Inside Sources: Join the Club

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

Belonging to a genealogical society can be a big boost to your family search. Just consider these membership benefits:

Camaraderie: This is one of the most enjoyable benefits. You’ll find research buddies to help celebrate discoveries and offer moral support when you’re up against a brick wall.

Meetings and conferences: Be sure to take advantage of meetings — usually, they’re monthly — where you’ll connect with other members and get expert research lessons on local sources. Societies also might sponsor conferences or family history fairs where you can gain even more know-how.

Tours and trips: Some societies arrange special tours of historic sites and group tours to research facilities such as the Family History Library. You might get workshop discounts, too.

Newsletters: As a member, you’ll likely receive a quarterly or bimonthly newsletter and the perk of publishing queries in it (or on the society’s Web site). These newsletters often contain society members’ record transcriptions.

Local connections: Even if you live hundreds of miles from your ancestral hometown, consider joining that area’s society. Its members likely know where to find all kinds of local records — such as censuses, wills, deeds, pioneer biographies, newspapers and early histories. What you need may even be on the shelves at the group’s library.
From the September 2005 Family Tree Sourcebook