Why You Should Join a Genealogical Society

Why You Should Join a Genealogical Society31

Genealogical and family history societies are organizations where members benefit from their mutual love of genealogy. These societies support each other in their research in many ways and offer opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere. Joining a genealogical society could propel your work forward! If you’re on the fence about it, learn more about what you can benefit from in a society below.


When you are a member of a genealogical society you consistently have the opportunity to meet and work with others who are doing similar research to you. You can work together to share what you’ve both learned, share your experiences, your findings, and so on. They may have researched the same geographical area that you’re researching or have information on a surname you’ve been studying. If you hit a wall, it can very helpful to have other genealogists to brainstorm with. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.


Many societies and organizations have access to their own libraries, collections, or sections of a library. Aside from libraries, many groups have their own databases that accessible to members only. Every individual society will have their own resources, rules, and regulations. Before joining, research these options and how they will benefit your research. If you’d like to open your research up to additional resources, particularly some that you cannot reach otherwise, joining a society may be the answer.

Workshops and Conferences

Most genealogical societies have regular meetings and some even host their own conferences and workshops. Some societies will even host webinars, online chats, live-stream events, and other opportunities for those who are not geographically close. Whether it’s a monthly gathering or a yearly conference, this could be a great way to hold yourself accountable as you check in with and learn from other genealogists regularly. You may learn how to navigate specific kinds of records, how to move your research forward, and more. At these conferences, you will likely learn from experienced speakers, hands-on workshops, and even representatives from research institutions.

Journals and Publications

Geological societies have been publishing and indexing records for decades and many have numerous digital recourses as well. Members record their research, collect newspapers and other records, record headstones that are no longer legible, and more. This is an extremely valuable resource that often cannot be found outside of the society. Societies also publish books, often times about abstracts or transcriptions, histories, or compiled family histories. As a part of the society, you not only have access to more these things but then you also get to be a part of compiling and creating these things.

Where to Find a Society

You can find many genealogical societies online. The Federation of Genealogical Societies is a great place to start. Here you’ll find societies around the nation that are well worth your time. Not all societies will be listed here, but it’s certainly a good place to start! You may also find newsletters to sign up for and workshops to attend. Join a society to start moving forward with other genealogists!