Saturday, October 1, 2016

What Was the First Genealogical Society You Joined? -- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

What was the first genealogical society you joined?  Why did you join that one?

2)  Share your response in a comment on this blog post, in your own blog post (and provide a link in a comment on this post), or on Facebook or Google+.

My thanks to Jacquie Schattner for providing this challenge via email.

Here's mine:

I started my genealogy research in 1988, and was finding lots of published material and was using the microfilms at the Family History Center in San Diego.  By 1992, I had a family tree pretty well fleshed out - probably 75% of what I have now), but it was all on paper and I was awash in paper (I still have it, but that's another post!).

In 1992, I was visiting the Chula Vista Library once a week and ran into Joy Voss, a Chula Vista Genealogical Society volunteer, and she listened and tried to help me.  She suggested that I join the Chula Vista Genealogical Society fior $10 a year.  They had meetings on a weekday morning where they sat around the conference room table sharing their surnames and localities and helping each other, and occasionally one of them made a presentation.  I was working on those weekday mornings, but once in awhile I played hookie.  At one of the meetings, I said I was working on the Prodigy computer system and they had wonderful genealogy boards.  They talked me into doing a presentation on Prodigy.  I think I gave the first overhead presentation (handwritten!) to CVGS in the summer of 1993.  I still have the overhead slides!

Why did I join?  For the help, discussion and support of the membership - there were some veteran researchers who had decades of experience, and they liked having a male at the meetings. I probably had them ost computer experience of anyone there when I started and was able to help folks with PAF and then Family Tree Maker.   I didn't attend every month - perhaps 2-3 times a year until I retired in 2002.  I always found a way to make at least one presentation each year before I retired.

I didn't stop with CVGS - I joined the San Diego Genealogical Society in 1994, and the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego in 2002 (?).  I also joined the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1992, and the National Genealogical Society in 1994.


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Shirley Ann Rankin said...

Genealogy was something that I had always wanted to do since I was about 12, but I didn't know how to get started. I was at my uncle's wedding, and one of the guests asked me my surname, and when I told him, he started telling me things about my name. How did he know this and I didn't? That really bugged me.

Fast forward about 35 years: we got the internet: slow to connect, not a lot of useful content, people who call themselves "webmaster." I discovered Rootsweb. Someone clued me into the local Family History Center and I went there . I became a "webmaster" and posted my content online. I found dozens of "on-line cousins" that I am still in touch with.

I retired in 2010, and in 2011 that's when I joined my first genealogical society.

Mary Rohrer Dexter said...

Here is mine this week

Elizabeth Handler said...

I had only recently become interested in family history when I read a Boston Globe article about the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1989 or 1990 and I joined in 1990 soon after reading this article. There were a few years in the 1990s when my children were very young that I didn't do much more than read their periodicals, but I have been a member all this time. It was more than twenty years before I joined another genealogical society.

Janice Sellers said...

SFBAJGS was the first in a series of genealogical societies I've belonged to:

Lynn David said...

I started my genealogical research in earnest in 1986 after a bubble burst in the oil exploration industry and I lost my job! I had some cousins who had been researching their lines for quite a long time and I knew of the local society in Knox County, Indiana, and it was that, the Northwest Territory Genealogical Society, which I first joined soon after I decided to start my research. At the time I was living in Oklahoma City, but I didn't see much of any reason to join a society there. I also joined the Indiana Historical Society and subscribed to their genealogical publications. I ended up moving back to Knox County about 1991 and I have held the offices of both President and Vice-President in the NTGS a few times.

Jacquie Schattner said...

I realize that I joined genealogy groups in the past and present for very different reasons. In 1997, when it was difficult to research away from home, I joined the Henry County Genealogical Society in Kewanee, IL and the Bureau County Genealogical Society, in Princeton, IL. Both about a three hour drive from my home. I joined because it was a small fee, and members received mailed newsletter and a discount in researching fees. Both of these groups are dedicated to preserving the family histories in their area. Including cemetery indexes (pre findagrave), birth marriage and death indexes. The newsletter contained articles a where members could ask questions, much like a message board. I wrote an inquiry about my third great grandfather, Hiram R. Dunbar (wife Jemima Wolf) in the Bureau County newsletter, and received a reply from Barbara Foster, from Washingon, who had the same third gr-grandfather. She had a photo of her 2nd-gr grandfather, Hiram Dunbar Jr. in his Civil War uniform and was kind enough to send me a COLORED photo-copy of it! (It was a big deal in 1997.) We enjoyed researching the Dunbar line, together for many years.

Fast forward to 2011. I made a New Year's resolution, that I actually kept. I felt that I had been researching alone for far too long and decided to join at least one local genealogy society. I actually joined two CAGGNI - a computer group, and NWSGS - a general group in the NW suburbs of Chicago. At my first NWSGS, they announced that the local genealogy library needed volunteers. I signed up to volunteer there also. These three new groups I've met the most wonderful people, learned so many new techniques and ideas. Joining these groups really gave me the boost I was seeking.

Mary Rohrer Dexter said...

Hi Shirley Ann - what was the group you joined after you retired in 2011?

Hi Elizabeth - I am very envious! I would love to be able to afford NEGHS.

Hi Janice - I left my comment on your post.

Hi Lynn - I have considered joining the Indiana Historical Society since most of my lines ended up there from about 1850 on. If one is a member it accompanies access to many more of their digital data bases.

Hi Jacquie - I am not familiar with any of the groups you mentioned. It sounds like you keep really busy!