RIO GRANDE — It was cold on that little knoll on Bob Evans Farms in the Wood Cemetery, and the wind was relentless, but everyone seemed to have a great day when Gallia County Genealogical Society served as host for the Ohio Genealogical Society workshop on October 19 and 20.
Friday night, the group met at Bossard Library, and Henny Evans, president of the local society, talked about inventorying the cemeteries in Gallia County, told a few funny stories and talked about the local chapter located at 57 Court Street.
Evans also reported on galliagenealogy.org and said that to date the number of stones added since about 2005 is more than 12,000 growing to almost 45,000 on the cemetery database. Of those, over 18,000, or 40 percent, are linked to photos. Also, quite a few are linked to obituaries.
Mark Morton showed slides featuring a cemetery in Bellville, Ohio which he and Jay Russell restored.
On Saturday, the group headed to Bob Evans Farms where John and Vicky Walters from Indiana were already set up and waiting. The demonstrations were informative as they took stones completely apart to level them, used fill dirt and reset the pieces one by one. Broken stones were reset and mortared and lightly sanded where there were crevices. Other stones were cleaned and polished from black and lichened to beautiful gray or white, much like the originals. Walters told many stories and explained as he went along.
Bob Evans Farms served lunch, thanks to farm host Ray McKinniss.
In the afternoon, the Walters asked if anyone wanted hands-on experience, and people jumped at the chance. They were cleaning, polishing, resetting, chipping off concrete left from an earlier attempt to set and generally having a good time. It was also an opportunity to talk with and learn from people from around Ohio, Michigan and Virginia who share common interests.