Some are near and I can go share and banter with them. Some are far but have much resources that I desperately ( or so I feel ) need. I share with them also. Sharing is one of the greatest advantages of belonging to a Society.
Sharing is what makes the societies so special. One seldom to ever, fails to find a new relative or friend. I think that belonging to a Genealogical group would be awesome for most people including those whom have lost family or moved and are struggling to get through the day. In 40 + years of research I have met only one genealogist that was did not fit that mold and they were at a Library. There is something about talking about a common name, a common place, a same situation event that breaks people out of the mold and their personality comes forward and shines.
Societies carry data that a normal library does not have. Societies understand the nature of one's desire for certain information. They can even lead you in new directions to find more information about family and meet relatives if your desiring to meet more family.
I love one society for their awesome stepping to the plate when they learned of my visit. They had pulled 25 books with data waiting for me to scour through once I arrived. I had worked with this library for about four years. So I was not a stranger totally. Down the road when they wanted to go online I helped them to purchase a computer to do just that. I have been affiliated with them for many, many years. One should never expect the society to do things totally for free. They do many things already that are free.
I love our society's here in our town also. I belong to four of them. They all serve a different need and sharing of information. Which makes belonging to them worth the time and effort to
get to their events. I love to participate and help. I have held various offices for the various society's. The giving back is a major reward in itself.
You meet so many wonderful caring people. Alas this last year I was slowed down by a
run in with a set of stairs and body damage so I was not as active as I like to be. I look forward to being more active in the future again.
So yes, join a society, even one (who I hear from many say) they have nothing and they just set there and talk among themselves and ignore us. You may be the one to make the difference for them to wake up and share like I am sure they could. Start a society, you can even do that by having mini group meetings at a Library or a home to start. Down the road when large enough you may want to be a real Society and others will be their to help you. Today help is only an email or Twitter away.
I know of of a society that started that way, I was in on early planning for Chula Vista Genealogy Society and then later came back and joined when my work stopped. I missed some years in the early stages but never lost touch with the people. Remembering, my biggest
excitement of retiring was to come back and help this group of people.
So I can not say all the reasons to join they are so many if you give it a try you will learn this.
Yes, at times I commute more than 50 miles to attend a meeting. Not as much since our world has changed but I try to do it often.
O do not forget to belong to the: VGS, NGS or NEHGS for they are very large and really help carry power when we need them to fight for laws to not destroy cemeteries and various, common sense things when some politicians and developers seem to think the money is more important.
I am looking forward to when we can do mini meetings of certain topics on line to share with our members like I did on the old Golden Gate Forum. I host a chat now but it's site is secluded and permission has to be given to attend.
I do this now but I think we could do lots more of it LISA where are you??
Blessings to you all, Susi C Pentico