Tina Sansone commented on Facebook about joining a Society. She said Genealogical but I say either Historical or Genealogical because some places do not have genealogical groups or they are joined together.
I am a firm supporter of Societies. The advantages are many. As a member you can call on fellow members for assistance, and receive an great response. Societies carry in the file cabinets, Surname cards of people looking for various names, name of people wanting to contact other people researching same names. Many times it can get you into the Court House records with out a disruption. They (the community ) knows your supporting their cause.
Yes, I have my favorite societies but that makes one no better or worse than the next. Sometimes they are only as good as the people who join (near and far) and share data and information. If you can not donate time due to distance try to donate a nominal amount of cash to help with incidentals. I was blessed and helped one society acquire a new computer, I had been given a gift and passed it on to the society for the thanks that so many had done to help my family with our research.
:>) Our family lines (many) came from this county and the two counties next door. So it was helping all that was in the region and sharing. Even thinking a trip there and it's cost and then giving them $5 ever so often if you write for a request. I always add extra for them.
Having been a President, Vice President, Program Chair and Membership Chairperson I am fully aware of the needs a society can have.
Filling peoples requests, doing lookups and keeping things running smoothly need recognized by small things. Sure large donations are very grateful but it is the small daily helpers that fill the empty spaces.
A Society can put you in touch with information your not aware may exist. The idea being, a friends data that they have at home is not in the library. What may be stored on a shelf and almost forgotten. I had an experience of that nature.
The book was almost 150 years old or older when I saw it. It was an album started in the 1830's.
The society can print your query or comments for others to see and it can go to other libraries and societies that suddenly may pick up on it and find you even more information.
I love the friendship that it creates and the warm that is shown when you actually finally grace their doors after many years of requests. I learned twice as much on that one trip than I have on many others and it was due to the association with the society prior to my going to the area.
I also let them know I was coming and what I would be looking for at the time I arrived. Would you believe they had 9 books setting on the desk by printer for me to look at when I first arrived. Yes, there was data in everyone and I gleaned about 30 more before my ten days were up.
I even gave up another library trip to meet some of the distant kin, a distant cousin had unknown to me contacted for us to meet and share. It was a trip of a life time and now so many of them have passed on, I am so grateful I went and I knew them in writing before I knew them in person.
I still get a note once in awhile if something comes in letting me know of information. O yes and I still belong to them.
I also think you should belong to a major society:NEHGS or NGS or OGS are my favorites. They being of a large nature
can offer even more assistance and observations regarding research. Some societies even have branches in other states.
There is also the Service Organization you can join. Some are more political than others some are very genealogical in nature, this depends on the makeup of the organization I suspect. They all fill a need and we should embrace those needs as we can afford and can share with them.
Today I received a note from our local German Society that it will be disbanding if all agree due to lack of participation.
This hurts my heart. I am sure that at least 1/3 or our local large group has Germanic ancestry and could help keep it going.
Yes, you may in your local area get asked to help the group. So be it, the more you help the more you learn. I normally find it's in the helping that later I will receive. One may not know where or when but it always comes back tenfold.
So as Tina asks please consider joining a society either where your doing your research at or in your local area or both.
I belong to many various states societies due to research and help. Most of the fees are less than a tank of gas or one trip to the local LDS Library. Join Join Join. Every State has one of one kind or another and almost every county has something akin to this affiliation.