New: Soroca, Molodova Records Project

Project Leader
Brock Daniel Bierman

JewishGen Liaison/Advisor
Avraham Groll

Project Synopsis
The objective of the Soroca, Moldova Records Project is to acquire legible images of birth, marriage, death, cemetery and other records of Jewish families from Soroca, District (Raion) Moldova. Please see:

This project will provide a vehicle for donations (tax deductible for US residents) towards the photographing of records, and donating the images to JewishGen for inclusion in their databases.
Records we will focus on include:

  • All Jewish Cemeteries in the Soroca District (Raion) of the Republic of Moldova
  • Soroca Regional and Local Archives
The records will be photographed at the archives as we are able to raise the funds. It is our intention to get birth marriage and death records for at least 1865 through 1895. These records are mixed records - both Jewish and non-Jewish. It is estimated that only 10% of the birth, marriage and death records are for Jewish people. We will be getting only the Jewish records.

Key Audiences
This project will allow Bessarabia family history researchers to create or fill gaps in their family trees and learn something about their families' Jewish heritage. Where vital records and/or burial records may no longer exist, cemeteries are often the only remaining evidence of a person's existence. The material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars and educators specializing in Jewish history and the Holocaust and specifically in the history of Bessarabia.

Project Importance
The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) is a searchable database comprised of individual burial records, tombstone photographs and descriptions of individual cemeteries. This project will enrich the JOWBR database. Furthermore, Jewish cemeteries throughout Moldova are threatened with vandalism and even extinction, so photographing the tombstones is vitally important to preserve the information so future generations will benefit from this aspect of our cultural heritage. For many Jews, knowledge of their family history perished in the Holocaust and JOWBR is one of several JewishGen activities that can help families fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Project Description
A team will spend time in each of the designated cemeteries to obtain the best images and photograph them. Once completed, the images will be sent to the JOWBR coordinator for processing and subsequent addition to the JOWBR database.

Estimated Cost
The cost to obtain the images will vary, based length of trip, travel costs, translation, location, size and conditions of cemeteries, etc. To donate, please click here.

[European Union and France] Right to Privacy on the Internet and Records

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

On May 28 I posted to this blog about the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament meeting to discuss the latest draft of Europe’s Data Protection Regulation and how it may affect access to records and it also applies to organizations based outside the European Union if they process personal data of EU residents.

In the June 17 edition of the New York Times there was an article on the Association of French Archivists and the European Union’s measures would grant Internet users a “right to be forgotten,” letting them delete damaging references to themselves in search engines,  appear to be in conflict. To try to soften the EU’s position the Association of French Archivists started a petition which currently has 50,000 names which they plan to present to the EU lawmakers. However, there are many other suggestions for modification and the recent disclosure of the US government’s PRISM program may effect what the EU does to soften or not.  To read the article go to:

Thank you to IAJGS Treasurer and IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee member Paul Silverstone for bringing the article to our attention.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

[USA] Georgia Archives To Add Staff and Hours- A Genealogical Community Success

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

It was recently reported that the Georgia Archives were transferred to the Georgia University System and the funding for the Archives was included in the state budget under the University system. The genealogical community worked together to retain the Archives and increase the funding that had originally been proposed. The Archives had suffered major staffing and hours cutbacks  over the past several years and it was hoped that the transfer would be the positive solution to the problem.  It was announced today-June 14 by Georgia Archives Director Christopher Davidson, that the Archives will be:  hiring three additional professionals; increasing part-time staff hours; opening to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning July 31. Weekly hours will be Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; increasing conservation and processing activities of the Archives collections.  To read more about this positive turn of events go to: .

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

[USA] NAPHSIS Alert and Updates on Legislative Wins--Genealogists Make a Difference!

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

At the recent National Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAHPSIS) annual meeting held in Phoenix, AZ an associate from the Records Preservation and  Access Committee (RPAC) * representative for the Board for Certification of Genealogists [BCG]  and Co-Director for Civil Records of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council , Barbara Mathews, informed RPAC that the NAPHSIS members—vital records officers--  do not count genealogists among their stakeholders . What is most distressing is that several of the state vital records officers ( state, county  records clerks) stated what they could not get through legislation,  i.e.,  the extended embargo periods for birth records for 125 years, marriage, annulment, divorce and death records 100 years, they  plan  to do by regulation.  We  need to be vigilant and watch proposed regulations coming out of each state as well as proposed legislation. The proposed regulations may be from the state Vital Records Division or Department of Health Services-varying by state. If you learn of any proposed regulations that address access to birth, marriage, death and divorce records please let me know.

