Since the founding of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 1892, volunteers have been a constant presence and have offered consistent support to genealogists statewide. Due to the generosity of their time and efforts over the years, Pennsylvania researchers have been given access to thousands of church, family, bible, newspaper and vital record sources.
The GSP always welcomes members and the public to help with a variety of volunteer activities, continuing to pay forward the help and advice so often given to each of us when we first began our family quests. Maybe you have time to answer a few questions from out of state researchers about Pennsylvania research, or you might be interested in manning the GSP table at a regional or national conference, where you get to "talk genealogy" to your hearts' content with others who are as enthusiastic about the subject as you!
(GSP Board Members Nancy Janyszeski and Deborah Coombe Haas volunteer
for "Pennsylvania Family History Day" held in Chester County, PA.)
(GSP table at Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Conference-Lancaster PA.)
There are many ways in which a volunteer can help the society and the larger Pennsylvania genealogical community, and you'll find some of these opportunities listed below. For instance, if you happen to enjoy working with young people, GSP has been involved in programs working with local high school students.
(GSP board member Jane Benner helps student Donte Johnson at NARA.)
During the summer GSP and the Mid-Atlantic branch of the National Archives collaborate to offer five Philadelphia area high school students participation in a twelve week program designed to help them learn their family histories, while they gain knowledge of local repositories and record sources.
And when the fall school term begins, Julia Masterman high school students embark on a project where their history teacher, Steven Gilligan, takes them to Woodlands Cemetery in Philadelphia for a 'Victorian Picnic.' While at the cemetery they choose a name from a headstone then set about researching that person's life, ultimately writing a biography about the person, with all necessary citations and documentations. The project counts for a large part of their grade, and like the summer students, they also learn much about local libraries and archives while gaining knowledge about research methodology. (and a copy of each biography is donated to Woodlands Cemetery!)
(Masterman High School Students Jenny Zhang, Chase Middleman, and Keaton Naff at GSP last year organizing their
Woodlands Cemetery research.)
If you have even a small amount of time and energy to offer GSP, and by extension your fellow genealogists, please fill in and submit the volunteer form below. Projects vary in their need for on-site repository visits, or visits to the GSP office, but some projects can be carried out at home. The GSP staff will do the best we can to work with you on something suitable to your time and energy.
And if you have a special talent or experience in an area not included on the form below, but that you believe will benefit Pennsylvania genealogists, please contact our office to discuss this in more depth. Contact GSP. The GSP office is located at 2207 Chestnut Street in the Rittenhouse Square area of center city Philadelphia, a short walk from 30th Street or Suburban train stations, and accessible by several SEPTA bus routes. Our operating hours are 10:00 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
Finally, if you are unable to assist GSP with on site or at home projects for any reason, please consider making a donation to the society to support GSP's continuing work with students, and with helping all Pennsylvania genealogists find their ancestors.
Thank you for your interest!