Becoming a genealogy volunteer is a great genealogy tip to help you jump start your genealogy research and learn new record sets and strategies to use in your research. #genealogy #areyoumycousin #genealogytips #familyhistory

31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips – Volunteer!

July  is completely focused on providing you with genealogy tips that are …..well,….”out of the box”.

What is an “out of the box” genealogy resource? I’m so glad you asked! An “out of the box” genealogy resource is that record set or that strategy that goes beyond traditional research methods.


Every single day (yes, every day!) for the entire month, you will find a new genealogy tip right here.

Let’s get started!

DAY 1 – Become a Genealogy Volunteer!

Have you considered volunteering for a local genealogical society, archives or local event?

Your research time is limited. I understand that.  But consider the benefits of volunteering your time…

  • You widen your genealogy network group. Don’t underestimate the benefit (and the fun) of talking genealogy with other like minded individuals! While working with other researchers on a common goal such as publishing a society’s journal or planning a genealogy workshop or assisting other researchers – you will pick up on research strategies and tips that are new to you! We all have something to offer.
  • You learn about genealogical resources unique to that area.
  • You might just meet a “new” cousin. (I’ve met several this way!)
  • If you volunteer for transcription projects, you will hone your ability to read the old handwriting. You do not have to be local to help with transcription projects.
  • You will have the satisfaction of promoting genealogy research to others.

How to Find Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities to volunteer your time exist both online and away from your computer.

 How will YOU Volunteer?


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Becoming a genealogy volunteer is a great genealogy tip to help you jump start your genealogy research and learn new record sets and strategies to use in your research. #genealogy #areyoumycousin #genealogytips #familyhistory
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43 thoughts on “31 Days of “Out of the Box” Genealogy Tips – Volunteer!”

  1. Marilyn Grogan

    I currently volunteer st my local family history group and we have started digitising our hand written records and journals. At the same time next year we will be celebrating 20 in our own building.
    Just by going through our own magazines and those from other societies I have been amazed at family histories and historical facts that were recorded that I was not aware of. Taxes in England, origins of towns in our regional areas of Queensland and Australia, what Townsville was like around the time my great grandparents were alive. It has helped me gain perspective on what life was like in this town I have been living in for almost the past 50 years.
    Thank you for all of your tips as they can be easily transferred to Australia.

    1. Marilyn, finding and discovering new family history resources is such a great benefit to volunteering. It provides a whole new perspective. Also, how wonderful you local family group is digitizing its records and journals. I’m sure that will prove to be a benefit to current and future genealogists.

    2. Marilyn, my husband was born in Atherton in 1927. I;m not experienced with Aistralian research and when I read your comment I thought to contact you (hope this gets to you as your post is 2018) and ask if you could give me some tips on Queensland research. They had a sheep station but only lasted 4 years before selling out,going to USA.Carol

  2. I been working on my family history for years with no luck. All I could find is when they arrived at Ellis Island there last name was changed . This was a dead end for me.

    1. Hang in there, Richard! Consider checking for your ancestors under more Americanized version of their surname. Or if you can determine if they traveled on the ship with others from their home location, you can try to trace the group.

    2. Look for Naturalization papers. Both Americanized names & names they traveled under would be listed . Date of birth,where born,where lived, marriage dates ,Names of spouse & children & their birth dates,where born & residing may also be included. Amount of information varies with year of immigration.
      They can also have photos, again this depends upon year of naturalization.Often a wealth of information.

    3. If they were church members, records in the church they attended may provide information about origins and family members. The records may be in their native language or Latin, but that’s a minor stumbling block.

  3. Katherine Davis

    I actually started as a volunteer at a local homestead museum about 4 years ago. I discovered that I was a direct descendant of the family that has owned the house and land since 1654! I am now on the Board of Directors and I find new things every day. I also belong to more than one Historical Society, and I am longing to start volunteering at the one in the town where the museum is. I actually went to the annual Gala that the Historical Society throws every year, and I met some of the people involved with the Society. I will be visiting them next week! Volunteering is awesome!

    1. What an amazing discovery to be a descendant of local museum’s homestead family! Yes, volunteering is awesome!

  4. Barbara Murphy

    I have volunteered at my local Family History Center for over 20 years and love it. It is the only place I can do a Genealogy Happy Dance and no one thinks I’m crazy.

  5. I started volunteering at our local genealogical society library last year and really enjoy it. This year I am helping with our annual 3-day conference, Northwest Genealogy Conference, August 16-18 in Arlington, Washington. Also, the day before there is a free beginning genealogy class open to everyone and paid add-on workshops to the conference. If anyone is interested, you can go to I can’t wait!

    1. It’s wonderful you are volunteering to help put on the genealogy conference! It takes lots of volunteers to put on a conference, but I know the attendees will appreciate your efforts! It’s a great way to meet other genealogists, too.

  6. Mary Douglass

    I teach genealogy classes for Salina [KS] Public Library, and volunteer to help library patrons with their genealogy on the first Monday of the month, Aug-May.

  7. Sheila Hewett

    Hi Lisa,
    Volunteering is a great way to learn about your family. The best way I found was to transcribe for various sites. I did transcribing for the FreeCen site – it is the census from Britain. Even though it has already been transcribed this is like a proofreading. I took on a section of Lancashire where my grandparents were born for the 1861 England census. Wow! Was I ever surprised….as I found lots more relatives who lived nearby. Also, I found some of these people were witnesses to family weddings, etc. History is so interesting when it can be applied to your own family!!!
    Also, I do volunteer researching for the local branch of our Genealogy Society. I have learned so much about this area (I was not born in this area), and I can pass that info on to others.

  8. Georgie Trammell

    I, like many others am a volunteer at my local Family History Center, as well as volunteering at one of the branch libraries to assist people in their research.

      1. I help others in my Newcomers group. And as usual I learn from them, it’s a 2 way street. Where’s today’s post or am I looking too early?

  9. I serve as an officer in my local historical society and as a co-editor of both our quarterly journal and our county’s TNGenWeb site which are great ways to promote research, education and preservation. I also serve as the volunteer researcher for my local library, answering requests for information/documents/copies for those who live out of the area or otherwise can’t make it to the library to find the info for themselves. Our society also supplies a member to one of our local libraries the 2nd Saturday of every month to help any researchers who may have questions or need help researching in our county. I’m also the admin for 2 Facebook groups for our county. One is a family history research group and the other is for the general history of the county and its people. I’ve learned more about my county and the families I’m researching by being a member and volunteering for our local society than I would have just researching on my own. I think it’s vital for researchers to join and participate in the efforts of their local society.

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  25. I have “adopted” a small local church cemetery and am slowly making sure all the gravestones are recorded on FindAGrave and Billion Graves. So many people have helped me with cemetery photos in other states, it seems like a good way to give back.

  26. Georgie Golden-Tramme;;;

    I have been volunteering about 10 years at a local Family History Center after driving about the United States for about 2 months tracing the migration of my family from the late 1600’s in Massachusetts, throughout the Ohio Valley and into Kentucky , and along the Atlantic coast into Florida. From there I traveled North through Georgia, Tennessee, and back into the Mid-West to the South East corner of Iowa. When I got home, I volunteered and have been at the Family History Center ever since.

    1. What a wonderful trip tracking down your ancestors! I would love to do a long dedicated trip like that. Thank you for volunteering at your local Family History Center. I’m sure many have benefited from you help.

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