Week 12 – #52Ancestors
My goal in this challenge is to write about my ancestors. However, with a lineage full of farmers (which is perhaps a membership itself), I do not have anyone who belonged to any particular club or group of interest. Instead, I’ll discuss membership in genealogy societies.
I belong to: National Genealogy Society; North Carolina Genealogical Society; Tennessee Genealogical Society; Virginia Genealogical Society; Utah Genealogical Association; and, the LancasterHistory (the repository for Lancaster, PA historical documents).
I have joined these groups for a variety of reasons. One of the best ways to get involved in the genealogy community is by joining a local genealogy society. These societies bring together individuals with a shared interest in genealogy and offer a wealth of benefits for members. Some benefits of joining a genealogy society are:
1. Access to Expertise and Resources
Genealogy societies typically have members with a range of expertise and experience levels. This means that whether you are a beginner or an experienced genealogist, you can benefit from the knowledge of others. Members can share tips and tricks, offer guidance on research methods, and provide access to resources that may be difficult to find on your own. Many societies also have their own libraries or archives, where members can access records, publications, and other research materials.
2. Networking Opportunities
Joining a local genealogy society can help you connect with others who share your passion for family history. You can meet like-minded individuals who can provide support and encouragement as you work on your research. Genealogy societies often host regular meetings, workshops, and conferences, providing opportunities to learn from guest speakers and engage in group activities. You may even find a mentor or research partner who can help you tackle challenging research problems.
3. Educational Opportunities
Most, if not all, genealogy societies offer conferences or webinars that focus on regional resources or discussions of research methodology. Serious genealogists are always looking for ways to improve their research and their writing. Several of the larger societies offer week-long institutes that provide more in-depth education into a particular research area, using DNA, or writing articles or reports.
4. Volunteer Opportunities
Genealogy societies are often run by volunteers, and there are usually opportunities to get involved in various capacities. You may be able to serve on a committee, help with event planning, or assist with research projects. Volunteering can be a great way to give back to the community while also developing new skills and making new connections.
Although none of my personal genealogy research is in the area in which I live, I joined my local historical society and also volunteer there as way to give back to the genealogy community. In addition, I have learned more about the resources available here, which will be a huge benefit when I start helping others with their research.
5. Sense of Community
Finally, joining a local genealogy society can provide a sense of community and belonging. It can be rewarding to connect with others who share your interests and to feel part of a group that is working together toward common goals. Genealogy societies often have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and members can develop lasting friendships.
Joining a local genealogy society can offer a range of benefits for genealogy enthusiasts. By providing access to expertise and resources, networking opportunities, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and a sense of community, genealogy societies can help individuals to deepen their understanding of their family history and connect with others who share their passion.