Saturday, November 13, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Make Up Work

I have fallen slightly behind on my 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy prompts from Amy Coffin and wanted to catch up before week 46 is posted later today.

Week 44: Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind.  Find-a-GraveRandom Acts of Genealogical KindnessFamilySearch Indexing, the World Archives Project,Unclaimed Persons and the USGenWeb project are all dependent on volunteer effort. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new tool to use. You do not have to volunteer as part of this challenge, just increase your knowledge of the available opportunities. Genealogy bloggers, are there any other online groups and organizations you can think of that may be of benefit to your readers?

I am a huge fan of many of these projects and have worked actively as a RAOGK volunteer in the past (I had to stop with school).  Mostly I went to take photos of tombstones in the area, but would sometimes do look-ups at the library (namely obituaries) and at the county clerk's office or city hall.

Another way I have found to give back to the community is through genealogical societies.  I belong to a few societies in areas my ancestors lived that are no where near where I live.  In order to participate, I assist with transcription projects that I can easily do at home.  Check with your local society to do the same.

Week 45: Examine genealogy societies in your region. Many genealogists belong to their local societies, but it’s helpful to be aware of other organizations within a few hours of your home. Sometimes these societies have good programs or resources to share. Cyndi’s List has an impressiveSocieties and Groups Index to browse, but it might not include certain smaller or newer societies. You may have to do some creative keyword searching on the Internet to find a list of societies near you. Use this week to see what types of groups meet in your part of the county, state or country. Don’t forget groups with specific research interests, such as ethnic societies. Genealogy bloggers can use this week to highlight some of the societies in their neck of the woods.

By doing a search, I found a list of all the societies in New York State.  I am amazed at all the ones that are in driving distance that I did not know about, such as Rochester, Finger Lakes, Yates and Ontario.  I could even head to Albany if the program was good.  Recently, I also found out about the society in Cortland, (found from the speakers calender on GeneaBloggers) and will be attending a presentation there Tuesday.  I also attend, when able, events for the Central NY and Western NY societies.

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