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Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland


Sunday April, 2018
Save the date for our next meeting!
Please join us on Sunday, April 29, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., at the Pikesville Library’s meeting room, 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, to hear Brooke Schreier Ganz present “Reclaim The Records: Using Freedom of Information Laws for Genealogy.”

Tired of being told by archives, libraries, and government agencies that the genealogical records you want are “unavailable”? We were, too, so we figured out how to do something about it. We’re Reclaim The Records, a new not-for-profit activist group of more than 5000 genealogists, researchers, historians, and journalists. We use Freedom of Information laws—and sometimes even lawsuits—to obtain copies of previously inaccessible archival record sets, which we then put online for free public use. We’ve won the first-ever public and online access to more than twenty million archival records, including the New York City marriage license index (1909–1995), the New York State death index (1880–1956), and the New Jersey marriage index (1901–2016), and we have an ongoing lawsuit for the Missouri birth and death index (1910–present), and more. This presentation will explain how we accomplished this, as well as the history and legal basics of Freedom of Information laws, and will teach researchers how to file requests for any records that may help their own family tree research.

Brooke Schreier Ganz is the founder and president of Reclaim The Records, and the first genealogist to successfully sue a government archive for the return of records to the public. Her work has helped non-profit organizations like the Israel Genealogical Research Association and Gesher Galicia publish over 1.5 million unique genealogical records online for free use. Her personal genealogical interests include Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, and New York City.
Past Programs

See our past programs here.


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Upcoming Programs

Please visit our programs page for details on our 2013-2014 programming schedule.

News Tidbits

JGS Maryland has been reconstituted!
JGSMD had its initial meeting on Sunday August 18, 2013 to see if there was interest in the group's reconstituting. The turnout was overwhelming, with 31 people attending with only a few days' notice. Look forward to new programming over the next year!
Some of the attendees:

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