Pennington Research Association

Family Group Leader

Desirable skills, knowledge, experience, some suggestions to help, tenure and the process to become a Group Leader.

A Group Leader does not have to be an expert genealogist or an expert computer user.  A strong desire to help the PRA share our information and to help fellow Group Members with their research are the primary skills a Group Leader should have to be successful.

A Group Leader must be a current member of the PRA.  To help, here is a list of suggestions for a Group Leader to help them be successful.  These reflect the thoughts and suggestions of PRA Members, Group Leaders and Board members.  They will be modified as needed to reflect the ever changing role of a Group Leader and the needs of the PRA.

  • To facilitate communication, it is very important for a Family Group Leader to have access to the Internet and have an e-mail account.

  • A Family Group Leader should be willing, and able, to commit to actively work towards the goals and objectives of the PRA.

  • A Family Group Leader should communicate regularly with their Group Members and to keep them informed of the status of any work being conducted by their Family Group.

  • A Family Group Leader should respond to queries from individual members of the PRA on any mail list, message board or blog which involves their Group.  

  • A Family Group Leader should organize those PRA Members who are part of their Family Group and review the best available sources of data which supports the organization of that Family Group.


    • This includes collecting data from the Family Group members and/or any other available sources, examining the evidence and proof and determining the composition of the Group. This is not intended to produce anything other than the best research possible given the available data and/or sources. This is not intended to stifle the process or to produce a 100% accurate report, which as we all know in genealogy is usually not possible, especially when you go much beyond the 20th century in your research.

Desirable Skills, Knowledge and Experience:

  • Being a Family Group Leader means you will be the team leader for your Group.  As a team leader, you should lead by example.
  • A Family Group Leader should have some experience in genealogical research using traditional and computer methods.

NOTE:    The broader the experience, the more comfortable a Group Leader will be in their role, however, this skill and experience will be acquired as you participate in the Group.

  • A Family Group Leader should be knowledgeable of their PRA Family Group.

NOTE:    The broader the knowledge, the easier a Group Leader will be in their role, however, this knowledge and experience will be acquired as you participate in the Group.

Suggestions to Help a Group Leader:

  • Find somebody in your Group to help you!  Many of your Group are just waiting for somebody to ask them to help.  You can share the work as well as get more participation from your Group members.  Many of our Groups have co-leaders who split the work making it easier for their Group and helps improve communications.
  • Send monthly Group updates to Group Members and to the Research Committee

Note:    You can use the News (blog) on this website, the PRA mail list, the PRA blog on Google and/or your own mail group.  If you don't have time to do monthly reports or don't have enough new information, send quarterly (every 3 months) Group updates.

  • Locate documents for your Group that can be shared with other researchers and obtain consent for the PRA to publish them on our website and in the Pedigrees. When you have them, contact the Editor of the Pedigrees and work together to publish them in the Pedigrees.
  • Publish at least one (1) article and/or genealogy report about your Family Group each year. With your consent, the PRA will publish it on our websites and in the Pedigrees.

Note:  As an option, a Group Leader may wish to build a website for their Group.  Several of our Groups have websites where they post information to help their members keep informed of the latest information and as a great way to share documents, photographs and other genealogical information.

  • Try to attend a PRA Reunion/Meeting when possible.  While the PRA is a genealogical association, we do meet for social interaction as well.  Meeting other "cousins" is one of the most enjoyable benefits of membership.  The reunion/meetings used to meet every other year at a different location but now we only meet when we can get enough Members together to make it happen.  We try to move the location around the US to give more opportunity for every member to attend a meeting.  We do use the latest technology on the web to host "Webinars" for Membership meetings and we can arrange a special meeting for just your Group.


  • There is no defined tenure.  However, the Research Director may remove a Group Leader at anytime with approval of the Board.

  • Once a person is appointed as a Group Leader, they will act as the Group Leader immediately.


If selected to be a Group Leader, they will be asked one question:

Are you willing to serve as a Group Leader and to actively work towards the goals and objectives of the PRA?

If the reply is "Yes" and the Group Leader is a current PRA Member, they will be appointed to the position by the Research Director.

If the reply is "No", the Group Leader is thanked for their interest but will not be invited to be a Group Leader.

If a Group Leader is not able, or capable, of performing as a Group Leader, they are thanked for their work and asked to resign.

What Steps are taken to be selected as a Group Leader?

1.   A volunteer expresses their desire to be a Group Leader to the PRA’s Research DirectorClick here to contact the Research Director.

2.   We refer the person to the Family Group Leader Skills page to be sure they understand the guidelines for being a Group Leader. We also refer the individual to the Family Groups page, the John French Master File and the "JFMF What Now" page to be sure they have an understanding of our Family Groups and the (JFMF).

3.   The person is referred to the Research Director who communicates with the person and reviews their request to be sure they are a current PRA member, are willing to adhere to the guidelines and they have the desired interest and basic "tools" to be successful in the job. This includes Internet access and some basic computer skills.

4.   Once the Research Director has completed the review and interview, the Research Director reviews the recommendation and makes a decision. He then communicates with the individual and notifies them of his decision.

5.   If the individual is appointed, the Research Director makes the announcements to the Board, Officers, Committee Chairs, and the other Group Leaders and on the PRA website, mail list and blog.

6.   Once appointed, the new Group Leader is provided with access to the special folder on the PRA's website and their access rights on the PRA Member's only website are changed to allow them to that of a "User" so they can work on their family trees (gedcom files).

7.   Once appointed, the new Group Leader should quickly move to establish communication with their Group members and to identify what steps are needed to help them move their Group forward.

These steps are not all inclusive as there are many other parts but these basic steps will help you to be a successful Group Leader.

Questions:  Contact the PRA's Research Director.

The three words on the scroll of the Coats of Arms are "Vincit amor patriae"

"Vincit amor patriae" means "The love of my country prevails" or "Love of Country Conquers" which is the United States Army 28th Infantry Regiment's motto.   "Vincent amor patriae laudumque immensa cupido" means "The love of my country exceeds everything."

The following motto appears in English above the mountain cat of the original Baron Muncaster Crest.  "Firm, Vigilant, Active" -Virg. AEn. vi. 823 v. Muncaster b. Pennington

Pennington Research Association, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) organization and donations are tax deductible.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome.  Copyright 2000 - 2020 Pennington Research Association, Inc. - All Rights Reserved 

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