May 13, 2020

Pages 3125-3126
Whole Number 139


Members of the Sparks Family Association frequently ask its officers if they know of family organizations devoted to other family names in which they are interested. When your editor receives such a query, he checks two sources before responding: the annual listing of such associations that appears in the May-June issue of the GENEALOGICAL HELPER and an annual listing prepared by Merle Ganier.

There are literally hundreds of family associations in the United States today, a substantial number of which publish periodicals. The frequency and nature of these publications vary greatly. Many are published on a quarterly basis (some only annually or "occasionally"). Many are in the nature of newsletters which report current news of association members, with only an occasional item based on scholarly genealogical research. Some are devoted to only a particular branch of a family. Those that are similar to The Sparks Quarterly, in which the entire emphasis is upon family history, tend to be called "single surname genealogical publications."

Most family publications are supported by a family association to which dues are paid that cover the cost of the periodical. Rarely does the membership of such an association reach 1,000. Annual dues range from $5.00 to $25.00. From reports of other editors, it is the belief of your editor that very few family associations enjoy the financial support that comes to THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION.

There is a growing number of "single surname genealogical publications" that are the work of individuals, without association support. It remains to be seen whether many of these will survive. Your editor doubts that anyone attempting such a publication on his/her own can ever hope to more than "break even" from the financial point of view.

Family publications tend to be short lived. Even when supported by an association, the work of editing, printing, and mailing usually falls on no more than two or three individuals at most, for whom it is a labor of love. When that individual (or those two or three individuals) pass from the scene, the publication usually dies.

The annual listing of family periodicals by Merle Ganier sells for $4.50. The 1987 edition fills 20 pages, with about 25 entries per page. Ms. Ganier's address is: 2108 Grace Street, Fort Worth, TX 76111.

The GENEALOGICAL HELPER is the most widely read genealogical publication on the market today. It is published bi-monthly (six times each year) and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. Its motto has always been "helping more people find more genealogy." Its annual listing of Family Associations and Their Leaders" followed by "Family Periodical Publications" is a feature of the May-June issue. Another annual feature (July-August) is entitled "Directory of Genealogical Societies, Libraries, and Periodicals."

Each issue of the GENEALOGICAL HELPER contains about 250 pages (the July-August, 1987 issue has 276 pages). Much of the space is devoted to queries submitted by subscribers (of which there are over 48,000) and to reviews of new books of interest to genealogists. The annual subscription rate is $17.00. It is published by The Everton Publishers, P.O. Box 368, Logan, Utah 84321.

Your editor has received two requests recently from editors of family periodicals suggesting that we advertise each other's publications. We are pleased to reproduce these two announcements below.

A bi-annual (March & Oct) publication for the serious researcher. Covers North American records from beginning to 1900. NOW IN ITS 17th YEAR. Over 100 pages per year.
Paid queries available; $12.00 yearly.
66 CLAYTON RD. #104 ST. LOUIS MO. 63117
Editor, June R. Welch
Published four times per year
Contact: Howard Johnston
545 Jefferson, Kimberly, ID 83341