This guest post was written by Becky Zoglmann, a member of NextGen.
The focus of The NextGen Genealogy Network is to foster the next generation’s interest in genealogy. We are a U.S based 501(c)(3) charitable organization and we aim to create a venue for young genealogists to exchange ideas and experience the benefits of a vibrant, enriching and encouraging network of like-minded individuals worldwide. Embracing technology is an important aspect in attracting a younger genealogist into joining societies.
Technological advances have been a game changer for genealogists. Melanie McComb, The Shamrock Genealogist says: “Technology is more and more prevalent, and you need to keep up with the latest advances. Researching your family history is becoming more and more accessible and inclusive in the process”.
Social media has allowed people to not only connect with distant relatives, but also to join online genealogy communities and get help with their various genealogy questions. For some, this can help them move past a brick wall and continue with their research, instead of just giving up. For the younger generation, this can also mean finding a community where they will be accepted, no matter their age or skill level. NGGN encourages community engagement through blog posts, meet ups, social media, contests and Tweet ups.
Many of us rely heavily on our cell phones and tablets. For those of us who are busy with full time jobs, or raising young families, having genealogy apps available such as Ancestry, and Billion Graves can buy us extra time to research. I personally have spent many hours researching whilst sitting in a school carpool line!
However, even with new record sets and information being uploaded on a daily basis, we still acknowledge the irreplaceable ‘boots on the ground’ component of genealogy.
As well as using technology to reach the next generation, NGGN also has an active presence at local and major conferences. Many of our associates regularly give lectures at these events.
The key to encouraging the younger generation to enter into the family history world is to find a balance between the ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ whilst adhering to the professional and ethical standards that our field is respected for. The genealogy community should always be united in working together towards a common goal: building connections between generations, both past and future.
Interested in finding out more? Visit us at our website , or on our various social media pages. NGGN will also have a booth at the OGS Conference, so please feel free to visit us!