Friday, November 16, 2007

What every genealogy society needs

What does every genealogy society need? Besides lots of members, "how-to" classes or groups, interesting and helpful programs, work projects and the like?

The biggest thing needed by most genealogy societies is enthusiasm and a steady stream of new and current members willing to volunteer their time and talent.

I was reminded of this last week when I read the article "Youth Leader" in the January/February 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine. There is a two page article on page 10 about Anthony Ray, a 16-year old young man who has a passion for genealogy and helping others. He holds three positions in the Antelope Valley (CA) Genealogical Society in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles. In addition to being chairman of the publicity committee, he also heads the cemetery committee and leads an effort to form a Hispanic genealogy team. Anthony also presented "How I Researched My Five Hispanic Families" in September to the society members.

Anthony responded back in early March 2007 to the Family Tree Magazine forum question "Genealogy Societies: What's Your Take?" - his response is about 60% of the way down the page. There is a lot of experience and wisdom in his responses.

If you can, please read the FTM article about Anthony and be inspired by his excellent example of being a genealogist, a society member and a volunteer.

All genealogy societies need to broaden their membership to include young people of all ages.

Genealogy societies thrive when members volunteer to serve on a Board or a committee, to lead meetings or speak at a program.

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