Monday, March 9, 2009

Blogging Prompt #8

Blogging Prompt Week 8 -Talk about highlights and events from your local genealogy society. Most genealogy bloggers are members of several historical societies and love to hear about the events in other organizations. This is also a great way to attract new members.

I would like to share with you a special event one society participates in.

When it is County Fair time, this genealogy society hosts a booth! The fair runs approximately two and a half weeks. Volunteers man the booth the full time of the fair. With hundreds of people going through the fair, what a great way to introduce genealogy!

The "booth" is actually set up in a building with several computers. A greeter talks with anyone who may be interested in seeing what the booth is about. A couple years ago I was a greeter and it was lots of fun. At that time we had a large world map posted and guests could put a colored push pin in the map showing where their family originated.

The greeter would speak with the guest about their heritage and ask if there is a descendant they would like to know more about. Upon enticing someone with these questions, they would then be guided to the computers with another volunteer. This volunteer would then try to find some sort of information on a relative for this person.

It is so exciting to see the amazement people would have when information of their relative was found on the computer! Along with a printed copy of this information from the computer, we would give the guest a list of websites and links they could use at home. Finally, we would of course, give out the information regarding the genealogy society.

There are 225 time slots to be filled with volunteers for the duration of the fair. Each volunteer's time slot is three hours. I have to admit the time flies by! Many volunteers take more than one shift, some may take five, six, seven or more shifts! There are other genealogy society's, DAR groups, historical society's and Family History Center's who now participate as volunteers at the fair.

Last year the society provided volunteer training prior to the fair. They plan to hold these training workshops and drop in sessions again this year. Actually, now it is time to sign up as a volunteer. I was unable to volunteer last year, and I sure missed out on the fun. I am back for this year!

There is one story in particular I would like to share with you from a couple years ago. A couple came by interested in our booth. It seems this couple was engaged to be married! Congratulations were in order! Then, the reason they stopped by the booth.

This couple had the same last name. She was confident that they were somehow related! She needed to know the truth before she married. Our computer volunteer assisted them in finding some information to get her started, but I will never know what the final outcome was. Were they related? Did they get married? Stories such as this come about when working the booth, they are fascinating and interesting.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

4 comments:

  1. My GGGrandmother's sister Julia Sommer married Philip J. Sommer! To this day I am still researching records to find out if they were. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing. Wish I went to that fair, it sounds like a blast to "volunteer" for.

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  2. Hi Talorstales,

    How interesting! I would love to hear what you find out, when it comes to a conclusion! Thank you for the comment!

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  3. We always have a booth for our video biography business at our local July 4 celebration. It's always a great day just chatting to folks about their interest in family history and the things they are doing to preserve it. They say fishing is the most popular hobby - but I think it is family history! Thanks for your blog.

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  4. Hi Jane,

    Video biography, that sounds wonderful! How fun to be able to share and talk with others about preservation. Sounds like fun! Thank you for sharing!

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