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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home.
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    May 2008
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    Default I'd love to join an FHS but ....

    I'm not going to 'name names', but some 4 years ago I went along as a guest to an FHS meeting with a view to joining and, apart from an extremely interesting and informative talk, I can honestly say it was one of the most unpleasant evenings I've spent.

    Three people actually managed to speak to me, one was extremely pleasant and welcoming, eager to find out what stage I was at and we quickly established a common interest in a particular location. Of the other two, one completely lost interest when it became apparent that I didn't have certificates or copies of authenticated documents tracing my family back to the Anglo Saxons and the third, after saying hello and a brief conversation, turned to his friend and, as they walked away, said 'Oh great! Another one who doesn't know anything about anything.'

    Needless to say when later, the Membership Secretary handed me a form and asked for £15, I graciously declined and haven't had the nerve to go back again.

    Please tell me they're not all the same and, is it really worth joining when I won't be able to attend the meetings and thus not have the pleasure of listening to the expert talks?

  2. #2

    Default

    In every Family history Society there are members who are there to learn and to share and there are members who have joined for the express purpose of getting everything they can for the least amount of money and then bu******g off to plunder somewhere else.

    Fortunately most societies only have a few plunderers. Most members want to learn more about the area their ancestors lived and what those lives were like. These members also want everyone else to share their enthusiasm for family history. I would have written a short note to the secretary of that society explaining why you didn't join. It might have given them a reason why their membership numbers are falling LOL.
    It is unfortunate that you had to meet a couple of plunderers - they might also have been the class show offs too, not pretty!
    I always recommend that people join the society close to where they live, even if they don't have ancestors in that area because the talks are usually informative and it is always possible to learn something.
    Most societies are friendly, just one or two members forget that they were new to the society once upon a time.
    Ladkyis

    “You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”
    IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.

    I am fluent in three languages, English, Sarcasm and Profanity

  3. #3
    Peter_uk_can
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    A few weeks back I went to Winnipeg's main library and plundered a huge amount of information. Not content with one raid, I later visited the museum and came away with a wealth of free info.

    Free to me, but put together at a huge cost by people with slightly more foresight.

    No apologies for putting folks noses out of joint but I am fed up of hearing the bleatings of FH Societies.

    Anyone interested in our own genealogy, collected over hundred's of hours, maybe thousands and at a cost of which I care little ?

    It can been all seen for free at

    www.members.shaw.ca/psmail

  4. #4
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
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    4,080

    Default

    Your site is still as fabulous and I was even more amazed in the amount of history and information you have accumulated and is as factual/true as can possibly be. I have seen your site before but this time I went a little deeper. You should be very proud.
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  5. #5
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
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    4,080

    Default

    "Needless to say when later, the Membership Secretary handed me a form and asked for £15, I graciously declined and haven't had the nerve to go back again.

    Please tell me they're not all the same and, is it really worth joining when I won't be able to attend the meetings and thus not have the pleasure of listening to the expert talks?"

    Fidgetsmum

    I would have to join 3 or 4 FHS and as they all want money I can't do it, especially when I am in Canada and would be unable to attend meetings. Yes they need money to operate and it helps generate grants for developing larger things.

    There is always a few rude people in every group, but I think the benefits outweigh that if you live close by and will take away new insights into researching should you attend.

    And my rule is "if you don't like the way you are treated, don't be a doormat"! Just my opinion.
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  6. #6
    Reputation beyond repute
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    Oct 2004
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    Kent
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fidgetsmum View Post
    I graciously declined
    I think you were quite right. If it's not going to be a sociable occasion, what's the point? You can learn from books or online sources what you might pick up from talks. It's just more fun if you're learning with friends.

  7. #7
    Starting to feel at home.
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    May 2008
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    Kent
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    Default

    I'd still like to join one and perhaps I didn't make it clear originally, that it wasn't the fact that there was a membership fee which put me off, of course I'd expected to pay, but I wasn't prepared to pay to join something where (those particular) people were so rude.

    As for being a 'plunderer' - I suppose it would be fair to put myself in that category. I've done quite a bit of research but none of it would have been possible without the help of a great army of unseen people. Someone had to compile those millions of index cards, CDs and microfiche, someone has to collate and work in the archives office, the library, transcribe census forms (E and OA!), write the books, maintain the websites and, of course, the people here who so willingly help others. So yes, I guess I've 'plundered' along with the best of them, but surely the more I learn in the course of this plundering the more information I could use to help someone else who's stuck.

    The point is, if I joined my local FHS, work commitments would mean I'd only be able to attend meetings occasionally, so I'd be in danger of looking as though I only turned up when it suited me and (as Ladkyis so graphically put it) then b******d orf!

    Peter is right, the information is freely available elsewhere and of course it would be more fun to learn with friends - it's just that the FHS I went to was sadly, neither fun nor friendly. Perhaps I'll give it another go after all ... one day.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Mackay's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Rhoose Point, South Wales
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    Joining your local society can be good if you have time to go to meetings and/or get involved in the transcription/indexing/checking of records which most societies do (much of this work can be done at home these days).

    However, don't forget that most county FH societies have a quarterly journal which contains articles specific to research in that county, and also a Help Wanted section where your query is likely to be read by the very people most qualified to answer it. It is usually the societies with the best journals that hang on to their out of county members. Indeed, if you hit a brick wall, try writing an article about it for the FHS journal, outlining all the avenues you have tried and what your dilemmas are. I did this once in the Essex journal and two years later someone read it in a library in Canada and contacted me with the missing bit of info that got me back to the 17th century!!
    Sue Mackay
    Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids

  9. #9
    Geoffers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Mackay
    However, don't forget that most county FH societies have a quarterly journal which contains articles specific to research in that county, and also a Help Wanted section where your query is likely to be read by the very people most qualified to answer it.
    ..........and a list of surname interests as well, so you might pick out someone following the same family line. I'm a member of one society, which is 150 miles from where I live - I don't get to meetings, but its magazine is a way of keeping in touch.

  10. #10
    Reputation beyond repute
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    Kent
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    Default

    You can get involved in transcription without joining an FHS. For example FreeBMD, FreeReg, FreeCen and have the added warm glow of knowing that the fruits of your labours are going to be made available totally free of charge.

    I had better not raise the attitude of certain FHS towards thse sorts of projects.

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