A few days ago I wrote a Some Thoughts for the Genealogy Societies in the World. I’ve given genealogy societies some words of advice, but I think it is time to discuss why you should join a genealogy society. These are my reasons for joining a genealogy society:
- Social Networking: While I love keeping up to date with all of my genealogy buddies on Facebook and Twitter, it isn’t the same as in-person socializing. I crave social time with people that get the whole, “I search for dead people” thing. I don’t just want someone to have a conversation with (although those are nice) but I want someone I an truly call a friend. Someone who I can take field trips to libraries and archives with. Someone to share a hotel room with during conferences. And someone to get together with and talk about our latest research struggles. I want a genealogy social life and a genealogy society is the best way to create the social life.
- Education: I am always looking to learn about other resources, methodologies, and technologies to help me research my ancestors. Genealogy societies not only have members with knowledge, but also bring in speakers or conduct classes. Sometimes they release newsletters with lots of good educational information or articles to learn from. Some societies even host webinars to bring in speakers from all over the country (and the world).
- Access to Stuff: Lots of societies have a library that sometimes requires a small fee for nonmembers to research. Being a member of that society can give you free access to the library. Some societies also offer at-home access to subscription sites so you can do research at home in your pajamas.
- Support History: Sometimes, it makes sense to join a society because you want to financially support the cause of the society. Many societies are doing projects to preserve and record the local history – without these societies (and your financial support), the local history could be lost forever.
Those are my 4 reasons for joining a genealogy society. Why do you join genealogy societies?