Today I pondered the different societies that I have joined. I would like to share them with you and how I benefited from them.
- The Tennessee Genealogical Society was the first genealogy society I joined. I was lucky in that it was located near my home. I did not realize that although it had volumes of information in the forms of books, microfilm and family submissions, they also had genealogical materials from all of the United States, other counties and topics that ranged from the wars, ethnic groups to family history instruction. They had lectures and classes to instruct me several times throughout the month. It was also a great support system to meet and make friends with others who were interested in the same things I was interested in! To get the most out of the society, it really helps to volunteer as your time permits.
- I joined the International Society of Family History Writers & Editors because I loved to write. This organization has been a great support system to me. I can read their articles and blogs to give me ideas on furthering my research. There are times when it is nice to have that second pair of eyes, and I know I can email them for a quick edit of my writings. They have writing competitions and host luncheons at the conferences. I have enjoyed meeting others who share my passion for writing.
- The National Genealogical Society is a wonderful resource for both the beginner and the advanced. They offer courses in several topics to further one’s genealogical Education. They host wonderful conferences every year with great informative lectures. Their website offers articles, interviews, NGSQ magazine issues, and other features in their Member’s Only section.
- While it is important to support your local society, do not forget those societies that are in areas where you ancestor’s lived. They may have information that will help you in your research. Personally, I have family in the Prentiss County, MS area. I have tried to stay connected to them and have greatly benefitted from it. I enjoy their newsletter they send out and have made great friends. It is a great way to meet cousins you never knew about!
- In the last few years I have tried to start writing a blog, Gtownma’s Genealogy. I discovered a group that was very supportive of those blogging about genealogy and history. GeneaBloggers is a wonderful resource to those who blog, but also to those who read them. It provides daily topics to write on and their members offer great support. I highly recommend anyone interested in genealogy and/or history to visit their website, and joining if they have a Blog.
- While I am not currently an active member, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was another organization that I joined and hope to renew one day. It was very patriotic and had some great speakers. We had projects that we participated in and wonderful local, state and national conferences. Their website has some great resources, that even those not members can benefit from.
- I recently became a mentor of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. In my research I am often looking for the living and those who have died. I love the investigative side of the research and this group was very exciting; I wanted to learn more of what they had to offer and apply it to my work. It has been a great support system to me and I have made some wonderful friends. It has been a unique opportunity to learn some new standards in this field that is quickly gaining popularity in the genealogical/historical community.
Take time to review the societies you are a member of. Are you taking advantage of what they have to offer; are you a contributing member? Are there societies you can benefit from? I would like to challenge you to visit a society; the educational and networking opportunities can be very rewarding.