Most of the Charter Members of the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society had taken a course in genealogy that was sponsored by the Anne Arundel County Historical Society in the spring of 1974. This course was taught by the late Mary K. Meyer. About the middle of July 1974, Sharon W. McNeeley called Emily H. Peake (first President of the AAGS) and suggested they try to get a genealogical society going. Before the first official meeting, about twelve people met at Sharon's house and mapped out their strategy. The first organization meeting was held on September 5, 1974 in the basement meeting room at the Kuethe Library on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie. Nearly 25 people were in attendance, most of whom paid dues of $2.00
Meetings were to be held on the first Thursday of each month from September through May at 7:30 PM and annual dues were set at $2.00. The primary purpose of the Society was to help everyone do their genealogical research, to teach them how to do it, and advise them where to do it. It was also noted that another purpose was to assist genealogists in meetings other researchers and to preserve records for future researchers. Appeals were made for everyone to make and submit their ancestral charts and to file them at the library.
From the beginning of the Society, a formidable goal was cemetery inscriptions of gravesites within the county. The Society has never swayed from this goal and continues this task with outstanding tenacity under the direction of dedicated and knowledgeable members. The early membership rolls of the Society includes twenty-two charter members.
The Society has always promoted itself well through announcements in various genealogy magazines, local newspapers, and community activities. The AAGS became a member of the Council of Genealogical Societies of Maryland in 1976. Booths have been set up at the Anne Arundel County Fair. From time to time, other genealogical societies have been invited to many of our events. Society picnics are various members homes have been the norm, sometimes taking place after a day of cemetery inscriptions. Membership increased to thirty-three by 1977, and eighty-nine in 1978. The number rose to about one hundred in 1979.
AAGS has always remained active, at times, giving genealogical seminars for beginners in the community. The results paid off in increased membership, for it was reported in 1981 that our membership had grown to one hundred and nineteen. By 1995, that number had grown to three hundred and twenty.
Annual dinner meetings have been well attended, as has regular monthly meetings. In 1997, the Society voted to have summer meetings. In 1998, the AAGS began 'Anne Arundel Readings', a new publication put out twice yearly.
As we approach our 30th anniversary, the Society continues to prosper under the leadership and dedication of its members.
For more about the history of Anne Arundel County, please visit http://www.aacounty.org/AboutAACo/history.cfm.
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