Genealogy Society: When, Why, And How To Join

A depiction symbolizing a genealogy society

Joining a genealogy society can be a game-changer in understanding your family heritage. Family history research landscape is vast, and being a member of a community helps understand your ancestry and create a network of like-minded people.

This guide provides insights into three essential questions in genealogy. Why join, How to join, and When to join.

These insights will provide a deeper understanding of the benefits you reap by joining a society, the steps to becoming a member, and the various stages at which joining is most necessary

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Key Takeaways

  • Joining a society early enough helps start your family history research on the right footing.
  • Benefits of becoming a member include access to exclusive record, educational workshops and Seminars.
  • The right society for you will depend on your budget, research objectives, and preferences.

When Is the Right Stage to Join A Genealogy Society?

Family Tree Example Template that can help in your genealogy society membership

Family Tree

You can join early in your research or later. Early membership saves your time while a later date promises more advanced resources, specialized databases, and the opportunity to share your expertise.

Read below for instances that may require you to join

Starting Family Research

As a beginner, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed by the resources and information you have to gather. Joining a genealogy society as you start your family history exploration can equip you with essential tips, guidance, and a network of professionals who can mentor you along the way.

Research Roadblocks

Joining might offer lectures, workshops, and forums, vital in solving challenging puzzles.

Exploring Historical Ties

When you discover ties in your family tree, you may be eager to extend them by checking possible connections. Becoming a member helps you find fellow researchers with whom you can collaborate or check possible shared ancestral lines.

Geographical Relocation

If you relocate to a place significant to your heritage, becoming a member helps you access cultural insights, local expertise, and historical records.

Why Is It Necessary to Join a Society?

hands joining together as supposed in a genealogy society

Symbol of togetherness

Joining a genealogy society comes with various benefits that cater to your needs. From inequivalent access to advanced resources to a cast networking opportunity, membership can significantly boost your ancestral research journey.

Let’s explore the specific benefits members reap.

Access to Exclusive Records and Resources

Genealogy societies often maintain vast databases of hard-to-find records, so joining at the right time can grant you access and fill gaps in your family research.

Essential records and resources you will likely access include rare manuscripts and documents, local and regional records, and private databases.

Educational Workshops and Seminars

Genealogy societies regularly organize educational events, seminars, and workshops to deepen members’ skills, keep them updated on trends, and broaden their history knowledge.

Notably, these events are led by experienced researchers who, besides providing guidance, focus on DNA testing and genetic genealogy to help you understand and leverage genealogy DNA results.

Networking Opportunities and Research Breakthroughs

Members of a genealogy society share a passion for family history research. So, by becoming one, you engage with a vibrant community that offers a network of opportunities and helps you discover distant relatives.

Discounts and Perks

Genealogy societies offer discounts for events, workshops, and seminars, saving you money and, at the same time, expanding your network and knowledge.

Similarly, most societies partner with other sites, experts, and publications, offering members favorable rates for additional assistance and resources.

Recognition and Participation

Becoming a member of a family history society can lead to appreciation and recognition for volunteering, sharing findings, or mentorship. You can participate and help the effort to understand and preserve history on a specific period, name, or location.

How to Conduct Family History Research on A Budget

How To Choose the Right Family History Society

Group of professionals

Socializing and Networking

The selection process involves comparing each community and selecting the best one that aligns with your needs and goals.

Follow the process below to find the best society for you.

Look at Different Societies

Check whether the society’s geographical focus is relevant to your research. If you want to focus on regional records and history, consider joining a local community. However, consider national or international societies if you have broad genealogical interests.

It’s also noteworthy to consider a society that aligns with your specialization, such as military genealogy, DNA research, and immigrant ancestry.

Similarly, check the society’s online presence and see if it can help with online research, especially when physical meetings are impossible.

Weigh the Benefits

Compare the membership benefits offered by different societies. Evaluate the resources and databases to ensure they are helpful and up to date. It should also offer webinars, seminars, or workshops on topics of interest to help you stay current with genealogical advancements and improve your research skills.

Lastly, examining the facilitation of members’ collaboration and networking as a vibrant community can make your membership valuable and exciting.

Assess Fees

Compare membership fees across societies and go with what falls within your budget. Be sure to also review the obligations and commitments to ensure you’re signing for something you can accommodate into your already complicated schedule.

Seek Recommendations

Ask fellow researchers for recommendations on reputable societies and use their insights and experiences to make the right decision. Similarly, check for testimonials and reviews from current and past members to gauge overall member satisfaction.

Attend Events

If possible, attend webinars, online events, and virtual meetings organized by the society to understand the culture and engagement among members. In-person attendance would also provide an excellent opportunity for firsthand experience with leaders and fellow genealogists.

Evaluate Communication and Support

Consider society’s communication channels, such as online forums, email updates, and newsletters. Regular communication can keep you engaged and informed about resources and events.

It’s also essential to ensure that it has accessible customer support for inquiries with membership or research-related questions.

These guidelines and thorough research will equip you when choosing a valuable society in your exploration journey.

How to Become a Member of a Genealogy Society

the warm welcome when joining a genealogy society

You Are A Member

Joining is a straightforward process involving visiting the website and completing the application form.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to join.

  1. Choose Wisely: After making the proper considerations, choose the society you want to join based on your interests and goals.
  2. Study the Website: Once you’ve identified a society of interest, visit their website and look for information about the application process, fees, and membership benefits.
  3. Complete the Application form: Choose your preferred membership option and complete the application form with accurate information.

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  4. Make Payment: Check the accepted payment methods and use the most secure option for your case.
  5. Become a Member: After payment, you should receive membership confirmation that indicates your approval as a member of that society.

Visit RecordClick to learn more about genealogy research and leveraging your membership.