Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Was the First Genealogical Society You Joined?

If it’s Saturday, then I am expectantly waiting for Randy Seaver to post this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun topic:

1) What was the first genealogical society you joined?  Why did you join that one?  What other societies are you a member of?

I started working on my family history in late 1979 and began with my mother’s side of the family since New England was a lot easier to research back then than was Czechoslovakia (today’s Slovakia).

My motivation for beginning down the genealogical trail was to prove or disprove Mom’s descent from the presidential Adams family.

Back then, and definitely as of today, the New England Historic Genealogical Society was the place to head. I lived in Southern California at the time, so why would I join a society based in Boston, Massachusetts? They offered one terrific perk – a mail lending library! Through the years, I probably checked out at least 100 books, full of history about various branches of my family tree.

In 1981, I made my one and only visit to NEHGS at 101 Newbury Street.

I was a sometime member of NEHGS off and on through the years, as I balanced work with family life. However, since I’ve retired, I work on genealogy just about every day and NEHGS is a gift that keeps on giving.

AmericanAncestors is their current website and I love finding all the new treasures being added to the NEHGS online collection.

One of these years, I hope to make another in-person visit to Newbury Street because I am sure there is still more genealogical treasure to be found in their many manuscripts and books that are not yet online.

Through the years, I’ve belonged to the Pomona Genealogy Society in California, several state genealogical societies (Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky) and a number of county societies, like Morgan and Roane Counties, in Tennessee. Most of these memberships were B.I. – before the internet – when locating distant cousins and finding elusive records was much more work!

Currently, I belong to my local group, the Pima County Genealogical Society.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge.


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