Reviewing Records Should Not Break The Bank

November 2, 2005

Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) is asking for public and organizational support for Assembly bill A.07209, which would cut in half the cost of copying and reviewing records for genealogical purposes. The bill also allows genealogical society members to review records at no cost.

Kolb was joined at a Nov. 2 press conference by bill proponents Lu Krahl of the Ontario County Genealogical Society; Ron Krahl, chair of the New York State Council of Genealogical Organizations; and Ed Varno of the Ontario County Historical Society. The event was held at the Ontario County Historical Society headquarters in Canandaigua.

“I truly feel for New Yorkers who are researching and learning about their family histories, but have to shell out hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars to do it,” said Kolb. “The cost of copying just one page of genealogical records can be as high as $25, and avid researchers can make hundreds of copies per research job. That cost is astronomical and unacceptable.”

Lu Krahl, a former teacher and co-president of the Ontario County Genealogical Society, said, “Today, one of the most popular interests in our country is tracing family histories and immigrants who come with stories, traditions, beliefs and characters to bequeath future generations. Families who have been fortunate to find not only the names of previous generations but their stories, share those stories eagerly and pass them on with reverence, humor or disbelief at the perseverance, strength and courage that they discover in their histories.”

A surgeon general’s report on family history initiatives states, “Encouraging genealogy enables us to trace illnesses suffered by parents, grandparents and other blood relatives to help doctors predict the disorders to which we may be at risk and take action to keep our families healthy.”

“It is in the best interest of both the citizens of New York and state government itself to encourage genealogy through allowing genealogists to buy copies of vital records for genealogical purposes at half the present rate,” said Ron Krahl, former superintendent of schools and chair of the New York State Council of Genealogical Organizations.

For more information, contact Assemblyman Kolb at his district office at (315)781-2030 or by e-mail at