Geographical societies

Chapter 7 introduces geography-based genealogical societies as groups that can help you discover resources in a particular area in which your ancestors lived, or as groups in your hometown that can help you discover how to research effectively. However, local genealogical societies can provide another service to their members. These societies often coordinate local research efforts of the members in the form of projects. To locate geographical societies, follow our advice in Chapter 7 or check out the site of a genealogical-society federation such as one of these:

^ Federation of Genealogical Societies, Society Hall page, at www.family history.com/societyhall/

^ Federation of Family History Societies at www.ffhs.org.uk

These projects can take many forms. For example, the Illinois State Genealogical Society (www.rootsweb.com/~ilsgs/) is working on several projects, including creating a database of county marriage records, updating a list of Illinois pioneers, compiling an index of Civil War certificates issued, and forming a list of all cemeteries in the state. (See Figure 11-3.)

Smaller groups of members sometimes work on projects in addition to the society's official projects. For example, you may belong to a county genealogical society and decide to join with a few members to write a history of the pioneers who settled a particular township within the county. If each member of the team shares the fruits of his or her research, you can cover three or four times more ground than you can by yourself.

Figure 11-3:

Cemetery entries for Fayette County, Illinois, on the ISGS site.

Figure 11-3:

Cemetery entries for Fayette County, Illinois, on the ISGS site.

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