Family Associations, Family Organizations, and Family Societies exist throughout the world, but finding them is problematic. This collection of links to the websites, Facebook pages, and if needed a mailing address, will help you find the organizations that can be helpful in your family history research. Feel free to add an organization or update any that are already listed.
The Purpose and Scope of a Family Organization
Organizing a family association or organization is a great way to bring people together to accumulate, coordinate, learn, preserve and publicize genealogical and historical information among related family members.
Family associations can be organized on different levels, such as immediate families-which include a husband and wife and their children; grandparent families-which include the descendants of siblings; and ancestral families-which include the descendants of an earlier common ancestral couple. Other family associations, like the Brough Family Organization and Osmond Family Organization, may include ancestral families along with individuals who share a common surname (see below).
A list of well-known Mormon Family Organizations is posted in Wikipedia, and links and information about LDS Ancestral Family Organizations is available from the LDS Ancestral Families Association (LDSAFA) .
Importance of Ancestral Family Organizations (AFO's)
The Brough Family Organization (BFO)-one of the largest and oldest ancestral family organizations and surname associations in the world-has stated the following about Ancestral Family Organizations (AFO's):
"Ancestral family organizations are often able to accomplish much more than individual families or 'grandparent' family associations. Because of their extensive membership and databases, AFO's are often able to locate and obtain genealogical and historical information much faster and cheaper than individual families or grandparent associations.
"Also, AFO's often know about-and can find and acquire from different parts of the world-unique genealogical data and historical records, such as those found in family bibles, personal journals, private indexes and photographic collections. These sources can provide genealogical information not commonly found in ecclesiastical or government records.
"Finally, because of its broad membership and extensive number of contributors, AFO's can usually afford and support extensive research by professional genealogists much easier and for longer durations than can most individual families or grandparent family associations."
The Brough Family Organization and Osmond Family Organization have successfully participated in and completed a Surname Index and Relationship Project (SIRP).
Surname Index and Relationship Project (SIRP) is a "structured extraction and research system used to identify individuals and combine them into family units". In 2011, SIRP was successfully used by two of the world's largest ancestral family organizations to identify and connect hundreds of individuals living in two countries.
SIRP acquires online genealogical data from multiple sources on individuals having the same (or similar) surname in a designated geographical area, then inputs all such names and their associated dates and places of births, christenings, marriages, deaths and burials into a GEDCOM friendly database. Once this database has been compiled, then analysis, screening and merging tools are used to match and link individuals together into related families and larger ancestral lineages.
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