State Registrar Retires After Nearly a Half Century of Service to the Commonwealth
, 2023-01-31 14:30:58,
The State Registrar is retiring after nearly half a century of service to the Commonwealth
Janet M. Rainey worked to ensure equal issuance of vital records, and to right wrongs for Native Americans
In nearly half a century serving in the Virginia Vital Records Unit, State Registrar Janet M. Rainey has had a front row seat to the historical, cultural, societal, and technological changes affecting the state’s collection and dissemination of information about births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.
Rainey, 66, retired from the Virginia Department of Health on January 31. During her tenure, she helped the agency evolve from a paper-based system to one that makes records available electronically at dozens of local health departments and DMV offices. She helped implement legislative mandates for genealogical research and death reports. She helped hundreds of Native Americans who sought to correct birth certificates that labeled them “colored” at the insistence of white supremacist Walter Blaker, Virginia’s first registrar of vital records. She ensured that marriage reporting forms reflected the legalization of same-sex marriage, helped citizens navigate the process for registering unregistered and home births and found new ways to streamline the processes for recording all vital records.
“Miss. Rainey’s dedication to ensuring the safety and security of Virginia’s vital records has benefited all Virginians. Hundreds of thousands of vital records requests…
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