Understanding the concept
Developing your Family Tree
There are many established organisations for genealogists of all levels of experience. One of the most important is the Society of Genealogists which is based in London. It maintains a vast library of research material and publications from around the world; runs lectures and provides research advice for beginners.
Family-history societies can also provide a ready-made support network of other genealogists working in your area, and the Federation of Family History Societies can provide useful contact details. Most family-history societies hold regular meetings and will always welcome new members. They hold activities and events, such as talks by members on their own research, visiting speakers and professional genealogists, and even excursions to record offices or other institutions.
Family History Centres, maintained by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, store printed or microfilm copies of genealogical sources. Specific material can be requested and ordered, if your research takes you away from the local area.
Family history fairs are a popular way of finding out more about genealogy and are designed to allow researchers to meet representatives from major organisations. Many of the larger fairs are accompanied by lecture programmes and are great fun for beginners looking for inspiration. It would be a good idea to attend an event in your area before you begin your research, if only to pick up tips from other researchers. They might pass on information about local research services, or even help to arrange for research to be undertaken on your behalf, if you are not able to travel to a more distant archive.
Most local archives or family history societies carry publicity about local events. As do many family history magazines, available from many booksellers and newsagents. These usually feature nationwide fairs, lectures or other events, as well as useful articles on all aspects of genealogy.