Update: NYC Vital Records Access – Act Today!

Time is running out… at 5pm on Monday April 23rd, the New York City Board of Health closes the comment period on the pending amendment to the NYC vital records access policy.

If you’re not aware, here’s some background from the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society:
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New Jersey Vital Records: What? How? Where? in 2018

I’ve updated a 2015 (originally published in 2013) JRG post on accessing vital records in New Jersey:

Yes, unfortunately, obtaining vital records can be a challenge in New Jersey if you don’t know where to start your search. On March 3, 1848 New Jersey passed “An ACT relating to the registry and returns of births, marriages, and deaths, in the state of New Jersey” which required town clerks to annually submit a certified copy of births, marriages and deaths that occurred in their jurisdictions. This law created a wonderful set of records, we as genealogists, use to solidify our family branches, twigs and roots.

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Reclaim the Records adds New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-2016 to its Online Database

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The following announcement was written by the folks at Reclaim the Records:

Hello again, from your favorite open records activists at Reclaim The Records! Do you remember how at the end of our last newsletter we promised you 116 years of brand new records, coming soon to a computer near you? Well, we might have made a tiny mistake, because we stink at math. It’s only 115 years. And here they are!

New Jersey Marriage Index
Introducing the NEW JERSEY MARRIAGE INDEX, 1901-2016! These records are now totally digital, and totally free — forever! Now you can research anyone who got married in the Garden State right from your home, still in your pajamas.

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Using the Indexes: New Jersey Births-Marriages-Deaths, 1901-03 and the Bride’s Index, 1901-14

Late in 2015, Reclaim the Records, a not-for-profit group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates, worked with the New Jersey State Archives to acquire the microfilm to the birth, marriage and death annual indexes for 1901, 1902, and 1903.  While speaking with the Archives, she was also able to submit a request for the Bride’s Indexes for 1904-09 and 1910-14.  You can read more about the project’s Records Request #5: New Jersey Birth, Marriage, and Death Indices, 1901-1903 and 1901-1914 on their website.

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What? Wait! You’re Telling Me There Are No Indexes!?

A general sentiment that I read quite frequently on the messages boards is that doing research in New Jersey is so difficult.  Digging deeper, I find that the trouble is with the time period… the early 20th century.  The trouble isn’t with the records themselves; the trouble is the lack of indexes!

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New Jersey Vital Records: What? How? Where? in 2015

I’ve updated a 2013 JRG post on accessing vital records in New Jersey:

Yes, unfortunately, obtaining vital records can be a challenge in New Jersey if you don’t know where to start your search. On March 3, 1848 New Jersey passed “An ACT relating to the registry and returns of births, marriages, and deaths, in the state of New Jersey” which required town clerks to annually submit a certified copy of births, marriages and deaths that occurred in their jurisdictions. This law created a wonderful set of records, we as genealogists, use to solidify our family branches, twigs and roots.

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Genealogists Initiate a Declaration of Rights

Fellow genealogists: Won’t you consider signing the declaration?

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

One of the major announcements at the recent conference of the National Genealogical Society was a new Declaration concerning access to public documents. Please note that it includes an opportunity for YOU to sign the Declaration.

The following was written by the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC),
a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies:

Richmond, 10 May 2014: Jordan Jones, President of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), a sponsoring member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), announced the Genealogists’ Declaration of Rights before a crowd of more than 2,500 genealogists attending the Opening Session of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference in Richmond, Virginia on 7 May 2014.
The Declaration of Rights is a statement advocating open access to federal, state, and local public records. The Declaration affirms America’s long history of open public records…

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New Jersey Vital Records: What? How? Where?

Yes, unfortunately, obtaining vital records can be a challenge in New Jersey if you don’t know where to start your search.  On March 3, 1848 New Jersey passed “An ACT relating to the registry and returns of births, marriages, and deaths, in the state of New Jersey” which required town clerks to annually submit a certified copy of births, marriages and deaths that occurred in their jurisdictions.  This law created a wonderful set of records, we as genealogists, use to solidify our family branches, twigs and roots.

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New Jersey Bill Gives Adoptees Access to Their Medical History & Birth Records

NJ SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL TO GIVE ADOPTEES ACCESS TO BIRTH INFORMATION

Here’s a recent Press Release from the office of Sen. Joseph Vitale, Chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee:

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Chairman Joseph F. Vitale which would give adoptees in New Jersey access to their medical history and birth records was approved June 13, 2013 by the Senate Health Committee.

“Every person deserves to know who they are and where they came from, but for many adoptees sealed records leave them in the dark on their family medical, cultural and social history, making it difficult to make decisions on their own personal well being,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex. “This bill would give adopted people in New Jersey access to information that is vital to protect their health and establish a line of family history that would otherwise not exist.”

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A Garden State Journey in Genealogy

Most folks with connections to New Jersey know that our state nickname is “The Garden State”  Today, it can be seen on our license plates and has been used in catchy advertising campaigns, but the truth of the matter is that we got our name not without a little resistance, or to put it bluntly… for no good reason at all.

While out to brunch two weeks ago, my friends Lori of Legacy Roots  and Joan of NJ Heirs & Ancestors got to talking about our Garden State nickname, and Lori shared that she had read that it dates from the Revolutionary War period and was due to the soldiers receiving their food stuff from the “gardens of New Jersey”.  Hmmm, I thought to myself… is the land of The Sopranos and Jersey Shore really that into agriculture?

And, that answer is YES!  I am proud to report that New Jersey is home to over 9,000 farms encompassing 790,000 acres of farmland.[1]  That’s almost 17% of our state, folks!  We make the production charts for blueberries, cranberries, spinach, head lettuce, bell peppers, and peaches (watch out Georgia!).[2]  Really not too shabby for a state that’s also known for the question “What exit?”

What’s all this Garden stuff have to do with genealogy, you ask?

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