Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Doing family history research in New Jersey?

Just when I was about to begin looking into the Tóth family who arrived in Trenton from Hungary a century ago, I have learned that New Jersey's vital records access may soon be limited.

Over concerns about identity fraud, the state is considering restricting access to records that have been available to the public for decades. The end result may mean that birth records would not be accessible for 100 years or more if the person is still living, death records 40 years after the death, and marriage records for 50 years.

For more information about the campaign by New Jersey lawmakers to restrict access to these records, see the article in the Courier Post Online entitled Bill would restrict access to records.

Ironically, the result of such a restriction would probably not have much impact on thieves seeking identities to steal, but would certainly cause much frustration for genealogists and historians.

Thanks to Megan of Roots Television for a heads-up about this New Jersey bill in her post entitled Not Again! Potential Records Restriction in NJ.

For more information on similar concerns regarding Pennsylvania records, see my post entitled Doing Pennsylvania Genealogy? at Small-leaved Shamrock.

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