In the 1800s and 1900s, there were many organizations for every aspect of a person’s life. Here are some examples I encountered in my research projects:
- Honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of the Musical Arts.
- Chairman of a local branch of the Anti-Revolutionaire Partij [Anti Revolutionary Party], a Christian political party.
- Deacon of the Dutch Reformed Church.
- Secretary of the Teacher’s Association.
- Guardian of the Weavers’ Guild.
- Director of the Church choir.
- Editor of the journal for prisoners-of-war during the Anglo-Boer War.
In many cases, I first came across their involvement using newspaper articles. By tracing down the records of the organizations, I managed to find a lot more information that allowed me to tell their story, instead of just their vital events.
What is the most unusual function you ever encountered in your research?