GALLIPOLIS — Humans have been starting families since before words were put to paper, numerous and virtually uncountable, but there are those who make it their mission to trace such records and make it available for others to learn.
The Gallia County Genealogical Society was established in 1983 with its charter, making it a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. The society has access to over 8,000 Gallia obituaries as part of its research and has identified around 48,000 headstones and around 500 cemeteries in the region. The society assists a variety of individuals looking to learn about their family heritage in both Gallia and abroad through email, personal meetings or phone calls.
Members currently chronicle past families in their newsletter through a variety of sources, some coming from the pages of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, some pulled from other Ohio sources, but all focused on Gallia family history. Stories include the works of known Gallia historians such as the passed Jim Sands. The latest newsletter chronicles the journey of African Americans escaping southern slavery through Gallia.
Society members are asking for the public’s help in identifying a 1940s picture of local postal workers and have yet to identify six individuals.
As its name implies, the society assists individuals in researching their family history while cataloguing Gallia records. If one has a documented ancestor in Gallia by December 31, 1820, they are considered among the “First Families” of Gallia as part of a lineage society. If an ancestor can be proven to have resided in Gallia between January 1, 1821 and December 31, 1860, they are considered among the “Settlers and Builders” of Gallia. Ancestors or collateral relatives serving in the Civil War who lived or served in Gallia are considered among the “Civil War Families” of Gallia. If a family can prove an ancestor lived in Gallia between January 1, 1861 a hundred years prior to an individual’s application date seeking membership in the lineage society, they are considered of the “Century Families” of Gallia.
Currently, the society is working to include in its collection of writings Amber Fellure’s thesis research on the history of Gallipolis, how and why it was founded and the struggles of its first families.
The society is known to publish and sell past marriage and census records over a collection of decades, among other texts.
For more information, the society can be found at 459 Second Avenue in Gallipolis or on its website, www.galliagenealogy.com.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.