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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[VA]Public Access to Vital Records

Friends and Genealogists,

I have attached two documents that were sent to me by the Virginia Genealogical Society on proposed changes to the Vital Statistic availability of records.

The Virginia Department of Health is trying to get our State Legislator to change the required time that Vital Statistic records can be released to the public. The changes are increasing death and marriage records closed period from 50 years to 75 years. Also increasing birth records closed period from 100 years to 125 years. For now, there is no restrictions on marriage licenses through the court houses and death certificate are 50-years if you are not part of the immediate family. Immediate family does not include grandchildren, niece and nephews.

If VDH is successful in getting the legislators to pass additional restrictions this will impact any type of genealogy research for Virginia. But this will be more damaging on poor families and African Americans, because the only documentation that might be out there for this population are death, marriage and birth records. It will be extremely hard to do African American research, if the Vital Statistic records are closed for an additional 25 years.

As of November 1, 2011, VDH no longer submits any death information to social security death index. Again, this will impact genealogical research in Virginia.

Please take time and read the attachments and write the Virginia Legislator opposing these restrictions. Also forward this information to others who research in Virginia. Thanks!

Char McCargo Bah
Family Historian (Griot)
Professional Genealogist/Historian/Author

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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