Genealogy Shelter in Place Project 3
Make the most of your genealogy time now, and in the future, with these ideas.

Given the need to stay home, the question is how to make this extended research time pay off. Discover societies that can help your research, no matter where you live.

Genealogy Shelter in Place Project 3: Find and Join Genealogical Societies

Are you an introvert? Live in the wide open spaces? Is mobility an issue, even at the best of times? When researching, do you go it alone? Or perhaps you must use free resources only? To all of these questions, I say find and join a genealogical society. There are three kinds of societies to consider.

1. Join your local society

Lunch and Learn at SBCGS

The Lunch & Learn group at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society. This monthly meeting is now offered online for the time being. (Courtesy SBCGS)

The genealogical societies, from the smallest to the largest, offer wonderful resources. Joining your local society  connects you with other genealogists. They maybe just as shy, but obsessed, as you are to discover family history.) Attend monthly meetings and presentations, annual seminars, use libraries, get guidance from volunteers, and discover archival and digital resources your local society has created.

Your local society is probably either moving to webinars or cancelling their regular meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. But doesn’t matter if the society meets in real life or virtually. Learning can’t be stopped.

2. Join the Virtual Genealogical Association

The Virtual Genealogical Association provides an international online forum for genealogists to learn, connect, network, and mentor others. Founded and managed by noted genealogist Katherine R. Willson, the VGA is thriving after just two years of operation.

Individual membership in the Virtual Genealogical Association offers:

  • Monthly recorded webinars and handouts by nationally known speakers
  • Discounts on genealogy software, databases, publications and products
  • Additional membership in any of 40+ Chapters and Special Interest Groups
  • Facebook group for networking, mentoring, and socializing
  • Live chat with featured speakers in members-only Facebook group
  • Fillable PDFs, forms, templates, and research guides to download
  • Discount on annual virtual conference registration cost

View the webinar schedule here, offering a variety of topics.
Join the VGA at this link. An annual individual membership is only $20.

3. Join societies where you are researching

To find a society where your ancestors lived, try these links:

Give Back

Don’t forget to give back. My husband, who spent his career in military medicine, always says, “See one, do one, teach one.” And that holds true for offering your skills to a society. Sharing what you have learned is vital to every genealogical society. From helping beginners to finding speakers to working behind the scenes, your help is always welcome at the societies you join.

That’s it for Genealogy Shelter in Place Project 3 that you can undertake from home to help your genealogy research. Find and join genealogical societies and watch your skills and available resources expand.

And don’t miss Project 1 and Project 2.