Sunday, April 1, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 14

Week 14. State and National Societies: Last week we paid tribute to local genealogical and historical societies. This week we’re going to think bigger. For which state, provincial or national society are you most thankful? What makes this society special? How do the publications and events of this group assist in your family history research?

Hands down, the answer would have to be the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.  I joined perhaps twenty years ago so I could have access to their mail lending library.  At the time I was living in Alabama and although I had access to excellent libraries, they had little to offer in the way of materials from New England or New York where most of my mother's families had first landed after crossing the big pond.  Nothing made me happier than a new delivery of books!   I used the lending library until it was discontinued.

Their website - American Ancestors - is now what those boxes of books used to be.  They continue to add more and more databases and publications and it seems that I find new treasures almost every time I visit the site.  Their own publications The New England Historical and Genealogical Society Register and American Ancestors:  New England, New York and Beyond are always read cover to cover.  I have found my families in these publications, but I've also learned a great deal about the research process.  The NEHGS promotion of the Great Migration study has also been valuable to me - not just because I had ancestors who were part of that migration, but because of all the information that has been provided regarding that time period.

I have been privileged to visit the NEHGS library in person.  Wow!  That may have been the most wonderful four days of my twenty-plus years of research.    I would almost move to Boston  ...except this Girl-Raised-In-the-South would likely not survive a Boston winter.

So ....a huge THANKS to NEHGS for being there!

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