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Societies

There are many societies which may help family historians. Genealogical, historical, lineage, veterans, and ethnic societies are especially helpful because of the records and resources they collect, transcribe, and publish. Often their records contain birth, marriage, death, and biographical information. See "Societies". Archives and Libraries are carefully contributed to and maintained by various Societies.

Genealogical Societies

Genealogical and historical societies often maintain a genealogical file for families in the area and may sponsor publications, some of which are cited on the "Genealogy" page. Genealogical Societies are usually staffed by volunteers and rely on contributions, dues and fees to keep their operations up and running. They usually meet in monthly meetings and often have newsletters. A wealth of information can be obtained by joining a society in the area that you are researching.

Statewide Societies

  • Cox, Richard J., and Larry E. Sullivan, eds. Guide to the Research Collections of the Maryland Historical Society: Historical and Genealogical Manuscripts and Oral History Interviews. Baltimore, Maryland: Maryland Historical Society, 1981. (Family History Library book 975.2 H23g.) This index has about 20,000 references to individuals and families.

County Societies

Many counties have their own Genealogical Societies. Lists of the county societies can be found at Census Finder and MDGenWeb.

Historical Societies

Historical Societies collect, preserve and exhibit materials with historical value. These custodians of history keep journals, books, artifacts, and may have a museum that they maintain. The mission of these societies is to showcase their state, regional, local culture and history. Historical Societies activities and interests are often intertwined with those of Genealogical Societies.

Lineage and Heritage Societies

A Lineage society is an organization whose members have shown proof of their descent from a qualifying ancestor such as a colonist or soldier. There are early settlers, ethnic, religious, and war societies. The Hereditary Society Blue Book[4] is the annual Who's Who or Social Register of Hereditary, Lineage, and Patriotic societies. It also contains information on lineage societies, including the insignia, the membership requirements, and the national address of each organization. Books, articles, and publications that can be very helpful in genealogical research are kept by these societies. The applications for membership in these societies are preserved, and many are on microfilm at the Family History Library. See the Register of U. S. Lineage Societies (mentioned in the "Societies"), for lists of microfilmed records, and publications. Hundreds of organizations are in the United States, here are some with Maryland ties:

Fraternal Organizations

Fraternal Organizations were begun for a variety of reasons. It could have been work skills, politics, chivalry, economics, and many other causes that the organization started. Trade unions have their roots with fraternal organizations. Ethnicity and religious minorities were common beginnings for a fraternal brotherhood. More can be found at Fraternal Societies and Fraternalism in America. Here are a few organizations in Maryland.

Family History Catalog

Records of societies may be found by using the Place-names Search in the FHL catalog for:

UNITED STATES - SOCIETIES
MARYLAND - SOCIETIES
MARYLAND, [COUNTY] - SOCIETIES

Some records gathered by societies are listed in the Place-names Search under the type of record. For example, cemetery transcripts gathered by a local genealogical society are listed in the catalog under:

MARYLAND, [COUNTY] - CEMETERIES.

Websites

References

  1. Maryland Historical Magazine by Maryland Historical Society - 1918 Full Text on Google Books
  2. Includes the holdings of both the Anne Arundel County Historical Society and the [1]
  3. Meyer, Mary Keysor. Genealogical Research in Maryland: A Guide. 4th ed. Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1992. (FHL|638337|item|disp=FHL book 975.2 D27m 1992.)(5th edition at [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/45052612%7Cdisp=At various libaries (WorldCat)}} ISBN 0938420259, 9780938420255)
  4. Hereditary Society Blue Book (1994), edited by Robert R. Davenport (The Family History Library FHL US/CAN Film 1697831 Item 4. ISBN 0806313986, 9780806313986
  5. Register of the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1891-1938. Two Volumes. Baltimore, Maryland: The Society, 1915. 1915, 1940. FHL fiche 6019836; book 975.2 C4nDigital version available through catalog entry.

 

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