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Genealogy Societies

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There are hundreds of genealogical societies available to join.  Many formed by amateur researchers who sense a need for meetings and instruction. Because much family history research utilizes records found at the county level, many local societies represent counties. Organizations also form around shared interests. Ethnic or religious origins account for many such groups, such as the Polish Genealogical Society of America and P.O.I.N.T. (Pursuing Our Italian Names Together). Societies also form around common locality of origin of members' ancestors such as, the Palatines to America and Germans from Russia societies. Some of these local groups, including the two just mentioned, are chapters of national groups.

For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state council, or both. The following book is an invaluable tool in recognizing Genealogy Societies and locating them.  It offers addresses of societies all over the U.S: Elizabeth Bentley's The Genealogist's Address Book (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994). In addition to work of their own, these state-level societies sometimes help coordinate the efforts of local societies within the state. Their publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those produced by the local societies. Some state organizations, such as the Ohio Genealogical Society, offer chapter membership in the organization. Other state organizations operate on a less-formal basis.

Genealogy Societies have collected tons of records and materials and are a vast resource to genealogists.  Take advantage of that.  Contact the ones in your area of interest.  They can offer a lot of help and many times will do research for a small fee.  They are so well acquainted with the local records, it can make your job of locating records much easier.  Most of them have quarterly publications which can be of great value in locating people researching the same family as you.  Found in these publications are many local genealogy records.  Join some of them and you will receive their publications.  Another way to read these is to visit a local genealogy library.  Many of them subscribe to quarterly periodicals printed by Genealogy Societies from all over the U.S.  

Get involved in your local Genealogy Society!  You will find friends who share the same love of genealogy that you do and you can help preserve your county history and records. 


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