fgs ptp donate

MGC Blog Calendar

Loading ...

MGC Blog Latest Posts

holiday inn front portal
Getting the Most Out of Attending the MGC Genealogy Conference: 10 Things You Need to Know
Seminar Programs
Rate this blog entry:
Wait, Wait, There's More: Breakfast, Lunch, Prizes, Treasure Hunt, and Table Topics
Seminar Programs
Rate this blog entry:
Break Through Brickwalls: Learn New and Wicked Good Genealogy Skills at the 2014 Annual Seminar
Seminar Programs
Rate this blog entry:

MGC Blog Tag Cloud

open access SSA Speakers identity fraud Harold Henderson War of 1812 Pennsylvania Henning Jacobson Virginia S1534 Advocacy family traits Tennessee HR 295 New Hampshire Richard McCoy introduction Registration Programs medical profile Lou Szucs Georgia SSDI FGS Conference Linda McCleary Bruce Cohen New Jersey FamilySearch New Hampshire Records Access S3432 Instruction TIGTA audit civil records Education David Rencher records access 2012 threats to access Public Records Georgia Society Showcase HR295 Donna Holt Siemiatoski MGC humane DMF; SSDI; Tax Fraud; legislation Genealogy DPH Randy Seaver Kenneth Ryesky Civil Records FGS Ethnicity DMF Annual Seminar pensions Vital Records Kate Auspitz Annual Meeting and Seminar Jan Alpert FGS health history Federal Records Access award blog public access APG Newsletter NEHGS Death Master File IAJGS closures legislation State Library Jacobson v Massachusetts records access Jan Meisels Allen SSA Rep. Michael Capuano (MA) Arkansas Open Access Rhode Island Health pedigree Sponsors Public Records Presenters Billie Fogarty access HR6205 Jan Meisels Allen fraud Access State legislation Legal Genealogist IRS Judy Russell Alfred DeMaria NGS volunteerism Annual Meeting RPAC Legislative Tennessee NAPHSIS Tax Fraud volunteers NFOIC FOIA State House Fred Moss Advocacy archives family medical history outreach smallpox Michael J. Astrue SSDI Social Security Administration Lame Duck land records communication HR3475 funding Thomas MacEntee online registration State archives Alvie Davidson Oklahoma Sharon Sergeant inheritable disease seminar Arkansas Delaware Melinde Byrne Virginia Congress Identity Theft APG Roundtable Ancestry RPAC NERGC threats to access Georgia Archives legislation Elections Rep. Sam Johnson (TX) IAJGS Senate Annual Seminar IGS Vendors Rep. Richard Nugent (FL) mail forwarding ISJGS Stan Nyberg Transparency budget cuts Richard Nugent 2014 Seminar S-1534 legislation DMF budget sysoon Massachusetts medical pedigree Free Massachusetts diagnosis records access Mary Ellen Grogran 2012 Seminar Congress legislators HR3475 Presidential Citation

Member Login

Join MGC Today!

To Renew Online
Log in then visit
your Profile under
the blue User Menu, above
Join/renew with the



MGC Sentinel logo MGC Sentinel Logo

MGC Sentinel

Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

MGC Supports HB3043 - An Act Relative to Records Open to Public Inspection

Posted by on in Legislation Massachusetts
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 58719
  • 1 Comment
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

MGC supports legislation designed to expand the resources and accessibility of materials used in historical research, but it is much more frequent to encounter legislation that blocks public access, hence we often find ourselves in battle mode.

It is always a pleasure to be able to support rather than oppose a bill, for so many reasons. First, it is just a more positive activity. Much more importantly, we become allies in the legislative process, rather than foes. And isn't it preferable to work with legislators than against them? If we are supporters then our influence seems much more natural, we come across as the experts we are, and we gather respect rather than disdain.

So it is with great delight that MGC announces support of Massachusetts House Bill 3043 - An Act Relative to Records Open to Public Inspection. Our Massachusetts Civil Records Director, Mary Ellen Grogan, constantly monitors bills proposed at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Thanks to Mary Ellen's diligent efforts, we are today sending out the following information to all of the members of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.


MGC strongly supports HB3043 which is currently before the Committee. The bill concerns access to records in the custody of the Secretary of State of Massachusetts. In practice, this refers to materials held by the State Archives. This bill clarifies some questions that have been raised concerning access to old records held at the State Archives. The bill simply confirms that “all records in the custody of the state secretary which are ninety years old or older will be open for public inspection”. This is a reasonable standard for access to information. More recent records are open for inspection with certain defined limits (MGL chapter 4, section 7).  HB3043 will require no additional cost to implement. In fact, it will free staff time at the State Archives to address issues of access to more recent documents of interest to government agencies and the press. It will permit them to be more productive and effective in their work. 


We strongly urge the members of the Joint Committee to report HB3043 favorably; the bill ought to pass. Our members are in favor of this bill and will actively support its passage. 

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:

Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt is a Board-certified genealogist specializing in Massachusetts research. She has been taking clients for sixteen years and researches a variety of topics from Mayflower lineages to locating townlands of Irish immigrants. She is a case worker under contract to the US Army on repatriation cases, helping to locate family members of servicemen missing or killed in previous conflicts. She currently serves as a director at Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and editor of the FGS Voice Newsletter, and is past president of MGC. You can read her personal blog at http://pk-pollybog.blogspot.com.


  • Robert J. Bartlett
    Robert J. Bartlett Friday, 20 July 2012

    Keep up the great work.

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, 24 October 2014