Dec 3, 2021

That Time of Year – Renewals

December 3, 2021

I love December. I enjoy getting out all of the old ornaments and decorations and going out to find the perfect Christmas tree. I even like the last-minute shopping and wrapping of gifts. Not to mention all of the Christmas goodies that only show up this time of year. I’m a fan of all of it.


Much as I love the holidays though, as a genealogist, there’s another reason I like December. Most local and regional genealogical societies run their membership year from January through December. That means that right now is the time that they’re sending out their renewal notices for 2022.


While you’re taking a break from trimming the tree or wrapping gifts, this is a good time to sit down at your computer for a few minutes and complete the renewal forms and either write a check or pay electronically. Think of it as a gift to yourself. One that will keep giving all year long.


Local genealogical societies like Larimer County Genealogical Society form the bedrock of genealogy. They’re the places that work to preserve local records and make them available for others. Their monthly meetings with presentations on various genealogical topics are worth the price of membership all by themselves. On top of that, there are special interest classes, weekly one-on-one genealogy help sessions and annual conferences.


Genealogy societies are also a wonderful place to network with other like-minded folks. Your family probably doesn’t want to know all about how you discovered great grandma’s mother’s maiden name. I’ll bet there’s someone at your local genealogy society who’d be enthralled by the details of exactly what websites you consulted and how you found the document that provided the clue to that missing maiden name.


What more could a genealogist want? How about a low price? Most local and regional genealogy societies offer annual memberships for less than $50 a year. Many are even $25 or less. In fact, they’re so inexpensive, why not consider buying two – one for yourself and one for a friend or a relative who’s interested in family history.


Local genealogy societies typically operate on a shoestring. Membership dues are the only income they generate. Those few bucks you send in December fund all of their programs throughout the year. If you enjoy the benefits of society membership and want to do even more, you might want to consider donating a few extra dollars this year. Local societies are usually non-profit so any additional money you donate can be deducted from your taxes.


Once you’ve renewed your membership in the societies you currently belong to, why not join a few new ones this year. Thanks to the pandemic, many society meetings and classes are now available digitally. This means you can enjoy the benefits of membership in societies local to where your ancestors lived – not just to ones physically near you.


It’s definitely that time of the year. Renewal season is here. Why not take advantage of it?


Carol Stetser

Researcher/Director at Large