In addition to the Manatee Genealogical Society, there are several Genealogical Societies that are within reasonable driving distances. These organiziation hold regular meetings and have programs tailored to the interests of genealogical researchers. See the list below for more information about these societies. Click on the society name of interest to get more information and also a link to their website. For some upcoming special events see our Regional Events page See, also, information on the Florida State Genealogical Society and various Heritage societies. 
The Lakewood Ranch Genealogical Club meets first Monday of the month at 7:00 PM from Nov. thru Apr. at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall. Their leader is professional genealogist, Donna Moughty.  
Genealogical Society of Sarasota  meets the second Saturday of the month from October through May at The Selby Library (1331 1st St.) auditorium in downtown Sarasota at 10:00 a.m. for light refreshments, 10:30 a.m. for business meeting and Society program, 12:00 p.m. for Brick Wall help, and 12:30 p.m. for an informal lunch where you can chat about your own research at a nearby restaurant.  Parking is free all day on Saturdays.
Brandon Area Genealogical & Historical Society    Refer to their Web site for event information or contact Scott Peeler, Jr.,
South Bay Genealogical Society, meets the third Tuesday of the month at 10:30 AM with a Regional Roundtable, followed by lunch at noon, and a presentation at 1:00 PM from Sept. thru May. Meetings and Regional Roundtables are usually held at the United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Web Blvd. W, Sun City Center.
Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa)   Meetings are the first Saturday of each month (except for December) at 11 AM in the John F. Germany Library Auditorium, 900 N. Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. Prior to each meeting (10:15 am to 10:50 am) we hold a special interest group meeting focusing on member’s ongoing research, helping to break through brick walls, and general education. Check website for updates and changes.
Englewood Genealogical Society meets on the fourth (4th) Wednesday of the month, except May, November and December, when they are held on alternate dates.   Meetings are held at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 East Dearborn St., Englewood FL, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., on the second floor, in the large meeting room. Check website for updates and changes.
Lee County Genealogical Society meets the 3rd third Thursday of the month at 10:00 a.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Fellowship Hall of the Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church, 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers. Please check our events calendar for topics and/ or meeting changes.
(Lee County) Bonita Springs ClubMeetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. and are usually held at the Bonita Springs Public Library. Contact Marti Timples, .
Pinellas Genealogy Society meetings are the 3rd Saturday of the month and begin at 11:00 AM in the Jenkins auditorium of the Largo Public Library.  The Computer Interest Group meets at 9:45 AM before the general meeting, also in the Jenkins auditorium. Refer to website for events calendar, updates and any changes, or check their PGS Blog or Facebook link for other information, etc. 
Suncoast Genealogy Society.  Meetings are usually the 4th Saturday of the month starting at 1:00 PM at the Palm Harbor Library, 2330 Nebraska Ave, Palm Harbor. Please check our website for more information , or contact
Jewish Genealogical Society of Southwest Florida  meets  November thru May, normally on the third Sunday of the month at 1:00 pm, in the theater at Kobernick House (1951 North Honore Avenue in Sarasota). The meetings provide a mix of lectures, tutorials, films and discussions, and allow attendees to assist and interact with other genealogists researching their Jewish roots. Refer to website for events calendar, updates and any changes.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Baymeets the second Sunday of the month at 1:00 PM (beginner's session), and 2:00 PM (featured program) from Sept. thru June (with some exceptions to accommodate speakers or holiday conflicts) at Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater (unless there is a very special program).(website not active at present; FaceBook active) 
Charlotte County Genealogical Society .  All Charlotte County's Meetings have been on Zoom, and hopefully our fall meetings will be IN person at the Mid-County Regional Library. We also have a year round Monday 10:30am Classes via Zoom. Email for the link. Check meeting time and location on the CCGS website Home page and the Events page. 
The Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS - Link)   this website lists the societies in the state for each county, to include ethnic societies. There is also a liaison newsletter that goes out to each society, listing meetings and seminars for all groups scheduled during the next few months.  If you are a member of MGS, this newsletter will be distributed to you via email . This is a must for society members to know what is going on in the world of genealogy in Florida. As you get to know the members of our group, you'll find value in these research opportunities. 
It is fun to join organizations which honor our ancestors. It enriches our heritage. Completed and approved research can be very satisfying. Social aspects form close ties with new “cousins” and friends. Here are some websites that list a variety of lineage societies. Use Link below:
As you become familiar with the other members of our genealogy community, you might be amazed by their education, research, and travel experience. Many hold membership in and several hold local, state or national office in lineage organizations. Here is a sample of organizations that current and past MGS members were active in:
Colonial Dames XVII Century; Colonial Dames of America; First Families of VA, CT, OH, etc; , National Huguenot Society;  Sons of the American Revolution; Daughters of the American Revolution;  Daughters of 1812; United Daughters of the Confederacy; Daughters of Union Veterans of Civil War 1861-1865; General Society of Mayflower Descendants; Flagon and Trencher; Jamestowne Society; National Society of Early Quakers; Daughters of American Colonists; Pilgrim John Howland Society; Pilgrim Francis Cooke Society; Descendants of Colonial Clergy; Women Descendants of Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims; and Order of Founders and Patriots.
Membership in these societies requires research to prove either a new ancestor or relationship to one already established.