From the very beginning, the formation of individual branches (prior to the creation of the Society in 1961) was based on community. Individuals came together with a shared interest in genealogy and family history. They wanted to share with and learn from each other and to work jointly on projects that would benefit all members. When the Society itself was created from members of those participating branches, the goal remained the same – to work together in mutually beneficial ways to enhance genealogy for all.
Whether it was as individual branches, or as a Society, members worked on projects in their own areas, knowing that they could count on others across the province to do the same. This reciprocal relationship ensured that, although a person might not be living in an area of genealogical interest to them, their efforts were valuable to someone else; conversely, others were working on their behalf to make information available that would affect their ancestral research. This was and continues to be our symbiotic relationship.
We can all benefit from one another’s knowledge and skills. Often people meet others from the same family line or with the same geographic area of interest. That introduction and subsequent relationship often plays a major role in breakthroughs for one or both parties. Discussing family research with an individual or in a group setting that is provided through the general and special meetings throughout our organization allows people to share methodologies, best practices and skills.
A sense of camaraderie and companionship often develops and furthermore, a deeper participation and commitment to ensure that others will have the same opportunities to access records, to develop a deeper understanding of family history research, and to work and advocate on behalf of items of specific interest to genealogists, not only within the area, but across the province, the country and around the globe. That community extends again when people meet one another at conferences or in other settings. The OGS is as much a service organization as it is anything else and members strive to serve one another and the broader heritage community.