Society Records

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There are four main types of societies that have significant material useful in family history research:
•  Historical and genealogical societies
•  Lineage and hereditary societies
•  Family associations
•  Fraternal organizations

The Family History Library has over 2,000 microfilms and numerous books of society records. These include applications, yearbooks, ancestor rolls, rosters, and publications of the societies.  For example, the library has microfilm of the card index and 100,000 applications for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.

It also has major collections from the following:
•  General Society of Colonial Wars
•  General Society of Mayflower Descendants
•  National Society of the Colonial Dames
•  Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
•  National Society of New England Women
•  National Society, Sons of the American Revolution

One of your ancestors or relatives may have submitted application papers containing a pedigree in order to join a lineage society. These records often include multi-generation pedigrees and information from family Bibles, death records, or military documents.

More Info at FamilySearch Wiki

Historical and Genealogical Societies
May have:
•  Collections of historical documents on local interest
•  Periodicals they publish
•  Special projects
•  Indexes
•  Old records deposited with them for safekeeping

Lineage and Hereditary Societies
Almost always include:   
•  Name of applicant
•  Address of applicant
•  Application information
May also include:
•  Birth, marriage, and death information
•  Pedigrees
•  Family Bible information
•  Military records

1)   Family History Library — check the FHL Catalog
– Locality Search: United States – Societies.
– Locality Search: [State], [County] – Societies.
– Locality Search: [State], [County], [Town] – Societies.
– Author or Title Search: [Society Name]

2)   Society Websites — the major societies have websites:
• Daughters of the American Revolution http://www.dar.org
• National Genealogical Society http://www.ngsgenealogy.org
• NEHGS  http://www.newenglandancestors.org

3)   National Societies — if you can’t find their websites, look up their phone numbers on the Internet—or call the Federation of Genealogical Societies at 888-347-1500 and ask for society names and addresses.

4)   Local Library — contact the local library where your ancestor lived.  They can tell you what local societies exist.

5)   Local Societies — contact the local historical or genealogical society in the town or county where your ancestor lived.

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