Saturday, September 15, 2018

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?  What other societies are you a member of?

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+.

NOTE:  Thank you to Jacquie Schattner for suggesting this topic in 2016.

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 for $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 the most 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 (now defunct).  I also joined the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1992, the National Genealogical Society in 1994, the Wiltshire Family History Society (no longer a member), the Society of Essex Genealogists (no longer a member), the Cape Cod Genealogical Society (no longer a member),  and the Southern California Genealogical Society in 2008.


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Yvonne Demoskoff said...

I joined my first society in 1986. I can hardly believe it was that long ago.

Janice M. Sellers said...

I feel like such a piker! I didn't join a society until 2005!

Linda Stufflebean said...

I first joined NEHGS in 1980! Here's my post:

Seeds to Tree said...

Thanks for using my question Randy. My post can be read at: