Saturday, April 3, 2010

What You Missed: The April 2010 General Meeting

We haven't had a "What You Missed" post on this blog for over a year. Preparations for the Washington State Genealogical Society's State Conference held here in Spokane in September 2009 took up a lot of time, and so the WYM posts went by the wayside. I thought we'd start them up again!

Today's program was titled "Lineage, Historical, and Family Societies." We had six presenters talk about nine different organizations:
  • First Families of Maine - Doris Woodward
  • Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury, Massachusetts - Doris Woodward
  • The Spokane Corral of Westerners International - John Ellingson
  • The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865 - Judith Emry
  • The Daughters of Colonial Wars of Washington State - Judith Emry
  • The Van Voorhees Family Association - Patricia Ewers
  • The General Society of Mayflower Descendants - Tony Birch
  • The Daughters of the War of 1812 - Marian Binsfield
  • The Daughters of the American Colonists - Marian Binsfield
Each presenter shared what motivated them to join their group, the mission of their group, the qualifications and fees for membership, when and where local groups meet, and how genealogy or an interest in history plays a part in joining. Several pointed out similar groups that others could join; for example, when Pat Ewers did her presentation on the Van Voorhees Family Association, she mentioned that Cyndi's List has a page of Family Associations. She also referred the audience to Google, stating that many Family Associations could be found that way. Another thing to keep in mind is that along with all the many "Daughters of..." organizations, there are usually corresponding "Sons of ..." organizations. Also, many states other than Maine and communities other than Newbury, Massachusetts have "First Families", "First Settlers", or "Pioneer Families" Associations. You also don't have to have ancestry that stretches back deep into American history to join a lineage group: Doris Woodward briefly mentioned the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society, which provides pioneer certificates if you can prove your descendency from Czech immigrants.

Most stated that the advantages of joining one of these organizations were to feel a strong sense of pride in their heritage, to reward themselves for the hard work of researching one of their lines, to access assistance in tracing an ancestor who might qualify them for membership, and to leave a genealogical record with the organization for future descendants. Many of these organizations have genealogical libraries, and/or do good works to preserve historical landmarks, or have community projects such as photographing Civil War veterans' graves. These repositories and projects contribute to society in general and are advantageous to us as genealogists, even if we are not members of these societies.

The variety of organizations that were represented ensured a little something for everyone. I myself knew I qualified for several of these organizations, and I decided to pick up a brochure and application for the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865!

What do you think? Did you like this program? Did it inspire you to consider joining one of these groups or a similar one? What other similar organizations are you a member of that you would like to highlight?  Please click on the comments link below (where it has a number and the word "comments") to add your thoughts! If you're reading this from your e-mail inbox or from a feed aggregate such as Google Reader or Bloglines, please click this link to come directly to the blog so that you can leave your comments.

1 comment:

Charles Hansen said...

Miriam It was a good program, I am not sure when my Maine Families arrived, I know it was before Maine became a state. I have not found a single ancestor in the Civil War. I do have a War of 1812 soldier. I was a member of the Edward Doty Society until I got mad at them, but have never done the work like Tony did to get the certificate. I do have 4 of the Silver books like he showed. I even helped the gentleman doing the 5 generation Silver book on Edward Doty and have a nice thank you letter from him, but was not even mentioned in that book.