What to do with the returns cash
Okay. Let’s all admit it. Come on. Say it out loud and get it over with.
Here… The Legal Genealogist will go first:
Not everything we got for Christmas was a hit.
Yep, folks, that soap-on-a-rope just isn’t quite the same after — what is it now? — eight or 10 years. And that sweater from Aunt Mabel? Right. And that fruitcake… from the family fruitcake… Not my favorite.
So… we’re all going to be headed out for the returns desk this week… and I have a suggestion for that returns cash.
And it involves a little bit of our own genealogical returns: let’s all use the cash to pay back our state and local genealogical societies and return the favor for all the work they’ve done for us over the years.
The fact is, many — perhaps even most — genealogical society memberships run with the calendar year. So for those of us who’ve joined in the past, our member status will expire in just a few days. It’s time to renew.
And for those of us who haven’t joined in yet… joining brings great benefits. First off, many state and local societies have print or e-published journals that are well worth reading. It always brings a smile to my face, I know, when I get home and the Virginia Genealogical Society Journal or the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal is in my mailbox. Or any of the others that come as benefits of my society memberships.
Secondly, most state and local societies have conferences and speakers and workshops that are well worth attending if we’re local and many are doing webinars for those of us who aren’t local. I’ve attended many a webinar that I thought was simply terrific — and was sponsored by a society I’m proud to be a member of, yet is so far away that I’ve never been able to attend a meeting.
Finally, state and local societies are often the backbone of records preservation. They’re the boots on the ground that are listening for the first rumblings of a public record type being threatened or an archives or library with budget or staffing issues. They’re the ones who know where the records are, and help us and guide us when we travel to see the originals.
So here, updated for our 2018 returns cash, are links to state genealogical societies (or, where there isn’t a statewide genealogical society per se, to the state historical society* in that area) throughout the United States:
|Alabama||Kentucky||North Dakota (and see NDHS*)|
|Alaska* and see AGS||Louisiana||Ohio|
|Arizona* (and see WVGS)||Maine||Oklahoma|
|Arkansas||Maryland||Oregon (and see GFO)|
|California and SCGS||Massachusetts (and see MGC)||Pennsylvania|
|District of Columbia*||Missouri||Tennessee|
|Indiana (and see IHS*)||New Mexico||West Virginia*|
On a national level in the United States, check out the National Genealogical Society and the Virtual Genealogical Association. And for links to societies in other countries and to the hundreds and indeed thousands of local genealogical societies that are working every day to preserve records in the small towns and out-of-the-way courthouses in counties our ancestors called home, let me suggest Cyndi’s List and her societies categories.
Any of these would greatly benefit from our returns cash… and membership would be a fine gift to ourselves.
There. Don’t you feel better now?
Thought you would. I know I do…
Thank you for making this fast and easy. I had my historical societies folder out this week, getting ready to send in renewals, but this reminds me that there are several states my family lived in that I’ve not gotten around to joining their societies, though I’ve donated to the local ones in the counties where my families lived, as well as emailing them some of our historical information. I volunteer at a county historical society museum here, so I know how important donations and memberships are, along with volunteers.