10 October 2015

Genealogy Social Networking Day 10 - Societies

Genealogy societies have been an important place for genealogists to get together for a long time. Even now they are common places for researchers to gather. Many have a web presence, local meetings, publications, and libraries of information. They also have experienced people to help you in your own research.

There are groups based on lineage or surname, location, or other commonalities (religion, military service, ethnicity, interest groups...). If you have a particular interest in an area of genealogy, there is probably a group for that. The fee to join is usually pretty small.

There are lots of local societies here in the US. And you don't have to live near an area to be in the society. For example if you live on the west coast, but have lots of family in one county on the east coast, you can still join the local society over there. They can be very helpful in finding local resources, answering questions, and might even do a quick lookup for you in their library. If they publish a newsletter, you will get that too, which might contain important information on your family or research area. It can connect you to many other researchers who are working in your area of interest, and might be connected to your own family.

Or you can join a society that is local to you and make friends with researchers in your home town even if you don't have family history in the area. Many societies will have meetings where you get together in person with others in the society. There is something awesome about meeting like minded individuals in person, especially now that the internet is so prevalent. People now often think of social networking as an online activity, but consider going 'old school' and meeting face to face.

Some societies will hold annual conferences where they bring in bigger name speakers. Others stick to smaller meetings with local speakers to talk about different subjects. Some societies do charity work; others offer free classes. There is always something to be gained by joining.

Do you belong to a genealogical society?