The holidays can provide a great opportunity make some progress on your lineage society application. (Even better, the project can give your family something to talk about and work on together!)
Here are a few steps you can take:
- If you’re just getting started, ask questions! There are often family stories about an ancestor’s claim to fame or membership in a certain lineage society. These stories can provide incredible hints as you begin the application process. If they identify a family member who already belongs to the society you want to join, it may even make your application easier. Most societies will allow you to link into an ancestor’s application, provided what they submitted meets today’s standards.
- Write down as much of the family tree as you can. Ask about grandparents, great-grandparents, and more. While we don’t need the details to do the research, they can be a huge time saver. Your family members likely have the context (such as sibling’s nicknames) that can be hard to identify on paper.
- Find out what documents your family holds. Does someone have copies of a great-grandparent’s birth certificate? Those are things you can use in your application. Bibles are invaluable – but be sure you copy the title page with the publication date.
- Make copies for your files. You do not need to submit original documents to most societies. Photocopies and scans work fine. A word to the wise: cell phone images that look like photographs are being rejected by some societies, so scans are preferred.
And most of all, have fun!