Saturday, December 31, 2011

Do You Know Bill Bateman from Chicago?

At the library where I work part-time, this photo was found in a donated book. No one knows who donated it. It has quite a bit of genealogical detail on the back, so I hope that a descendant of his sees this.

Here's the back of the picture:
The back says:
"William Harrison Bateman (Bill)
military academy, Chicago Ill
mother of Bill - Rosie Bateman
father of Bill a buyer
for Marshall Fields Chicago

Bill's sister - "Dick" Bateman
Gamma Phi Beta (Nat. Sorority
U. of Wisconsin -
married to Luke Goetzloff) spelling?

Bill served with General Patton
So. Africa
2nd World War

visited [?] & Jo Cucknells
in Charlottesvile [?] before leaving USA
for Africa

Following war employed by
Sherwin Williams Paint Co in

Unfortunately, there are no years on the back of the picture, but I hope there is enough detail that a relative will recognize him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Many PA Birth and Death Certificates Will Become Open Records

After a long campaign spearheaded by People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access, Vital Records Law Senate Bill 361 was signed into law on December 15, 2011 and will take effect on February 13, 2012. This means that Pennsylvania death certificates over 50 years old and birth certificates over 105 years old will become open records, and will then be transferred to the holdings of the Pennsylvania Archives. 

I am elated to hear that Pennsylvania has taken the first step to catch up to other states in terms of vital record access. As the completely redesigned PaHR-Access site points out, the next step is to ensure that these records will become searchable online through the Pennsylvania Archives website. I look forward to helping with this effort in any way that I can. 

PaHR-Access has listed several ways that researchers can help with the campaign to get these records online here.