latest news about vital records access and changes to laws and policies affecting genealogists and family historians.

Conclusion

Please take a minute and step away from your own genealogy research and get involved. Even if you don't have Virginia ancestors, realize that other states and entities look at what is being done regarding vital records access - your state or municipality might be next!

Email or write the contacts listed above and let them know as a genealogist and family historian what it means to access such records.  Don't be afraid to get personal - share your success stories or how you've helped a client using vital records.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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