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Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

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The Value of Open Public Records Sponsored by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council and the Boston Public Library 6-7:30 pm Monday November 9, 2015 Commonwealth Salon, Boston Public Library, Copley Square The program is free, registration is not required. Attendees are encouraged to express their opinions and concerns in this open forum for discussion. Sharon Sergeant, MGC Vice President, will moderate a multidisciplinary panel of experts and attendees to discuss how open public records benefit our society and citizens in practical applications today. Massachusetts was an early adopter of open public records:From the Body of Liberties, Approved by the Massachusetts Bay Colony General Court in 1639 and published in 1641. We will discuss how open public records benefit our society and citizens, ensuring that all laws and regulations are followed to protect civil rights, inheritance and property rights, historical and medical research advancement, records preservation and access as well as the repatriation...
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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 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 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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surveyor, 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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