Why We Still Need Genealogical And Family History Societies
by Edward Kipp
(with additions by Heather Oakley)
( Ottawa Branch News, Vol. 37, No. 2, March-April 2004)
I am a member of a large number of Genealogical and Family History societies and enjoy receiving their newsletters and journals. I like to have access to their local resources. Depending on the society, there are often discounts on books. I attend lectures to learn about genealogical resources and, in general, broaden my knowledge. For my local societies, which include the OGS and the UELAC, I volunteer to do work and at the same time have fun doing it.
The question of why we need societies, no matter what the subject area, keeps coming up both in my work and extra curricular activities. The main reason for this is the overpowering presence of the Internet and World Wide Web. People say, “Well I don’t use books or printed resources anymore, I just do a search on the Web.” or “I “Google” or “Ask Jeeves” on the web.” They also say “Well everything I need is on the web and it’s “free.”” Right! I have been in discussions and read articles about the decline of membership and attendance at conferences. The Ottawa Branch itself has seen a decline in numbers over the past years. Our annual conference, Gene-O-Rama, however still seems to be popular.
So why do we still need genealogical and family history societies?
The Benefits of OGS
(with help from Jim Neelin and Norine Wolfe)
(Ottawa Branch News, Vol. 37, No. 4, August-October 2004)
During the Chair’s Breakfast at Seminar 2004, I commented, with tongue in cheek, on the relationship between Ottawa Branch and Head Office in Toronto (particularly after what the Maple Leafs did to the Senators in the playoffs). I was reminded that WE ARE ALL OGS. And it’s true. If you pay your dues to Ottawa Branch, you are a member of OGS (even you few remaining Associates). Not only that, the past and current Presidents pointed out that they could not by any stretch be considered Torontonians; David hails from Brockville and Ron is from “up the valley”.
So what does OGS do for us out here in the Branches? What do we get for our money?