I’ve been volunteering all these past months by transcribing the 1940 Census. Thanks to the more than 100,000 volunteers, the state of New Hampshire 1940 census records have been completely transcribed, and are available for full searching on several websites. It was a very enjoyable, easy job, and I set a goal of doing at least two pages a night. Since the entire 1940 census has been completely transcribed (all the states and territories) I’m going to continue transcribing for www.familysearch.org There are US draft cards, foreign records, vital records and all sorts of projects that need transcribers. If you are interested, please click on https://familysearch.org/volunteer/indexing/ and sign up, too. This helps make records free and searchable online for everyone.
What other volunteering have I done for genealogy? I was a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK), which has now closed and reopened as a wiki at this link: http://raogk.wikia.com/wiki/Random_Acts_of_Genealogical_Kindness_Wiki However, I continue to do “random acts” through the Londonderry Historical Society, and answer several genealogy queries a week. You can do this through Rootsweb.com or your local historical society. My “random acts” include lookups, photographing gravestones and homesteads, and finding obituaries on microfilm. This is relatively easy, and a good way to hone your research skills.
If you join a genealogy club or society, you can volunteer to speak, write in the newsletter, find speakers, start a website or hold a workshop. You can even start up a genealogy club in your local neighborhood or library if there is not one near you. Genealogy libraries such as the American Canadian Genealogy Society in Manchester or the New England Historic Genealogical Society library in Boston are often looking for volunteers to work in the stacks, help with research, conservation, or to assist librarians. For our local New Hampshire Mayflower Society I sit on the board, edit the newsletter and chair the scholarship committee.
There are many groups transcribing and photographing cemeteries. The biggest international online project is www.FindAGrave.com , but www.BillionGraves.com is a new one that takes advantage of the GPS function built into smart phone cameras. Check out both on-line projects and consider participating.
In 2013 the New England Regional Genealogy Conference will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 17 to 23. There is a need for many volunteers to help out, even if you aren’t attending. Please see the website www.nergc.org/volunteers.html or contact the volunteer chair Christine Bard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 424-0961.
If you know of any other volunteer opportunities in genealogy, especially any local projects, please leave a comment on this blog post.