The Importance of Joining and Supporting Genealogy and Historical Societies

As you know genealogy and historical societies are typically nonprofit organizations that rely on the generosity of their members, supporters, and donors to continue their essential work. Genealogy and historical societies play a crucial role in preserving and promoting the rich tapestry of our past. By becoming a member, supporter, or being actively involved in these societies, you contribute to the preservation of history, and benefit from the wealth of resources they offer. I belong to several societies at the local and national level. My membership is connected to either my family or my UVA research work. I appreciate the networking especially when I am conducting African American genealogy during the slaver era, where unique challenges arise. I tend to go local for support and resources.  I want to share in this blog how important it is to join and supporting these types of organizations and the numerous benefits they offer.

I have listed six benefits for joining and supporting genealogy and historical Societies:

  1. African American genealogical research can be a challenging endeavor, as historical records may be incomplete, fragmented, or difficult to access. Many genealogy and historical societies have knowledgeable members who can help navigate these challenges and provide valuable guidance.
  2. As a member or supporter, you gain access to exclusive collections and manuscripts held by these societies. This can include rare books, photographs, maps, and other primary source materials that are invaluable for genealogical and historical research.
  3. Joining a genealogy or historical society allows you to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for history and genealogy. This networking can lead to valuable collaborations, information sharing, and support for your research.
  4. Many societies host workshops, seminars, and conferences to help members and supporters hone their research skills and learn more about specific topics. These events provide an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge and improve your research techniques.
  5. By volunteering your time and skills to these organizations, you can help preserve and promote our shared history. This can be an enriching and fulfilling way to give back to your community and ensure that future generations have access to the past.
  6. Genealogy and historical societies often work to advocate for the preservation and accessibility of historical records, monuments, and sites. By joining and supporting these societies, you lend your voice to these important causes.

By contributing financially or in-kind, you help these organizations preserve, research, and promote our shared history. That’s really what this is all about.  Your support can take many forms, such as:

  • Becoming a member and paying annual dues or becoming a lifetime member
  • Donating money, resources, or your time as a volunteer
  • Participating in fundraising events or initiatives
  • Spreading the word about the society and its work

Joining and supporting genealogy and historical societies is not only a means to advance your personal research, but it also serves a greater purpose in preserving our collective past. Through your involvement, you contribute to the preservation of history, foster connections with like-minded individuals, and gain access to invaluable resources. Whether you are researching your African American ancestry or have a general interest in genealogy and history, these societies offer a wealth of benefits that will enrich your research and support the important work of preserving our shared history.

Just to name a few that I support in my local area. Feel free to join or make a donation:

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society:

BBB Charlottesville/Albemarle Afro-American Genealogy Group:

Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA:

Fluvanna County VA Historical Society:

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center:

NOTE: I HAVE A NEW TWITTER ACCOUNT: @Tfamilytreegirl (The real family tree girl

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