Recent Blog Posts

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The Value of Open Public Records
Records and Repositories
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MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
General Legislation
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How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
Legislation Federal
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(Online donations available
after website update in 2016.)
MGC has been recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts of support are fully tax-deductible and donors will receive a written acknowledgement for tax purposes.

About MGC

Time to Renew for 2013!

We Need Your Support Now More Than Ever!

In these days of tight budgets, more and more institutions are choosing or being forced to reduce hours of operation, close outright, and even dispose of records to free up valuable storage space. The result is that the public has ever more restricted access to records. Massachusetts, thanks in large part to the efforts of MGC over the past thirty years, has not closed records, and the law that was first enacted in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641 to keep our records open and accessible to all citizens remains in effect. You can read more about MGC here.

Imagine a World With Closed Records

Many states in the nation have chosen to close access to civil records such as birth, marriage and death records to all but proven family members. But how do you prove you are related without providing these same certificates? We need vital records to make any progress whatsoever in our family history research. Even restricting the records of the past fifty years can stymie us because of the fact that genealogists work from the present backwards.

The Massachusetts Genealogical Council (MGC) monitors legislation, both state and federal, to make sure all genealogists have a chance to participate in the democratic process by making their views known to legislators. We keep an eye on bills before the Massachusetts and US legislatures, and let the public know when it is time to take action by writing letters, appearing at hearings and helping publicize issues via social media. While our information is available to all, you can support our efforts for a very modest membership fee of $10 for individuals, $15 for a family of two, or $20 for a society or institution. Your membership will guarantee you a discount on registration in our July Annual Meeting and Seminar, and most years the discount is greater than the membership cost! Other benefits are listed below.

How to Join MGC

If you are not yet a member and would like to join you can click on one of the two options at the top left of this page, Join MGC Online to complete a transaction online, or Paper Membership Form to download a pdf which you can send in with your check. 

How to Renew Electronically

First, log in with your user name and password, either by clicking the blue User Menu tab along the top of the page and selecting User Login; or by scrolling down the left column to the login box. (If you forget your user name or password you can request a reminder email. Just click on Forgot Login? That will bring you to a page where you can check off the info you've lost. You will then receive an email at the address with which you originally signed up.)

Once you are signed in, you need to access your user profile where you set your preferences for using the MGC website. Look in the left column under your login information and click on Your Name, underlined in red. This will bring you to your membership profile.

On your profile page, click on the Membership Status tab and you will see the option to Renew Now: Year 2013. Clicking on that brings you to a page where you can review your information. If you are satisfied, click on the Paypal button. Don't worry if you don't have a Paypal account. You don't need one. You can just enter your credit card as with any other online transaction. On the Paypal site you pay, after which you will receive a receipt from Paypal. Paypal is an extremely safe way to pay online.

How to Renew by Mail

Simply download the membership form by clicking at the top of the left column on Paper Membership Form, download, save, print, fill it out, and mail it with your check to the MGC treasurer at the address on the form.

 All Memberships include:

•  Direct updates on legislative action via email blasts

•  Option to participate in MGC's board meetings

•  MGC's Newsletter delivered to your in-box or mail-box if you specify.

•  Discount on MGC seminar (usually more than dues)

Organization Memberships include the above, plus:

•  Publicity on MGC's website, newsletter, and blog

•  Option to have an MGC board member visit to your organization to describe threats to record access and what you and your society can do to help

•  One free vendor table at MGC's annual seminar


Thank you for supporting the Massachusetts Genealogical Council in 2013!!!!!!