Lately I have noticed that when you get a group of family researchers together, you get this sense of family. I heard this often at the OGS Conference this year. We are a family. Or possibly a neighborhood of families. So what do families do? They help each other; they stick together.
When you start on your family research trip you are very self-centered and that is not a bad thing. You are Ground Zero - for now - but not forever. Some day it will be someone else. But right now you are the number one person on the pedigree chart and you have certain responsibilities.
As you start to discover your ancestors, your world expands until it fans out across the globe. As your lineage expands, your place in the genealogy family expands. You can't continue to be self-centered. There comes a point where you need to become involved and give back. This is one of the things that keeps genealogy affordable. Without volunteers we wouldn't have the free information that is now available online.
I truly believe that volunteers are the core of genealogy. These are the people that have made it happen. These are the people that have spent hours indexing records. These are the people who give of their time to be officers and trustees of genealogy societies. These are the people who put their lives on hold for a period of time to plan conferences and seminars so others can learn and exchange information.
My first genealogy volunteer opportunity was not really my idea. It was my aunt's and it involved wandering through snake infested cemeteries in southern Ohio looking for graves. My most recent volunteer opportunity involved being a room monitor at the NGS Conference in Cincinnati last year. What a difference 60 years makes!!
Now it is your turn. I encourage you to take that leap and be a volunteer at the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne this summer. For information on how you can contribute to the conference by volunteering go to the conference website, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on volunteers:https://www.fgsconference.org/