Top surname societies in the US

Introduction

The United States is known for its diverse population, and one of the ways that diversity is reflected is through the huge variety of surnames that you hear in the country. Surnames are used to identify families and groups of people, and they reflect the cultural and historical roots of those groups. But with so many surnames in the US, it can be challenging to trace your ancestry and discover the origins of your family name.

Fortunately, there are many surname societies in the US that can help you with research and document your family history. In this article, we’ll explore the top surname societies in the US that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and heritage of specific surnames. We’ll discuss the benefits of joining these societies and how they can help you with your research.

Benefits of Joining Surname Societies

Being a member of a surname society has many advantages for individuals who want to explore their genealogy and discover the roots of their surnames. Here are some of the benefits you can gain by joining a surname society:

1. Access to Genealogy Resources

Surname societies typically have extensive archives of genealogy resources, including books, journals, and databases with information about specific surnames and related families. Members have access to these resources and can use them to research their family history and trace their ancestry.

2. Networking Opportunities

When you join a surname society, you become part of a community of people who share the same interest in tracing their ancestry and preserving their family history. You can connect with other members, share information and tips, and collaborate on research projects.

3. Expertise and Guidance

Most surname societies have experts and scholars who specialize in the history and genealogy of specific surnames. These individuals can offer guidance and advice on research techniques, provide access to rare and obscure sources, and help interpret historical documents and records.

4. Educational Opportunities

Many surname societies organize conferences, workshops, and lectures where members can learn about genealogy techniques, historical context, and cultural heritage related to their surnames. These events provide opportunities to deepen your knowledge of your family history and connect with other members.

Top Surname Societies in the US

1. Johnson and Johnston Family Association (JJA)

The JJA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Johnson and Johnston families, which are among the most common surnames in the US. The association was founded in 1985 and has members from all over the world. Membership includes access to a quarterly newsletter, genealogy publications, and an annual conference. The JJA maintains an extensive archive of records and documents related to Johnson and Johnston families, including cemetery records, census data, and military records. It also provides research assistance and guidance to members who are tracing their family history.

2. Clan MacTavish USA

MacTavish is a Scottish surname that has a long and rich history. Clan MacTavish USA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of MacTavish families in the US. The society was founded in 1978 and has members from all over the country. Membership includes access to a quarterly newsletter, genealogy resources, and an annual gathering. Clan MacTavish USA maintains an extensive database of genealogical records, including census data, historic documents, and church records. Members can also participate in a DNA project that helps trace their ancestry.

3. German-American Genealogical Partnership (GAGP)

The GAGP is a partnership of several genealogical societies that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of German-American families. Membership in the GAGP provides access to a wealth of genealogy resources, including databases, publications, and research assistance. The partnership also organizes conferences and workshops where members can learn about German-American genealogy, culture, and history. Members are encouraged to share their research and collaborate on projects that help preserve and document the legacy of German-American families in the US.

4. Italian Genealogical Society of America (IGSA)

The IGSA is dedicated to promoting and preserving the heritage of Italian-American families. The society was founded in 1979 and has members from all over the country. Membership includes access to a quarterly newsletter, genealogy resources, and research assistance. The IGSA maintains an extensive database of Italian-American genealogy records, including census data, historic documents, and church records. Members can also participate in heritage tours and cultural events that help them deepen their knowledge of their family history and celebrate their Italian heritage.

5. The Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (AJGS)

The AJGS is a partnership of several Jewish genealogical societies that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Jewish families around the world. Membership in the AJGS provides access to a wealth of genealogy resources, including databases, publications, and research assistance. The partnership also organizes conferences and workshops where members can learn about Jewish genealogy, culture, and history. Members are encouraged to share their research and collaborate on projects that help preserve and document the legacy of Jewish families.

Conclusion

Joining a surname society is an excellent way to connect with other people who share your interest in genealogy and family history. By becoming a member of a society, you gain access to a wealth of resources and expertise that can help you trace your family history and discover the roots of your surname. The five societies we’ve discussed in this article are among the top organizations in the US that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of specific surnames and populations. If you’re interested in exploring your family history, we encourage you to consider joining one of these societies and start your journey of discovery today!