Genealogy societies are an incredible resource for genealogists and family historians. Beginners can, of course, learn a lot from these societies; however, advanced-level researchers can also benefit in several ways by being members.
There are several genealogy societies across the world; more than 450 societies are part of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, but there are many others as well.
Here’s what you need to know before joining one.
What Is a Genealogy Society
Genealogy societies are also sometimes known as family history societies, and they’re typically nonprofits with several members. These members may be anyone from experienced genealogists to beginner researchers and other genealogy enthusiasts.
The purpose of a genealogy society is to provide support and resources through shared knowledge. These societies are often founded based on common lineage, ethnicity, religion, or common surnames.
Some genealogy societies are larger with more members, spanning across regions with their own libraries, journals, and other helpful resources for members.
Why Should You Join One?
When you start genealogy research, you’ll likely come across many societies and their available resources. These resources are the primary reason many family historians are part of these societies. Some of them have their own sections in libraries, others have entire libraries, and as a family researcher, you would want to get your hand on some of the books. Also, they may even have members-only databases, which can make your research much easier.
Besides resources, joining a society would also give you a chance to network with other researchers. This is not only going to make your research more fun, but it’ll also provide you with learning opportunities. And of course, you’d have someone to turn to for help, without having to pay them!
Finally, joining a genealogy society is a great way to stay on top of things like new genealogy publications and journals and any great conferences and workshops in the field.
So, in general, joining a genealogy society is a great way to expand your learning scope and make sure you have the support you need in case of any brick walls and pitfalls.
The Genealogy Societies You Should Join
Once you decide that you do want to join a genealogy society, the next important step is to shortlist the societies that’ll help your research the most.
Since there is no limit to the number of societies you can join, we suggest you start by joining the three most helpful ones:
- The National Genealogical Society
- The New England Historic And Genealogical Society
- American Society of Genealogists
Besides these, you should also look at the Federation of Genealogical Societies to find a society that works for your research. We also recommend joining your state’s genealogical society; almost all states have one. These can make it very easy for you to keep up with the latest genealogy news, and you can also reach out to members for help with research.