14 January 2010

Genealogy Societies

Didn't blog yesterday, I've been busy this week with three speaking engagements & babysitting the grandsons. Sure can tell I'm not 25 anymore!

Tonight I'm speaking at my "home" genealogy club - The Ford Genealogy Club, doing one of my favorite talks, Color Your Ancestor Alive! I've been a part of this group since its beginnings many years ago. I enjoy both the genealogy & social parts of this club. Its great to share a find and know that many people there share the excitement!

I am a big supporter of Genealogy societies & the work they do. A great place to learn more, make local connections and give back to the genealogical community. Its winter now, there's snow on the ground and the temps are cold in many parts of the country. But its not going to be like this forever. Soon the temps will warm up & the society volunteers will head out to read more cemeteries -- the very same cemetery books that you use when you go to the library to research. Maybe they'll be off to the courthouse to transcribe records, or to a local funeral home to transcribe records there.

Some will put them in their newsletters, some will publish into books. All to help YOU with your research. I know there is alot on the internet, but there's still alot out there that is not on the internet and may not ever make it to the internet.

Most genealogy societies have memberships that start at less than a good dinner for two, usually in the $20-$25 range. This helps keep the lights on, the copiers going and volunteers a place to come & do YOUR lookups. I've heard all the preaching about genealogy being free, and I do agree to a point, but most monies paid to these societies isn't about lavish buildings and fancy copiers, its about keeping the lights & heat on so YOU can get lookups or come & research. The information in the newsletters - usually records etc., alone should be worth the cost of a membership. As I said not everything is on the internet.

Joining a society in the county your ancestor lived in can get you reduced prices on books & materials, the newsletter which might have more information - and if you are really lucky some connections to living descendants in the area. What more could you ask for?

So why not start the new year off on the right foot - write a check & join a genealogy society - one in your area to support local research - bloom where you are planted, or one in the area your ancestors lived.

I'm sure you'll be glad you did!

Happy Researching!

**Photo is of some of our Ford Club members at dinner after a meeting. A great time was had by all!


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

I belong to a Louisiana society (for my ancestors) and a local society (for social fun). I love being a part of both. Thanks for the suggestion. I hope people heed your advice. :)

Becky Higgins said...

I agree with the importance of genealogy societies. Among other projects my local society, Elgin Genealogical Society (IL) has worked for years extracting vital information published in the old Elgin newspapers housed at the Gail Borden Library. Now that data can be accessed through the the library's website at http://innovative.gailborden.info:82/. Just an example:)

TennLady said...

Great points, Karen!

Greta Koehl said...

Good idea, and in fact it's one of my resolutions. I belong to the local one but want to joint NGS and/or a society in one of my research areas in addition this year.

GrannyPam said...

Thanks for the reminder, Karen. You know I agree.