One of the things you will come across frequently in genealogy is the concept of giving back to the community. The genealogical community is all about doing things for each other. You may have information on someone else’s family that they need and wouldn’t find without your generosity. It is said that whenever you do a genealogical good deed, it makes it more likely someone will do the same for you. Even if they don’t, it still feels good to do. Here are nine ways you can volunteer in genealogy.
If you live near one or more cemeteries that are remote and/or have not been recorded on FindaGrave.com yet, you can do a lot of your fellow genealogists a big favor by taking pictures of the graves there and making entries for them on this free website.
2. The U.S. Genweb Project
This free website collects genealogical documents from around the world and puts them into their appropriate state and county sections. It depends on donations from its members to add to the collection. Donate some of your own rare documents, or even volunteer to administer the page for an “orphan” county… a county without someone to administrate it yet.
3. Volunteer at Your Local Archives
Volunteering at the local archives in your area is a wonderful way to give other genealogists, some of whom may be visiting from out-of-town, the assistance they need to find the trails of their ancestors in your town.
4. Be a Leader in a Genealogical Society
Most genealogical societies have officers and committees. You can run for an office among the officers or volunteer for a committee. Either one will give you an opportunity to bring more prominence to the society and to let other genealogists know about the group and what it can do for them.
5. Teach a Class
If you’ve become quite good at genealogy, you can volunteer to teach a class in it at your local adult education center. You can teach beginning, intermediate, or advanced genealogy.
6. Contribute to DeadFred.com
DeadFred.com is a website where people contribute photos of their ancestors. This is a wonderful resource for people who are looking for photos of ancestors whose faces they may have never seen. You never know who is related to your own ancestors that you’ve never met, and who may be looking for the very photographs you possess.
7. Organize Genealogical Field Trips for Senior Citizens
Introduce yourself to the activities director at the local senior center and explain your genealogical expertise. Then, work with the director to arrange an outing for the people who spend time at the center to go to a local genealogical library or archives, with you as the leader and chief helper, giving participants tips on using the resources there to find their ancestors.
8. Transcribe Old Documents
If you do a lot of work in courthouses, you will often come across handwritten documents in ancient handwriting. You can transcribe this often hard to read writing and put the transcriptions online, to make them available for other genealogists.
9. Blog About Your Genealogical Adventures
No one tells the tale of your own genealogical adventures better than you. Blog about them, and others may learn new research techniques from them, or even discover new information about their own ancestors on your website.