Family Histories

March 19th, 1995



Family Associations or one-name societies are one of the best ways to find other people working on the same family you are. The members of a one-name association may actually be from several distinct, unrelated families with the same name. Yet, their gathering together in an organization, usually publishing a newsletter to exchange information, is always a good way to link up with others with similar interests. Merle Ganier has recently issued his annual “Family Periodicals, Reunions and Columnists-1995 Edition”. Included are over 600 family name organizations. Included are several pages of genealogy columnists. The list sells for $8 from Merle Ganier, 2108 Grace Ave., Ft. Worth, Texas 76111-2816. A typical example would be the Castor Association of America. There is a brochure listing services and benefits, all variant spellings of the name, eligibility, the purpose, and the benefits. Listed are reunions held every other year, dues, and a published book. Contact Joe Lacy, 1444 Stehle Rd., Natalia, Texas 78059. Some people edit separate newsletters for many lines. Such a person is Dede Mercer, 12600 Bissonnet A4-407, Houston, Texas 77099. The names she publishes are: Barton, Cornell, Deroun, Dillard, Donley, Harrison, Hefner, Graff, Landry, Mallory, McNair, Mercer, Moon, Morey, Oliver, Pulliam, Reed, Scott, Shoemaker, and Shurtliff.


“The Genealogist’s Address Book”, the 3rd edition, was compiled by Elizabeth Petty Bentley. Part of a series of address listings, earlier editions should be at every major library. Bentley has included for each state the state archives, historical and genealogical societies. There are some miscellaneous addresses as well. Georgia’s entry is longer than many states, probably because there are several published directories and so many counties that naturally there are more societies. While the addresses are no doubt the result of questionnaires, some of the information is misleading, as the organizations are quite small and probably cannot accommodate visitors or letters. All three lists within Georgia must be read to find pertinent information, since all societies are arranged alphabetically by name, not geographically. As has been pointed out to other national directory makers and address listers, some organizations are long-defunct and including their address is not helpful. After historical societies are Ethnic and Religious Organizations, which includes African-American organizations, many other ethnic groups and foreign research associations, and Native American groups. Lineage societies (such as DAR) are arranged by the war or era commemorated. Several hundred adoption registries are included. Genealogy columnists are listed, including this one. Under “miscellaneous” are various military museums. Periodicals referred to in the addresses are indexed, enabling one to find the publishing organization. This volume is very useful for anyone not near a major library and not aware of a lot of the new activities going on in genealogy. It provides many helpful places to write and people to contact. It is $34.95 plus $3 postage from Genealogical Publishing Co., 1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21202.