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:
- Read the Memorandum to the Genealogical Community by Peter E. Broadbent, Jr., Former President of the Virginia Genealogical Society: http://www.geneabloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/20111101-Memo-re-VA-Vital-Records.pdf (opens in PDF)
- Read the public comments from the October 17, 2011 JCHC meeting to understand the arguments being made for and against increased restrictions: http://services.dlas.virginia.gov/User_db/frmView.aspx?ViewId=2589 (opens in PDF).
- Download this sample letter to the members of the JCHC, add your insights and comments and add your name and address at the end: http://www.geneabloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Sample-Letter-JCHC.doc (Opens in Microsoft Word)
- Send your letter via email to
Senators, General Area, Email address
Linda T. Puller, Fairfax, Prince William, email@example.com
George Barker, Fairfax, Prince William, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake/Portsmouth, email@example.com
Edd Houck, Fredericksburg/Orange, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louise Lucas, Portsmouth - Brunswick, email@example.com
Ralph Northam, M.D., Norfolk, Matthews, Eastern Shore, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Wampler, Bristol and Southwest, email@example.com
Patricia S. Ticer, Alexandria/Arlington/Fairfax, firstname.lastname@example.org
House of Delegates, General Area, Email address
Ben Cline, Amherst – Lexington, email@example.com
Bob Brink, Arlington, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Bulova, Fairfax, email@example.com
Rosalyn Dance, Petersburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Garrett, M.D., Lynchburg, email@example.com
Algie Howell, Norfolk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey Morgan, Gloucester, email@example.com
Dave Nutter, Radford/Roanoke, firstname.lastname@example.org
John O’Bannon, M.D. Henrico, email@example.com
Chris Peace, Hanover, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy and paste the entire block of addresses here:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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