APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-07 > 1216492528
From: "Kirsten Bowman" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Fw: Keeping Local Societies Healthy
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 11:35:28 -0700
I think you've hit the nail on the head. It seems to me there are two major
functions that local societies can perform effectively. First, of course,
would be promoting an interest in genealogy in the community and providing
training. Second is advertising local holdings on the Internet and offering
transcriptions or lookups (for sale). My own society has a nice collection
of local history, but most residents here don't have roots in the area.
Descendants who would be interested in these records are scattered all over
the country (if not the world). Few of them are likely to travel to our
little valley to see if their 3rd great-grandparents are buried in the local
cemetery or listed on the local land maps; they want to find leads to the
data on the Internet.
With the growing interest in family history, and the increasing number of
retirees--who are more prone to the genealogy obsession--it seems that local
societies *should* be growing too. But perhaps the convenience of working
on your family history at home on your own schedule is making societies
somewhat obsolete. Or maybe the Internet *is* the new society.
Behalf Of Betty Malesky
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 10:32 AM
Subject: [APG] Fw: Keeping Local Societies Healthy
Local societies must get off the mark and find out what their members want.
We can't sit back any more and wait for members to walk through the door.
Our local society is stronger than ever because we have aggressively
marketed our presence in the community and continually poll members to find
out what we're doing right and how we can do better.
Among the changes we've made to increase and keep members:
Added a short subject by a member to our monthly meetings in addition to
the featured speaker.
Newsletter focuses on news and methods of doing genealogy today,
solicits and features a member's
success story each month.
Rent a booth in the annual Community Country Fair where we can talk to
members of the community.
Maintain a Web presence.
Offer classes free to the community for both beginners and experienced
Sponsor a Genealogy Fair and advertise it to the community every year or
Present an annual all-day seminar with a nationally-known speaker.
And I write a semi-monthly genealogy column for our local newspaper.
Notice member involvement is a feature of most of the above ideas. Our
membership is double what it was five years ago. Our biggest problem is
finding a reliable space that can accommodate from 125 to 130 persons
comfortably and finding an affordable space for our library (nearly
Unfortunately NYGBS chose the almighty dollar over giving members what they
Betty Lou Malesky, CG
Newsletter Editor and Past President
Green Valley Genealogical Society
Green Valley, AZ
CG and Certified Genealogist are the service marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office
and used under license by board certified genealogists after periodic
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kirsten Bowman" <>
To: "Dick Hillenbrand" <>; "apg" <>
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: [APG] NYG&B Society gives their booka and
> Those involved in local genealogical societies should read and heed. Could
> this be the beginning of the end of those groups much smaller than the
> NYG&B? Is it likely that Internet genealogy will strangle the local
> operations? I would venture to say that unless small societies find a way
> to cater to online researchers, which the NYG&B did not appear to do
> particularly well (in my opinion), their days may be numbered.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:]On
> Behalf Of Dick Hillenbrand
> Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 2:21 AM
> As reported on the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog, the NYG&B no longer
> has to worry about all those heavy books.