Getting Involved with Genealogical Societies

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There are times when dealing with all of the different record sets and methods of researching your family can be overwhelming. On such occasions it's nice to be able to sit down with people who have similar experiences or more knowledge than you and discuss your research problems. One place that you can find such a group is your local genealogical society. Genealogical societies hold periodic meetings that focus on particular research methods. Some also have weekend seminars where they bring in genealogical lecturers to address topics of interest to their members.

If you have research needs in other areas of the country (or foreign countries for that matter), you might consider joining a society in that area. Although you do not live there, you can still use the resources of the society to find answers to your questions, and you can contribute to the distant organization more than you realize by sharing your findings and experiences. Most societies have people who are well versed in the records that pertain to the area where the society is located. These individuals can be a great resource as you go through the research process.

To find a genealogical society in the United States, check out the Federation of Genealogical Societies Society Hall at

A general search engine (such as Google or AltaVista) can help you find societies in other countries.

We delve into genealogical societies a bit more and explore specific ways you can become active and benefit from them in Chapter 11.

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