Tips from the Pros: Support Your Local Society, from Jana Sloan Broglin, CG

Support your local society. The title may be a bit of a take-off on the old movie, “Support Your Local Sheriff,” but the meaning is basically the same. Support. Do you support your local genealogical society? Been meaning to go to a meeting but haven’t? Don’t have any ancestors from the area? Think again! Even if you don’t have any ancestors in the area where you live, you can contribute to the local society by helping transcribe records, give speaking ideas for the meetings, or even bring cookies. Remember, someone where you DID have ancestors may be thinking the same thing. Why should I contribute? Wouldn’t you love it if they helped transcribe records you needed in your research?

If you live in a state with an active statewide society, attend those seminars and conferences. Speakers at these events can give insight to genealogical research not only within the state but out-of-state as well. Exhibit halls can have everything from books and CDs to DNA testing and information, and genealogical supplies. Many of the regional and state conferences also have local societies exhibit. What better way to find out about a society than to speak to representatives of that organization? Local society exhibits may also have publications for sale as well as a calendar of their society meetings.

So get out there! Support your local society.

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7 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Support Your Local Society, from Jana Sloan Broglin, CG

  1. The biggest ostacle for me is that since I am Deaf and use American Sign Language, I can t attend local historical society’s meetings as I can t request for an interpretere for one main reason. The law does not require the local historical society to hire an interpreter whenever it is necessary. I would love to contribute my time and talent to help local historical soceity. These societies I am interested very much are: Holmes Co. and Coshocton Co., OH.; Porter Co., IN.; Adair Co., KY. and Marion Co., IA. I would love to be active in Boone Co., IN. where I am living right now, but people always are “scared” when they see a Deaf person writing instead of talking. As for me, writing is more reliable means of communication than talking because I am not that good speaker.
    How would you suggest to solve the problem?


  2. AMEN! It’s like “what goes around comes around”. I believe if I can help here someone might help me there one day. I belong and am current President for our local society and my closest relative connection is 5 states away.

  3. As President of our local county genealogical society, I obviously support Jana Broglin’s comments. Unfortunately, many genealogists today believe, perhaps erroneously, that what there is to learn about their families is already on the internet. So…why should I support or even think that data exists elsewhere? Access to internet data bases has grown tremendously and are wonderful for those who are unable to travel to distant places, but… By not coming to our local history/genealogical library, family researchers are not able to investigate great sources, i.e. 150 years of actual not microfilmed probate files, naturalization records, 20 or so city directories that exist no where else, etc. Thanks…

  4. Thanks for the jolt! I’m ever so grateful when I find a record that bridges a family gap — this will be a good way to pay them back AND pay it forward to our children whom we hope will take up the keeping of family histories.

  5. I would like permission to publish this article in our news letter and our local news paper.
    Even though we are a small society we are very active. We have 3 projects going at the present, including an every name index of the deeds of our county 57 book containing 600 pages each page to be read.It has been huge project but when we are finished we shall celebrate for ever. Two small town histories of our county are being prepared for publishing.
    Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. We welcome the re-publication of our articles, provided that credit to the author is given and the Ancestry Weekly Journal ( copyright The Generations Network, 2007), as the source.

    I’m glad you found the article helpful!

  7. Supporting local societies is very important. Many people do not understand that much of what is on the “web” today was first extracted and or published by local societies and their dedicated volunteers. Much of the meat of family history will not be available if local societies don’t ferret out that information from local sources and make it available. If local societies do not continue to exist, much will be lost.

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