Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Organization

Our ancestors were joiners - and they joined organizations. Whether they were involved in faith-based groups, labor unions, historical associations, garden clubs, political groups, alumni associations, charitable groups, parent-teacher organizations, business or farm associations, or fraternal organizations - they banded together with other like-minded people and were part of many different communities. Have you included this organization information as an event/fact for your ancestors? Learning about their voluntary activities often helps you discover more about what was important to them and how they chose to spend their time.

Listed above are a few examples of the various organizations that my family members have joined (as well as the key terms for organizations). Oftentimes you will find these organizations listed in newspaper articles (especially local community newspapers) and obituaries. Whether they were simply members or held leadership positions - this is an opportunity to learn more about your ancestors.

whether they were members or officers,
whether the organization was society, union or ethnic based,
their choice of organization tell us a bit about their lives

check out the organizations mentioned in obituaries

When I found this obituary I had no idea what the Third Order of St. Francis or the Eagles Aerie No. 1 were. A quick search on Google brought up a wealth of information and I had a much better sense of my grandfather's religious and charitable nature. Tell more of your ancestors' story by finding out about the organizations to which they belonged.

See you back here tomorrow for the letter P.

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