Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Call to Action

Last year the Bloggers' dinner hosted by FamilySearch was a quiet, dare I say, contemplative affair with lengthy conversations about the world of genealogy blogging. This year was a total contrast. The dinner and conversation were secondary to the important issues of the day. The first, and very important issue is the introduction of the 1940 U.S. Census on April 2, 2012. Digitized copies of the Census, not just scans of an old microfilm record, will be made available by the National Archives.  Immediately, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a joint initiative between, FamilySearch,, and other leading genealogy organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access. This is a call to action. The indexing of the 1940 U.S. Census will be handled by the FamilySearch Indexing website and program. The more people that volunteer, the faster the Census will be indexed. You will hear a lot more about this shortly.

Now, on to the other important issues. The U.S. Congress is right now contemplating the passage of two pieces of legislation, one concerning the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and the other the Model Vital Statistics Act. Passage of either or both of these bills could seriously and very detrimentally affect the entire genealogical community. I will have a lot more about these bills in the immediate future, but right now, information about the bills can be obtained from the House Ways and Means Committee website.

The changes to the SSDI could totally eliminate this valuable resource. The Model Vital Statistics Act could potentially remove millions of names now available for research online. Notwithstanding the importance of these bills to the genealogical community, the House Ways and Means Committee has refused to allow anyone from the genealogical community to testify at the hearing on these bills. As I would be wont to say, the unmitigated gall of these people.

Oh well, here we go again. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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