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Watch videos from the 2018 North Texas Summit

By Gail Dever from Genealogy à la carte


A number of years ago, I asked at a genealogical society if the board of directors could have an all-day meeting to discuss where we wanted to be in five years as an organization. The idea was immediately dismissed as a waste of time. I was told, “We don’t even know where we want to be five months from now, let alone in five years.”

That society is still around, but it may no longer be thriving as it once did.

Much of what genealogical societies offered in 1985 is no longer attracting legions of new members. But some societies still operate as if they’re in the 1980s.

In his presentation, Future Vision for Genealogical Societies, David E. Rencher, chief genealogical officer of FamilySearch and the vice-president of Development for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, raises a number of thought-provoking questions societies need to discuss to help them move forward.

Mr. Rencher delivered the presentation at the 2018 North Texas Genealogical Society Summit on September 28, 2018.

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