DGS Member Fred Moss’s Presentation at RootsTech 2016 Available Online

Frederick Moss, Counsel for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, member of FGS’s Records Preservation and Access Committee, former Associate Dean Texas Wesleyan University School of Law…and long-time DGS member, was a speaker at RootsTech 2016. His presentation “Closing Death Records: Silver Bullet or Dead End?” was videotaped and is available to view in its entirety on the RootsTech 2016 website.

Description of session: The threat of Identity Theft has prompted over a thousand legislative proposals at the Federal, state or local level in recent years which impact access to vital records.  An on-going case study reviews the most dramatic modern example of this approach at the Federal level where a statute has limited access to the content of the Social Security Administration Death Master File. Preliminary results suggest more harm than good.

Records Preservation and Access Committee blog


City of Dallas Considering Library Budget Cuts, Reduced Hours

The Friends of the Dallas Public Library have reported that the Dallas City Council is considering a budget cut that would significantly impact the operations of the Dallas Public Library. If the budget cut is approved, the Dallas Public Library system will lose $2.35 million additional dollars that were promised to allow more hours of service at 15 branch locations, as well as money for computers for library classes. This would reverse a commitment made by last year’s council to restore hours of operation at all of our libraries.

If you are a Dallas resident, please contact your Dallas City Councilperson TODAY and let them know about your opposition to these cuts and consider attending upcoming city council meetings (there will be one on September 2 at 9:00 am) to voice your opinion. If you don’t know who your Council representative is, or which Council District you are in, link to this page on the City of Dallas web site and type in your address.

More details can be found on the update provided by the Friends of the Dallas Public Library.

Access to Records

Our ability to conduct genealogical research is dependent on having access to historical records, both public and private. All of us should be aware of, and actively supporting, efforts to preserve that access.

Those of you from the North Texas area will have an opportunity to learn about adoption records at our October 4 General meeting when Connie Gray, the Texas representative of the American Adoption Congress, founder of Texas Adoptive Rights, and an adoptee, will present One Person, Two Birth Certificates; The History of Adoption and Birth Certificates in the State of Texas”, a historical overview of adoption practices and amended birth certificates in Texas.

You should also be aware of the FGS Records Preservation and Access committee… Here is their Mission Statement:

To advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.”

Learn more at their web site: http://www.fgs.org/rpac

TX Senate to Increase Record Blackout Periods

The Texas legislature is considering a bill that would increase the time required before Birth Records (to 125 years from 75) and Death Records (to 50 years from 25).  If you have opinions about this proposed legislation contact your representative and let them know your opinion.

Texas Senators

H.B. No. 3427

Author: Farney


Relating to the confidentiality of birth and death records.

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the confidentiality of birth and death records.
SECTION 1. Sections 552.115(a) and (d), Government Code, are amended to read as follows:

(a) A birth or death record maintained by the bureau of
vital statistics of the Texas Department of Health or a local
registration official is excepted from the requirements of Section
552.021, except that:

(1) a birth record is public information and available
to the public on and after the 125th [75th] anniversary of the date
of birth as shown on the record filed with the bureau of vital
statistics or local registration official;

(2) a death record is public information and available
to the public on and after the 50th [25th] anniversary of the date
of death as shown on the record filed with the bureau of vital
statistics or local registration official;

Referred to Public Health Committee on 17 Mar.