To Prospective Volunteers:

Welcome! I’m Matt Friend, the State Coordinator for the IDGenWeb Project. I see that you’re reading this page because you’re interested in learning more about being a volunteer for one of our projects, and what it takes to become a part of our team. I hope to explain this in some manner of simplicity that will keep your interest to send me word that you desire to adopt one of the available counties. The information on this page explains volunteering for the IDGenWeb Project. Before I continue this, I do want to say thank you for your interest.

Example of One Website

What does it take to be a Volunteer? Three idioms: commitment, time, and creativity. I’ve been a genealogist for over 30 years, and over that time, I’ve compiled over 12,000 names. That’s what I mean by commitment, time, and creativity. Creativity in that as a researcher you have be creative with how or where to research for new information of an ancestor. In my family history case, I look beyond the circle within my ancestor’s inner circle of his or her life. I look to historical perspective to see what was going on at the time of his or her birth or death, or perhaps, somewhere in between where the gap is unclear. This is what I’m talking about when you need to be committed, give time and be creative.

What does this have to do with being a volunteer for the IDGenWeb Project? To put into words how these three idioms convey the right message is to think along the line of your commitment, time and creativity as a family historian or genealogist. The IDGenWeb Project works in the same manner to commit to find the time to work on your project, and then it takes creativity to locate resources, and display your work online. These three idioms work together just like they do while researching your ancestor’s lineage. I choose the word---Commitment—because it takes some dedication to maintain a website, to research and collect genealogical data, and to prepare that information to be displayed online. I choose---Time---because it takes time to work on the project, like the time to find new information on your ancestor to break down that proverbial brick wall you’ve been hoping to break through the years. And then, I choose---Creativity---because it takes just that to find new information that others could use, to visualize that web page and how you want your patrons to see it, or perhaps, to be a creative writer that others may enjoy reading. These three idioms, again, work collectively to show your devotedness to bring “free” resources to other researchers. There’s a lot of factors that can go into the last idiom but I hope you can get the idea of what I’m trying to convey by all three idioms.

Being a volunteer is simple, yet, it can be hard work too. The importance of being committed, giving of your time, and being creative will depend on what you can give of yourself. At the beginning of being a new county coordinator or project manager it will seem like a lot of time to give, but as time goes on it will settle down.

IDGenWeb would like their team members to know some form of HTML, CSS, and JS applications to maintain and create new web pages, however, it is not necessary as there are other ways to maintain and create those same pages with Adobe Muse, Web Creator, Dreamweaver, and other programs that are available today. No less, you still need to have some working knowledge to be a webmaster. You need the desire to learn the ins and outs of being a coordinator. This takes commitment and time. If you don’t have knowledge of one of these programs, you still may be able to be an assistant to a county coordinator.

IDGenWeb is part of the USGenWeb Project, they both have bylaws, procedures and guidelines for all members of the project to abide. The core of our project is what you put into your website and to represent the project in its entirety. Okay! Enough of that, the list below is just a few of the things we require of our coordinators to be sure they are in place on your web pages This information is found on the USGenWeb Project website as well as the IDGenWeb Standards.

  1. Maintain your website with all “required” information
  2. Keep an open communication with your state coordinator
  3. Remain on the “required” mailing list for necessary project business
  4. Give of your time to other team members when necessary
  5. Be open to new ideas from others
  6. Take part in the national and state elections
  7. Respond to patron inquiries

Again, these are only a few expectations to be a member of the IDGenWeb Project. In many ways, we are like a genealogical or historical society you will find in your local neighborhood. We are a group of volunteers who are committed to keep genealogy and history free for access to our patrons.

Still interested? Then the first order of business is to contact the IDGenWeb State Coordinator. Go to our “Adopt-A-County” page, and click on that available county to adopt, it’ll take you to your mail program to send the email. What to say in your email?

  1. Express your interests in being the next County Coordinator or project manager.
  2. Explain what you can contribute the county website or project.
  3. Explore the future possibilities you have for that website.
  4. Finally, give your experience or knowledge in being a webmaster.


Until you hear from me, if you want more information, you can read first about IDGenWeb and then USGenWeb projects, how we got started in this “free” genealogy network online in 1996.

About the IDGenWeb Project COMMING SOON!     |     About the USGenWeb Project

You’ll soon hear from me, but if you haven’t then you can read the following information about our IDGenWeb Standards and the USGenWeb Bylaws. I suggest you save these links for future reference.

IDGenWeb Standards     |     USGenWeb Bylaws

Well, prospective volunteer, I hope to hear from you soon, and hopefully we can get you started. Thank you for wanting to learn about being a volunteer for the IDGenWeb Project.

Matthew D. Friend
IDGenWeb State Coordinator
2011 - Current