Genealogists join lineage societies for any number of reasons. A recent survey of women in the Fort Worth area who belong to lineage groups indicated that the top reason for joining is to honor an ancestor’s place in history and preserve their story.
Angie Livingston joined the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution to “honor my heritage and my lineage.”
Debbie Pearson joined the National Society U. S. Daughters of 1812 and other groups out of a personal need to preserve her ancestors’ stories.
“The more I looked into ancestors and their lives, the more protective I felt towards them and their journeys and hardships,” she said. “I joined to preserve my ancestor’s memory and life stories and to guide others to find the connections later.”
Genealogists often realize during their research that if they do not pay homage to their ancestors, no one will.
Marcy Carter-Lovick belongs to 10 lineage organizations.
“I soon realized that the application process for membership in a lineage organization was a way to memorialize many ancestors who have not been ‘remembered’ in any other way,” she said. “Many of my ancestors lie in unmarked graves and few have entries in the official records. Many of the women in my lineage in the early generations are identified only through a long-ago marriage record.”
Genealogists who join lineage societies learn that the process to honor an ancestor is not easy. There are applications to complete, documentation to submit, fees to pay, and dues to maintain.
Those who join already know that genealogy itself takes time and money. For these genealogists, joining a group is a logical next step that provides personal rewards.
Patsy Dodd has been a genealogist for nearly 30 years and belongs to 25 lineage societies.
“It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to do,” she said, “but the rewards are immeasurable. It is the thrill of finding your ancestors, learning about them and their lives and their place in human history.”
Whether genealogists belong to one group or 60 groups, they want the same thing. Genealogists want to honor the ancestors who are responsible for them being here in the first place.
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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