Although the society officially moved into the office, located at 57 Court St., next door to the Gallia County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, in February 2007, organizers wanted to get everything situated before inviting the public to peruse over 12,000 probate records, over 500 family histories, and over 800 lineage society files kept on site.
“We want everybody to see what we have and what we do here,” said Henny Evans, president. “We're here to help anyone who has Gallia County roots to document, research, and discover their heritage.”
“It's addicting,” said Ann Brown, treasurer. “Once you get started, it's like putting a puzzle together. Each fact leads to something else. With a city as old as we are, being established in 1790, it's exciting to see how far back you can go. It's fascinating when you start hunting for your ancestors, you never know where it will end up.”
Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, the society is able to constantly update its resource materials both in person and on the Internet, including about 30 publications with information such as marriage, birth and death records, census and will abstracts, and funeral records.
“Haven't you ever wondered about your ancestors?” asked volunteer Barbara Richards. “The interesting thing is that it's fun to look back at them and find out about what they did, where they lived and who their neighbors were. It's just amazing when little bits of information keep popping up, leading to something else.”
“Our goal is to help every researcher with their Gallia County genealogy and to preserve all genealogical records that pertain to the county,” said Evans. “This may take the form of copying records, such as tombstones or abstracting marriages or wills, for the public to use. We also collect and preserve old documents.”
Researchers can use the society as a tool to prove their family history in order to be inducted into any of the three lineage societies, First Families of Gallia County, Civil War Families of Gallia County, and Settlers and Builders of Gallia County.
“Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in the country,” said Evans. “Everybody seems to enjoy finding out about their families, and they're amazed at the things they can learn by spending a few hours pulling documents. I'm thrilled. Today has been a success.”
For more information, call 446-4242 or visit www.galliagenealogy.org.