Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Genealogy Society Membership Trends

Annual reports from various branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society have just appeared in Newsleaf. According to the President’s report membership in the Society is decreasing. Not every branch mentions membership trends, but its clear the situation isn’t uniform. Here are extracts from those that do:

Our membership has remained the same ... our membership dropped to 195, down from 222 the previous year … our membership has been stable for several years … we’ve experienced a slight decline in membership … membership this year dropped two persons … the slow, but nevertheless alarming slippage in membership numbers continues … branch membership has remained steady … for the first time in a number of years, our membership has been stable …. Membership remains about the same … with the decline in membership over the past few years … our membership is up … membership continued to decline in 2007, although in the 1.5% range which is an improvement over the previous few years … membership is down a bit from last year.

The President writes “I think that we are all aware of some of the main reasons for this decline.” I wonder if that’s true, or whether we just think we know. If even one branch is growing, and several are maintaining membership, what are the reasons they are bucking the trend?

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