* RPAC is a joint committee of Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), The National Genealogical Society (NGS), and IAJGS as sponsoring members. The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen), and the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) also serve as participating members. By invitation, RPAC also includes participation from a few commercial providers of genealogical information. RPAC meets monthly to inform and advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to vital records and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices at the federal, state, and occasionally the local level.
Genealogists made a difference this year and working together showed we can win these legislative initiatives that would adversely affect our access to vital records, census and other genealogically relevant materials. While not all state legislatures adjourned as of yet—some meet the year round such as Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, or go nine months such as California many have adjourned for the year while others will adjourn later this month or next month.  To check your state’s 2013  adjournment date see:

For those states that had issues that IAJGS has been following we have had some great successes due to the genealogical community’s efforts.  Here is a summary of some of our successes:

HB 5733, HB 5421

The Connecticut Legislature adjourned on June 5  (really 2AM on June 6) without taking action on the two bills that would have effected an embargo on death records. HB 5733 which would impose a 100-year waiting period for death records or HB 5421 which removes the genealogists exemption for immediate access and to the full death record. IAJGS submitted a statement to the House of Representatives expressing our concerns.

HB 6424 as previously reported to carry an amendment that would have allowed victims' families to have the final say on whether photos, videos, or audio "depicting the physical condition of any victim" can be released to the public. This affects the press rather than genealogists.  In the end, this was not the bill that this amendment.

SB 1146
This bill did carry the amendment and passed in the wee hours of June 6 ---they “stopped the clock” so the legislature could finish their work on this bill which amends the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act . The bill passed and Governor Daniel P. Malloy signed the bill into law within 12 hours and it became effective upon signing by the governor.  To read the passed amended version see:

Georgia  HB 287

Legislation was enacted that transferred the archives to the University System of Georgia  HB 287 saving what had thought to be the demise of the archives. The archives had already suffered through massive budget cuts resulting in being open only two days a week with a  much reduced staff. When Governor Deal also signed the budget bill allocating funding to the University System for the Archives –a two-pronged legislative approach—transferring authority and budgeting funds—the genealogical community knew we had “won”. While funding is not back to the previous years’ levels it is more than what had originally been budgeted for the two days a week with limited staff.

Oregon  HB 2093

Oregon HB 2093 if passed as originally introduced would have extended the current embargo period for birth records to 125 years and marriage and death to 100 years- as proposed in the 2011 proposed Model Vital Records Act.  Due to the great efforts by the genealogical community the bill was amended in the provision on the embargo of vital records to retain the existing embargo wait periods: 100 years for birth and 50 years for marriage and death., Other provisions not affecting access to vital records included in the 2011 Model Vital Records Act were adopted.  The bill passed both legislative chambers and as of the writing of this records access alert update, the Governor’s office has yet to receive the bill—it is still awaiting the signatures of the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House.  It is expected that both signatures will be forthcoming.  To read the enrolled version of the  bill go to:  The issue of interest to genealogists is on page 42 section(7).

Texas HB 3252

Texas genealogists were successful in getting –HB 3252 –left pending in committee on April 3. This bill would have adopted some of  the 2011 Proposed Model Vital Records Act and extended the embargo period for accessing records: birth records for 125 years and death records for 50 years. Current embargo periods are 75 years for birth and 25 years for death records. The Texas Legislature adjourned sine die on May 27 without further action-therefore the bill did not pass.

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

[Canada] Library and Archives Canada Annouonce Release of Updated Censuses: Lower Canada 1825;

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

The Library and Archives Canada recently announced releases of updated and new versions  and other previously not posted censuses on their website:
 The Lower Canada 1825 census is now on line. Lower Canada is modern-day Quebec and this census covers some 74,000 households. The 1825 census only contains the names of heads of family, their occupation, and the number of residents for each family. The database can be searched by family name, first name and keyword  To search the census go to:

A newly released version of the 1891 Canada census.  This was the third general census of Canada and covered seven provinces and one territory that were then in the Confederation:
British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.  This revision includes corrections submitted by the users and revised district and sub-district information.  To read about the revision go to:  Original url: 

To search the 1891 census go to: Original url:

Previously, it was reported on this listserve that the LAC had been the subject of severe budget cuts, and that the LAC president Daniel Caron resigned last month.  It has been reported that Heritage Minister James Moore will ask for consideration for restoring the National Archival Development Program, a program eliminated during recent federal budget cuts that helped hundreds of small museums across the country preserve local history.  Hervé Déry is Acting Librarian and Archivist of Canada until Heritage Minister Moore appoints a new chief of the LAC.  To read the article go to: Original url:

Thank you to Dick Eastman and the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter for informing us about the possible LAC funding restoration.

Library and Archives Canada  [LAC] posted to their website on June 4 that in a few weeks the 1921 Census will be available to researchers.  The census was taken on June 1, 1921 and covered 8.8 million people. Information for the census was collected on the following five subjects: population; agriculture; animals, animal products, fruits not on farms; manufacturing and trading establishments. There were 35 questions. There is a 92-year privacy requirement in Canada.  To read their press piece go to:

Look at the LAC website to find out exactly when the census will be available.  

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee