Why Go to a HGS Group Meeting?
So why would you want to get up out of your armchair and drag yourself away from your computer to attend a HGS meeting …?
There are 13 HGS groups which currently meet monthly at venues around the county:
Afternoon Group / Alton / Andover / Basingstoke / Fair Oak / Fareham / Fleet & Farnborough / Gosport / New Milton & Christchurch / Portsmouth / Ringwood / Romsey and Southampton
The meeting programme varies from group to group but most will involve guest speakers for some meetings and members’ evenings for others, with occasional walks or trips out.
Subjects for talks in 2018 include family history orientated topics, such as ‘Tracing My German Ancestors’, or local history, such as ‘The Story of Itchen Ferry Village’ and social history such as ‘The Rise of the Railway’.
HGS doesn’t charge an entry fee and non-members are welcome to attend (although once someone has attended three times, the Group Organiser will probably start to encourage him/her to become a member!).
The real benefit of attending a group meeting is the opportunity to talk to like-minded individuals about your addictive/time-consuming/labour-intensive/frustrating/rewarding hobby! Attendees are a mix of virtual beginners, experts and everything in between.
If you currently have a genealogical problem – or ‘brick wall’ as they tend to be called in family history circles – the chances are that someone else has already had that problem, been there and got the t-shirt!
Within the Society there are people who may not be experts in every aspect of family history research, but may have their own areas of interest about which they have a wealth of knowledge, such as railways, gamekeepers or researching in particular areas/countries, eg Scotland, Jersey or Italy. There may be people who are fluent in a foreign language and could help with translating a French will or Dutch death certificate. Or your fellow group members may know someone else who could help.
Why not give it a go? If you’re not sure where to park, or are a little shy and don’t like the idea of walking into a room full of people whom you think will already know each other, please contact the Group Organiser (contact details are on the area group pages of the website).
You also don’t have to ‘join’ any particular group. Most people form an attachment to one group, often the closest to where they live, but many attend more than one or travel around if there is a particular speaker or topic they want to hear.
Some groups even rustle up a cup of tea for the princely sum of 25p or less! What have you got to lose, other than a couple of hours of your time …?