How to Start Your Own Genealogy Group
Many of those who are learning to trace family history find that they learn a lot from others. You can ultimately save lots of time by learning from others’ mistakes and building on others’ experiences. Every major city has at least one major genealogical society and dozens of other clubs and informal groups who meet around their passion of tracing family history.
If you live in a small town or rural area, it’s quite possible that there isn’t a genealogical society near you. Or maybe the larger society in your city may have meetings that are too big for your liking, or its members seem too advanced for your status as a beginner. In any event, there will be times when you will just want to start your own group to band together around genealogy research. Here are some simple ways that you can start your own group of genealogy aficionados:
- Visit the public library and ask the librarian if there are any genealogy groups in your area. If there are, visit them before deciding to branch out on your own. If there aren’t any, ask the librarian if you can post a small announcement or flyer seeking others who may be interested in researching their ancestors.
- Check with local churches, especially Latter Day Saints (Mormons). An important part of their religion is built around genealogy and finding their ancestors. They may already have a group meeting, or may help you get a group started.
- Craigslist.org – People have varying degrees of success with Craigslist, but you may be able to find others interested in genealogy by posting a free ad to start a group. Don’t put your phone number in the ad; have interested parties respond to an anonymous email address so that you can screen responses.
- Facebook – If you’re on Facebook, announce to your friends what you are trying to do. Or start a free Facebook page. Who says your genealogy group has to meet in person around a table? You may have more luck finding “birds of a feather” spread out all over the country (or the globe).
You can announce your intention to start a genealogy group to trace family history in any number of clever and creative ways. There are usually free community announcements in local weekly newspapers, in local church printed programs, on community bulletin boards, at the local community college, even free public radio or TV stations can announce your group formation. You will probably be surprised at the number of interested fellow-family historians you will find.
A list of Louisiana Genealogy Societies.