Thursday, October 20, 2011
Why Do I Want to Join a Lineage Society?
This question was brought up at a recent chapter meeting. Why does a person want to join a lineage society? What benefit is there? I think our first thought is that it is a way for a chapter or society to make money. And, in part that is true. However, there is a deeper motivation for me, and I would hope for you as well. You have done your research. You have the documentation that proves you belong to your ancestors. You have the birth, death and marriage records. You may have the obituaries and pictures of tombstones. You may have a copy of a will or estate that proves descent. Now, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to leave it sit in a box in the closet? Are you going to let those documents languish in your computer? Are you sharing it with your family? Are you writing a book about your family? Why not join a lineage society where your documentation will be preserved forever! Why not let it be known that you have done your homework and now you want to share your researching skills with the outside world! My first attempt at a lineage society was with a local chapter. It was a newly formed lineage society and the rules and guidelines were tough. I almost did not complete the project! As a new genealogist at the time, I did not understand source citations, or the importance of a volume and a page number in relation to court documents. It was an education in itself and it caused me to backtrack to several places in order to find that pertinent information. (Now it is the first thing I do - source my document). Whether we are doing genealogy for ourselves or for other people, it is important to remember to source your documents. It will save you a lot of trouble somewhere along the line. When I committed to joining the lineage society, I, personally, felt it was the best way that I could honor my ancestors. Their sacrifices and their lives would not be lost to time. There would be a lasting legacy of their existence. Lineage applications are usually filed at a repository where other people researching can find your files and make connections with you as well. The Ohio Genealogical Society allows researchers to view the packets of previous applicants. This may be the only place you will find a piece of documentation you need. There are a multitude of lineage societies available to many of us. Whether it be a nationally recognized society such as the D.A.R. or the S.A.R, the War of 1812, First Families of Ohio, or a local chapter's lineage society - please take the time to check in to the rules and guidelines to see if you qualify. You may be surprised at what you will find. I was surprised to learn that my ancestors were actually in Ohio by 1795. That was before Ohio even became a state in 1803. It really isn't that hard to fill out the paperwork if you do a little homework before you even start. Read the rules and guidelines of the lineage group you want to join. Read them a second and third time so you completely understand them. Then start filling out your application! Good Luck!