One of the easiest places for getting motivated and sharing ideas is right on the Internet. Use your Web browser to locate other genealogists researching your same name. Pretty soon you will be striking up a conversation and enjoying new vistas of research.
However, if you like more "human" contact, a local genealogy society is a wonderful place to go. By locating a friendly group of local genealogists, you will have more than enough encouragement in your new pursuit. There are many ways to find a local genealogy society.
Genealogy societies may be located by obtaining the membership directory of the:
Federation of Genealogy Societies
P.O. Box 830220
Richardson, TX 75083-0220
Internet site: http://www.fgs.org/~fgs/
1-888-FGS-1500 (toll free)
This membership manual is updated yearly in the summer months and lists the officers, meeting locations, their publications, and much more.
Another way to locate a society who has a telephone listing is by using a CD-ROM telephone directory. Addresses are also available in the Genealogist's Address Book or by using the Handybook for Genealogists (somewhat outdated but still contains many good suggestions).
Don't forget to also look at genealogy societies outside of your city. If you live hundreds of miles away from your ancestral roots, you can find others who have already searched your line or have the records in their possession by joining a local society in that area and putting queries in their newsletter. Local societies also produce published books and indexes which you would only learn about by joining these societies and obtaining their newsletters.
Genealogy societies provide a wonderful resource to a community by gathering, storing, and preserving the records in their local areas. They also reach out with training classes and guidance for those who are beginners.