I wrote a post here a few days ago regarding my great grandmother’s delayed birth certificate. Mary Elizabeth Elliott was born in 1909, and the State of Kansas did not record birth certificates until 1911. She filed for a delayed birth certificate, which requires affidavits to be submitted as evidence to prove the birth facts stated on the delayed birth certificate.
I was curious if those affidavits are available to me, as part of my genealogy research, and sent an email to the State of Kansas.
Here is their official reply:
Kansas is a closed record state, so those are now sealed records. It would take a court order for us to release any documents we have relating to the filing of the Delayed Birth Certificate.
Wow. This is unbelievably frustrating. I do not understand why the government people are making it more difficult to do genealogy research. This is my great grandmother, and I cannot find out more about her?
I understand the concern for identity theft. I also understand, to a certain extent, privacy for cases of adoption. This is not an adoption.
Let’s look closer at this particular case. The child in question was born in 1909. She filed for a delayed birth certificate in 1944. Her mother died in 1939, so no affidavit could be filed by the mother. Her father, born in 1881, who she was likely not in contact with, could have been deceased at that time, but certainly is deceased by now. The affidavits were submitted by the child’s grandparents (Albert William Jones, 1862-1946 & Josephine Rebekah Wilson, 1876-1951) who are certainly deceased by now as well. We are talking about my great grandmother, and my 3rd great grandparents. Everyone involved is now dead. Why are the records sealed if everyone is dead? It makes no sense to me.
Adoption (not this case) and identity theft is one thing, but this is unbelievably frustrating. What is the logic behind the law of sealing the documents?
Well, consider the complaint filed. I can’t do anything about it now. I urge anyone who works in a government office to consider the laws they pass and the effect those laws will have on people. There are documents available, sources that have information that may help me identify and learn more about my 2nd great grandfather, but I have no access to those records. Because those records are sealed. It takes a court order to get access to those records.
Wow. That’s a brick wall.