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Family History Society
And how they can be helpful

To further aid you in your genealogical research efforts, you may want to consider joining a genealogical or Family History Society located in your area. Joining these organisations will bring you in contact with several people who share your interest in this fascinating field of study as well as potentially make available to you the vast network of genealogical research materials available at their disposal.

These genealogical research societies typically offer a wealth of material, which may be maintained on the premises or housed in another site. These research materials are usually only made available to registered members of that particular society which makes membership a beneficial arrangement.

Aside from the research material available, membership in these societies will also present the added benefit of guidance from other members who may have far more experience in the field of genealogical research than you do, not to mention the support and solidarity you will feel from working with other people who share the same goals and interests.

Family History Societies are generally non-profit or charitable endeavours, with people united to share a love for such pursuits and a genuine desire to spread the knowledge that they have themselves gained over the years from dedicated research and good old-fashioned legwork.

Many people offer their services to these societies purely on a voluntary basis and as such make no money from it. For many members, the passion for the task as well as the opportunity to share information more than makes up for any financial rewards that they may attain.

The focus and coverage of these Family History Societies vary from organisation to organisation, with some groups concentrating on family history, bloodlines and familial lineages of one particular geographical area while others may focus on a particular race or ethnic group. You should determine for yourself before hand what the primary focus of the organisation you are joining is before signing up for membership; if you are mostly concerned with tracing ancestors of German-American immigrants for example, a Family History Society dedicated to Jewish clans would hardly be of any use to you! Of course, you never know where a clue is going to turn up and many leads have been gathered from sources where they were not usually expected. In general though, it would be best to stick with the organisation that is devoted to your particular area of interest.

While the field of genealogical research may have at one time been a highly specialised area of interest with only a few devotees, it is now a very popular activity for many thousands of people worldwide and the Family History Societies have grown into a very significant source of information in this field of study. Many of these societies count prominent and well respected community members among their rosters, who share an interest in preserving their particular town’s historical legacy by keeping comprehensive records of family histories and bloodlines. The publication of member’s journals and directory listings as well as indexing and archiving functions only serves to heighten the importance of these organisations.

Original Authors: Doods Pangburn
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 20/06/2008

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