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Genealogists join lineage groups when they have shared beliefs

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Genealogists join lineage societies for more than one reason. It may be to preserve a family’s history, to honor an ancestor, or because they share the same beliefs as the organization.

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A recent survey of women in the Fort Worth area who belong to lineage groups indicated that most of them joined for multiple reasons, including a belief in the mission of the society.

Marcy Carter-Lovick believes in giving back to her community and she learned that lineage organizations are actively involved in volunteer work.

“Lineage organizations are involved in supporting and recognizing our military veterans as well as active-duty military personnel,” she said. “They are involved in education through such things as the support of specific schools for under-privileged students, essay contests, and scholarships. Historic preservation of places and materials is also a key mission for lineage organizations. No matter the area in which a member is interested, an opportunity to serve is provided.”

Debbie Pearson said she had four main reasons for joining lineage societies, and her third reason was because of a shared belief between her and the organizations.

“It was a belief in and respect for the missions and work of the organization. That is one of the many reasons I joined and stay active in my lineage societies,” she said. “Many patriotic and lineage societies support our military or veterans; publish histories or preserve records, artifacts, or buildings; or work with schools to provide scholarships.”

Karen McClendon said she considers herself a “lineage society junkie” and belongs to about 60 organizations.

“Every society I’m in does something beneficial for veterans, college students, or libraries, just to name a few,” she said, “so membership involves a symbiotic relationship. I receive pleasure through knowing my ancestors will be remembered, through fostering friendships with like-minded people, and learning more about historical topics while I’m able to give through the good works of each of these organizations.”

While it is important to these genealogists to preserve their family’s history, the belief in the organization’s mission and ability to participate in the mission are even more valuable to some, including Alice Betsy Stone.

“The volunteer work gives me the most satisfaction, such as when we can help our veterans or educate our young people on the history of our country and the reasons why our patriotism is so crucial to society,” Stone said.

There are several websites that have lists of lineage societies, including The Hereditary Society Community of the United States of America and Cyndi’s List.

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