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Societies often maintain a genealogical file for historical families of the area or for ancestors of society members. Most genealogical societies focus on local and regional records, while others concentrate on the records and migrations of ethic groups or minorities.
Societies may guide you to useful sources, suggest avenues of research, put you in touch with other genealogists who are interested in the same families, or perform research for you. The resources of the society may help determine immigrant origins. Genealogical and historical societies may publish transcriptions of original records, and many publish quarterly periodicals.
Some genealogical and historical societies hold conferences in which lecturers discuss genealogical research methods, available sources, and other topics. These lectures include information on records or research. Transcripts, audio tapes, and conference class outlines are often available to the public.
Lineage and Heritage Societies
Lineage societies require members to prove they are descended from people such as colonists or soldiers. The applications for membership in these societies are usually preserved and occasionally published. National lineage societies are described in United States Societies.
A few national lineage societies have chapters or headquarters in Washington, D.C.:
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR)
1776 D St.
Washington, DC 20006
The DAR preserves historical records and promotes education. Learn more about the DAR.
Genealogical and Historical Societies
Genealogical and historical societies can provide historical information about families in the area or ancestors of society members.
Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington, Inc.
P.O. Box 1614
Rockville, MD 20849-1614 Internet: http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsgw/
United Methodist Historical Society
of the Baltimore-Washington Conference
Lovely Lane Museum Library
Address: 2200 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-5897
Telephone Number: (410) 889-4458
Contact Persons: Robert Shindle, Director of Archives and History
United States Capitol Historical Society
woo Maryland Avenue NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Clubs or Other Organizations
Clubs or occupational or fraternal organizations may have existed in the area where your ancestor lived. Those societies may have kept records of members or applications that may be of genealogical or biographical value. Though many of the old records have been lost, some have been donated to local, regional, or state archives and libraries.