@ReclaimTheRecs You are a hero to genealogists. It drives me crazy seeing the wildly different "privacy" laws between states -- just look at PA vs NY for death certificates. Keep holding them accountable & working to raise awareness for open records! ❤
@ReclaimTheRecs Cheering you on for standing up to government agencies! They are the ones who are NUTS! Reclaiming the records is reclaiming all of our family histories. I'm sure our ancestors would be proud.😉
HELLO, YONKERS! Reclaim The Records has won our Freedom of Information fight for the birth and death records from Yonkers, New York! They’re now online, and free!
After literally years of negotiating and haggling (although luckily stopping short of yet another lawsuit), we are pleased to announce this first-ever publication of tens of thousands of late nineteenth and early twentieth century births and deaths for Yonkers. We’ve photographed the alphabetical indices, and for most years we were able to photograph the full birth and death registers, too!
And none of these record books had ever been available to the public to use or browse before, not even on microfilm at a library. And the people listed in these records were generally *not* in the statewide birth and death indices that we previously acquired and published for New York.
These photos are all new, and they’re gorgeous.
Click here to read our latest newsletter with all the details, and with direct links to all the now-online record books, which span from roughly 1875 to 1916, with a few gaps:
Thanks to our attorney Dave Rankin for handling all the legal paperwork that finally got the Yonkers City Clerk’s Office to stop messing around and give the public our rightful access to these important historical records. And a special shout-out to our intrepid RTR board member Jonathan Webb Deiss for going on a road trip last October to laboriously photograph these books for us.
And if you’re happy to see these kinds of free (and copyright-free) historical records go online, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to support our work — so that we can do more of it, and reclaim more records for more towns and cities and states.
Our groundbreaking Sunshine Law victory against the state of Missouri, in our fight for copies of the birth index and death index, is making headlines around the country! Here’s Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who has covered our story for four years as part of his beat, with a new column about the dénouement:
🎉 WE WON! WE WON! 🎉 We won our long-running Sunshine Law case for the Missouri birth index 1920-2015 and the Missouri death index 1968-2015! These text indices are going to go online for free public use, both searchable and downloadable, and they’ll never be locked up by the state again!
And we were also awarded our attorneys fees by the judge! And those will probably be in the low six figures. Thanks, Missouri taxpayers!
And we even were awarded FINES against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, for their four separate "knowing and purposeful" violations of the law! Fines are very hard to get, and as far as we know, no one’s ever won MULTIPLE fines against a state agency in a Missouri Sunshine Law case before. But we did!
Our sincere thanks go to our intrepid attorneys Bernie Rhodes and Taryn Nash at Lathrop Gage in Missouri, for shepherding this case through four and half years of hard and careful work.
And thank you to all of you, for your continued support for our open records work! We’re going to keep doing this kind of work, state by state and city by city, until all genealogical and historical public records go online for free public use, as they should be! … See MoreSee Less
Reclaim The Records is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our EIN is 81-4985446. Contact us at [email protected]