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The Worth of Genealogy Societies

Genealogy Societies, whether national, local or in our ancestor's home town, provide us with educational and networking opportunities.

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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Gena Philibert-Ortega
Word Count: 667 (approx.)
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More and more we are living in a virtual world. We can literally work on our genealogy 24 hours a day 7 days a week from our home and in our pajamas if we so choose. Although, the online resources available to us has helped us immensely, it has isolated us in a way. It is easy to concentrate so much on the dead that we forget that the living can benefit our genealogy too!

I think there are two really important reasons for joining a society-whether a local society, one in your ancestral homeland, or a national group. First, societies provide us with educational opportunities. This can be in the form of in person educational presentations, annual seminars or newsletters. Second, societies provide the opportunity to network with other genealogists. This can be so important to breaking down brick walls.

National Societies

The National Genealogical Society (NGS), National Genealogical Society , provides many different member benefits. For your yearly membership fee, currently $60.00 for an individual, you receive two NGS print publications, the NGS Newsmagazine and the NGS Quarterly as well as their email newsletter. Both print publications are well worth the price of membership. The quarterly Newsmagazine has great articles that teach genealogists about resources and methodology that is useful for the beginner as well as those who are more advanced in their research skills. Other benefits include exclusive member databases, discounts to the NGS bookstore and annual conference, For more details of membership benefits see http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/memberindiv.cfm.

Other national societies have a specialized membership that they are geared towards. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), Federation of Genealogical Societies is a membership organization whose members are other genealogy societies. It helps the genealogical community but aiding societies in strengthening and growing. Every year FGS conducts a 4-day conference that is open to the genealogical community.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) found at Association of Professional Genealogists is an organization that assists genealogists working in all types of fields learn more about genealogy and to promote the field of genealogy. While you do not need to be a professional genealogists to join, the print publication APG Quarterly is geared to those working in the field.

State Genealogy Societies

Some genealogy societies operate on a state level. Some state genealogy societies include:

Alabama: http://algensoc.org/

Arizona: The Family History Society of Arizona - Arizona Genealogical Soci

California State Genealogical Alliance: http://www.csga.com/

Delaware Genealogical Society: Delaware Genealogical Society

Florida: Florida State Genealogical Society

Georgia: Georgia Genealogical Society

Idaho: http://www.idahogenealogy.org

[Editor Note: At press time, the Idaho Genealogy Society web site, being updated, was unavailable. If the link does not work, please try again later. We believe the URL, the web address, to be correct.]

Illinois: Home Page

Indiana: Indiana Genealogical Society

Iowa: Iowa Genealogical Society

Kansas: Kansas Genealogical Society

Kentucky: Kentucky Genealogical Society

Louisiana: Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society

Maine: http://www.rootsweb.com/~megs/

Maryland: http://www.mdgensoc.org/

Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society: http://www.rootsweb.com/~mimmgs/

Western Michigan Genealogical Society: Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Minnesota: Minnesota Genealogical Society

Missouri: Missouri State Genealogical Association

Nebraska: Nebraska State Genealogical Society

New Jersey: The Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ)

New Mexico: New Mexico Genealogical Society

New York: The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society

North Carolina: North Carolina Genealogical Society

North Dakota: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ndsgs/

Ohio: The Ohio Genealogical Society

Oregon: Oregon Genealogical Society

Pennsylvania: http://www.genpa.org/

Rhode Island: http://www.rigensoc.org/

South Carolina: http://www.scgen.org/

Tennessee: http://www.tngs.org/

Texas: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txsgs/

Tri State Genealogy Society (South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana): http://www.idahogenealogy.org/

Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society

Washington: Washington State Genealogical Society

West Virginia: http://members.aol.com/edeaj/wvgenealogicalsociety.html

Wisconsin: http://www.wsgs.org/

Local Genealogy Societies

Your local genealogy society is a great place to network with fellow genealogists, learn from invited speakers, and partake in benefits that only membership brings. Depending on the society, benefits might include access to online databases, discounts on publications and seminars/conferences, genealogical field trips, and newsletters.

Genealogy Societies in your Ancestor's Hometown

Joining a society in your ancestor's hometown can provide you with benefits even if it is in an area too far to attend regular meetings or to actively participate. Joining a society can acquaint members with your research and family as well as provide you with discounts on research and queries in their newsletter.

Finding a Society

To find your local society, check out your newspaper's community pages for announcements of upcoming meetings. To find a society near you or in your ancestor's hometown you may want to consult, Society Hill at http://www.daddezio.com/society/ . Society Hill provides a listing of genealogy societies in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2008.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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