Lineage Societies Podcast

3 Genealogy Societies Every Serious Genealogist Should Join

Every genealogist needs to belong to some genealogical organizations, to stay on the cutting edge of research. Here are the three all genealogists should join.

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Even if you just do genealogy casually, you should join a few genealogical societies in order to learn about the newest research collections, research methods, and to read stories of genealogical successes that can inspire you. If you do genealogy professionally or as a serious amateur researcher, you probably need to belong to several societies in order to keep on the cutting edge of the profession/hobby. Whether you are a casual or professional/serious genealogist, these are the three genealogical societies you should definitely join, at a minimum. Everyone who does genealogy on any level should belong to these groups.

1. The National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society is for genealogists of all levels and in all parts of the country. The group has a website with a few research resources on it you can’t find anywhere else, such as their member-submitted family trees and their collection of family Bible records. However, this is not the main reason for joining this group. The National Genealogical Society puts out a quarterly magazine with genealogical studies and the latest in genealogy news. You can learn a lot from reading it. The group also puts on a national conference in a different state every year. If you attend, you will get to sit in on seminars on the areas of genealogy that interest you the most, as well as visit dozens of vendors with genealogical products and services that can be of use to you.

2. The New England Historic and Genealogical Society

Most people living in America can trace at least one family line back to early New England. Even if you know you don’t have any 17th or 18th century New England ancestors, it is still a good society to join. While its focus is mainly on early New England families and genealogical research, it also branches out to talk about families with New England roots that went to different parts of the country.

Its monthly publication, American Ancestors, talks about the history of the United States as a whole, and can thus be beneficial to any genealogist. It gives tips on using little-known research collections all over the country, talks about the use of DNA in genealogy, and provides case studies of genealogy research that you will find extremely helpful with your own research.

If you happen to have New England roots on any branch, you will enjoy the vast database of New England research sources on the society’s website; if you have no New England roots, you can still access databases of old newspapers and historical publications from all over the United States through the website. – read more

3. Your State Genealogical Society

Practically every state has its own genealogical society. Most have newsletters and annual meetings. Joining your state’s society can keep you up to date on the availability of research collections in your state, and give you the opportunity to meet and mingle with area genealogists (some of whom may be related to you if you have roots in your state) who may be able to give you a hand with your research.


Will Moneymaker

Will established Ancestral Findings in 1995 and has been involved in helping genealogy researchers for over 25 years through Ancestral Findings.