What is a genealogy society?

If you're thinking of taking the plunge into genealogy, one of the best things you can do is get in touch with a reputable genealogy society. But what exactly is a genealogy society, and how can they help you along your way?

 

Tracing your family history can be a truly rewarding experience. Not only is it a great way of discovering your roots and feeling connected with the past, but it can also turn up some great dramatic stories involving your ancestors too. 

 

Defining a genealogy society

Put simply, a genealogy society is an organisation that brings genealogy researchers together, creates a forum for people to share their discoveries, and gives them access to great resources too. You'll usually find that they have a strong online presence with a database of material to explore and lots of space for online discussion. Anyone who has typed their family name into the internet will probably have come across many examples of these societies. Their popularity comes down to the fact that genealogy isn't an easy process to carry out in isolation, and requires good access to shared resources. 

 

How a genealogy society can help

When you're starting out researching family history it can seem like a very daunting prospect. Even a simple internet search brings up a multitude of results, and knowing where to start can be confusing. In order to get a good grounding to start out your research you need to have access to a good range of resources, but you also need to go about the process in the right order. This is where the help of a society can really pay off. Not only can they give you access to well-structured databases that take you through the process step by step, such as birth marriages and deaths records, but they can also share essential knowledge about how to decipher the information you've found. 

 

Choosing the right genealogy society

Selecting a genealogy society can also seem a little overwhelming. But there are some simple questions you can ask yourself to help narrow down your choice. First of all, does the site seem relevant to your ancestor? Some societies are very specific - such as military databases - and won't be useful in themselves until you have first unlocked other relevant information about the person in question. Secondly, it's a good idea to look at examples on the society's site - this can help show you how the process works, and gives you an idea of how easy it is to use the society's resources. Finally it's worth checking out whether there is a free trial membership on offer for the society in question. This is a great way of getting to know the ins and outs of genealogy research, and deciding whether you've found the right society for you. 

So there you have it - genealogy might seem like a complex subject area, but with a genealogy society you can get the assistance and support you need to really make a go of family history research. The only remaining question is, are you ready to uncover the secrets of your ancestors?