WHERE TO START
Society membership is $30 annually for an individual or $35 for a family. That includes access to the library resources, help from the librarians, the ability to borrow resources from other genealogical societies and a yearly published journal.
There is even space for family members who may come along but aren’t actively engaged in research — or who are just looking for a quiet place sit with a book.
The society offers help to members wishing to publish their research on a small scale, will assist assembling those documents and even provides help in binding the work for them.
Because it is housed in the village’s building, there is no charge for residents. Other non-members are welcome to access the resources for a $5 charge.
For those interested in getting started in genealogical research, Lynch recommends attending one of the beginners seminars offered by the society.
“You learn where to start, how to fill out the documents, how to use the library. Then it’s a matter of documenting your recent history.”
Lynch is especially looking forward to a class on the Palatine history in the area. The society also has a large collection of Acadian research and may feature a class on that history in the future.
According to Lynch, however, tracing a family tree starts much closer to home, well before consulting either the Internet or any genealogy resource.
“Interviewing older relatives is the most important thing you can do,” he said. “It’s hard to get that generation to talk, but any little story is a clue.”
The sooner you can get an older family member’s stories on paper the better, he said. Having as much background information as possible will make it easier along the way.
Along with dues, the society survives strictly on donations, financial and also documents.
Lynch urges those who have historical documents, or even artwork, that they aren’t sure what to do with to consider donating them to the society.
The materials will definitely be put to good use, he said, and may help others discover something about their own family tree.