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Save Our (Local Genealogical) Societies

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Save Our (Local Genealogical) Societies

Discussion, Tips, and Innovations to strengthen and help local genealogical societies with growth and ideas for activities

Members: 38
Latest Activity: Nov 26

Discussion Forum

"First Families" projects? 2 Replies

Started by Allison Fredrickson. Last reply by Allison Fredrickson Jan 23.

Genealogical Society websites

Started by M. Diane Rogers Dec 11, 2010.

The very important place of the local genealogical society in today's webbed world 4 Replies

Started by Deason Hunt. Last reply by Deason Hunt Dec 3, 2010.

Genelogical Society News: Feel free to return here and start a discussion topic on anything that interests you.

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Comment by James P. LaLone on September 13, 2010 at 1:24pm
Interesting article:

The new FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE (Nov 2010) is now available. One article of interest may be: “Closing the Generation Gap”, 5 genealogists age 26 and younger, pp. 8-10.
Comment by Sally Nelson on September 12, 2010 at 9:46pm
Deason--I do post queries in our newsletters and some of our members have done some RAGKs, but I am sure there are more things we can do. Unfortunately, when I have asked our long-distance members for suggestions of what we can do for them I don't get responses. On the other hand, if we can work out some type of reciprical sharing with them, that might be workable. It is worth considering.

I look forward to hearing suggestions from other members of this group.

For now, good luck with your research and growing your Societies.
Comment by Deason Hunt on September 12, 2010 at 9:16am
"How do I best serve our long-distance members?"
Sally, I'm with you on that question. I have a feeling that in the long run its answer is how local societies will thrive and grow. We get together once a month informally before the regular meeting and eat at a local restaurant. Not every local member participates regularly, but it is a place where we visit and do some bonding. I wish I knew how to get that same experience for our distant members. I wonder if anyone out there is working on solutions to this situation.
Comment by Sally Nelson on September 12, 2010 at 6:42am
sorry--I hit a key too soon! The business portion of our meeting takes about 15 minutes and we try not to "bore" members with committee business. But at the same time, if the Board makes the decisions and does not get the membership involved, it is hard to find people willing to step up and work on committees or hold office--what a dilema! Our Board meets the first week of the month and the membership meets the third week. That way there is time to prepare for the meetings.

We have a web site and a newsletter that is available and they seem to be used a lot for communications.

One problem I am concerned with is our members who live out of our "service" area. Since we are fairly new at this, we have not published anything yet. As newsletter editor I try to put in links for people to research, but we have not had much submitted to publish on local people--mainly where to go and how to find information. How do I best serve our long-distance members?
Comment by Sally Nelson on September 12, 2010 at 6:35am
Our genealogical society is beginning its 7th year. In the beginning people came, set up the chairs, sat through the meeting portion and we had a speaker. They then got up put the chairs away and left!!! There was no social interaction (I think because we were all strangers to each other and it is hard to make new friends as we get older). Over the years we have tried very hard to change that--now people linger after the meetings and talk about their finds and their brick walls. We have grown over the years and I feel that is a big part of it. T
Comment by Deason Hunt on September 11, 2010 at 9:49pm
In addition to our society meetings, I have been meeting with two separate and smaller (and less organized groups). At these we talk about our research, get helpful discussions of our brick wall areas, and show the excitement that I guess most of us felt when we first got into genealogy. We've had no speakers and no business meetings at either, and I find them refreshing.
Comment by Deason Hunt on September 11, 2010 at 9:46pm
We also experience what I call "death by Roberts Rules of Order" at our once monthly meetings. I started making the comment this summer that our meetings consist of sitting politely in rows and listening to a speaker and then the (yes, deadly) reading of minutes and treasurer's reports. I have taken a series of pictures at meetings over the last year, and almost no one is smiling at our meetings. So, I have been preparing the way by promoting the idea of if's not fun, why are we doing it? I have been talking up several ideas which include business meetings not held monthly, more authority for elected officers to conduct normal business and publish the results by email or quarterly newsletter, more "doing stuff" meetings. I don't know how we can get new, younger members if we continue to run our meetings like they were run in the LAST century. I don;t know about anyone else, but after 45 minutes of sitting quitely on a chair, my seat and my mind start to go numb.
Comment by Phyllis M. Miranda on September 11, 2010 at 9:01pm
Thanks for your response, Mary. The board has a separate meeting that usually lasts 2 hours the week before the general membership meeting. Even so, the business part of our general membership meeting can last 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I am ready to quit this chapter of the society and drive to Denver to because that chapter provides workshops and speakers every month. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it's feeling kind of hopeless at this point.
Comment by Mary J. Lohr on September 11, 2010 at 8:46pm
Phillis, Can your officers meet separately or communicate by email to discuss details and plans of the society business between meetings? If so, then the business portion of your meetings should take no longer than 15-20 minutes. This can be followed by a speaker or learning program. Of course votes must be taken and your parliamentary authority (Robert?) and by-laws followed, but this approach might be satisfactory to most of the members.

This plan has worked well for our local society. We try to adjourn for the last 15-20 minutes to allow a bit of social time among members and guests.
Comment by Phyllis M. Miranda on September 11, 2010 at 7:48pm
The society I belong to is losing members (and I may be next to quit). When we have general membership meetings, it is all business and no learning or researching. We have lost our president and no one wants to step up. I am the secretary, newsletter editor and chapter representative. One or two other members want to change the general membership meeting so we can network, research and learn and leave the business end to our board. Do anyone have any suggestions to help bring about these changes?
 

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