As you might have noticed the site is under heavy maintenance, several things will change but in the end they will boost the user experience significantly. As soon as we are done with the server work the forums will be for members only. There is a full integration with all systems and social media and people will have the possibility to share their genealogy and much more. A new editor interface will make work much easier, and there will be no more complicated menus. There isĀ however one caveat to all of this. Over the past decade we managed to keep our forums and a lot of content open for the public. This will change, there will be a public FAQ and Learning Center together with a public blog. All other content will be for members only. Users can decide if they want their own content in the blog or pedigree be accessible by the public or not. We understand this might come somewhat as a surprise but the costs of keeping everything open is too high and we do not get enough donations and membership fees to maintain the 25000 visitors per month. If you have suggestions or comments, feel free to post them in the comment section. We will soon be done with the server work and post a message here.

Membership means that we will empower you to do more research with the following

– Quality forums with upload capability to share data with other researchers,
– Create your own family page on our site,
– Free translations,
– Letter templates,
– Our Archival network,
– SGS Magazine
– Being part of a large community that both operates online and offline.
– Always new tools under development.

Important notification from the SGS team and board of directors.

For some time now we have made it possible for the public to access most sections on our website. This will change, this month we will move the forums and knowledge center to the SGS section, meaning it will be for members only. Please let us explain why. For over a decade volunteers sacrificed their time on assisting people with their genealogy. A lot of times they received gratitude, but there are also people who are simply being rude. This takes time, effort, frustration and takes away the joy of volunteering.

We are also being confronted with hosting bandwidth costs as we have more then 2000 visitors per day. If we want to operate for another decade we need to change our approach. What will be publicly accessible you ask? In short, the FAQ section and the blogs. This way we can focus on quality instead of quantity. Please let us know how you feel about these oncoming changes, we are as always open to suggestions.

LDS genealogy library Recently we have received several emails with questions about an issue regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons. The questions have been sparked by the numerous news articles dating all the way to 2008 like this one in Haaretz. The LDS church performed proxy posthumous baptisms on Holocaust victims, celebrities and other non-Mormons without permission of e.g. families. The issue is somewhat controversial as members of the LDS church supposedly are to research their own families and not those of others.

There is a growing concern that the LDS church or members of this church, will perform the same deed on Serbs. As an organization we understand this concern, and have taken appropriate measures to prevent this practice. We do not allow the export of genealogical data on our website via gedcom, and SGS members can choose what they wish to share publicly or not.

Meanwhile the LDS church issued a statement and tries to instruct its members of this new policy. Besides it being a policy we also deem it polite and civilized if LDS members adhere to these instructions.

The SGS remains in contact with the Serbian Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and the Jewish community in Serbia about this issue. And we hope there will be no reports of this malpractice in Serbia or with Serbian data. Feel free however to contact us if you have any concerns.

The membership fee’s can be found at the signup page. The membership is as low as possible but high enough to cover the costs the society is making for maintaining this website. The first membership is free and gives you an account at our website. However, if you want to use the forums and advanced options you should register for SGS Membership.

Membership fee’s are not being refunded.

Membership in the SGS allows you to do more on our site then regular visitors can do. You get access to the member section and you can do the following:

  • – Letter templates to write to the archives,
  • – Translations on the SGS forums,
  • – Possibility to post confidential info on the SGS forum which is not a public forum,
  • – family page,
  • – SGS magazine with the latest news and updates from Serbia concerning genealogy and heraldry,
  • – contacting other members to assist you in your research,
  • – archival network
  • – attaching files to the forums
  • – and more,

Most of the members in Serbia hardly use the internet because they have the luxury to live close to an archive of church parish. The membership with online resources is moslty used by international members however we have seen an increase in Serbian members due to the new features we are offering now and in the near future.

What does the SGS use the membership fee for?

To keep this site running costs money. All membership fee’s are being spend to keep the site running. With a simple fee of 25 Euro’s per year you can use the services we offer. The fee is low compared to other sites, this is also because the SGS is a non-profit organization. Since we work with volunteers we basically keep the site running through the membership fee’s.

So is SGS membership for me?

If you need more help then a simple information request then the answer would be yes. All forums besides the SGS forum are public forums on which we give general information and where people can post general inquiries. If you need help with translating letters and books, contacting the archives, need someone to call a relative for you in Serbian etc. then membership is the best solution for you. Your contribution will help us to contribute more for the online resources. We always warn people that the archives of Serbia are not microfilmed, research takes a lot of time because of this.