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Great night with Fairfax Genealogical Society

Today is the officially unofficial start to the Memorial Day Weekened, with folks fleeing to beaches (if the weather allows) and family get-togethers and more (if their schedules allow). And last night — the night before the officially unofficial start to this weekend — an amazing group of people got together in Dunn Loring, Virginia.

It was the last meeting of the school year for the Fairfax Genealogical Society, so said President Janet Fox, at the start of last night’s meeting.

And she said it to a full meeting room. Dozens and dozens of people turning out on the Thursday night before the Memorial Day weekend.

The Legal Genealogist had the privilege of being the speaker at that last meeting of the school year, presenting No Vitals? No Problem! Building a Family from Circumstantial Evidence, and the reception for this methodology talk and the questions afterwards were just wonderful.

It’s always fun to share what you know as a genealogist with other enthusiasts, and even better to be stretched by the questions afterwards to help you along in learning more yourself. So a great big THANK YOU to the Fairfax Genealogical Society for that.

But there was another message being sent loud and clear last night — the message of a local genealogical society Doing Things Right. In capital letters.

We hear so much about whether local societies are really relevant any more, whether they’re reaching people, whether they have a role to play. Looking around that room last night, there’s no question that the answer is a resounding YES. Also in capital letters.

It’s hard to say just what makes one society a success and another less so. But a quick look at the Fairfax list of membership benefits suggests some of the things that set a good group apart:

Membership Benefits
    • Invitation to all Society programs, including SIG events, field trips, and other special events.
    • Subscription to the Fairfax Genealogical Society Newsletter, including access to archived issues.
    • Access to the Society’s Members Only Website.
    • Participation in the Surname Exchange List.
    • Inclusion on the Society’s Membership Email List.
    • Access to the Society’s recording library of past programs and conferences.
    • $20 discount on registration to the Society’s Annual Spring Conference.
    • 20% discount on Society publications.
    • 40% discount on the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ quarterly FORUM Magazine.

Great job, Fairfax. And thanks for inviting me!

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