GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Genealogy Society held its open house on Second Avenue Friday afternoon in celebration of Gallia genealogy as well as its accomplishments over the last year.
The 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. According to Chapter President Henny Evans, the society assists hundreds of individuals looking to learn about their family heritage in both Gallia and abroad through email, personal meetings or phone calls.
As part of its accomplishments the society recently published its “Gallia County Ohio Civil War Soldiers” by Carolyn Cogar having aiding her with research of the around 3,000 passed American Civil War veterans buried throughout the county.
“There is a television program called ‘Who Do You Think You Are’,” said Evans. “They contacted us last June and asked us if we knew anything about a Dr. LeMoyne. I said yes that he was one of the French 500 (original settlers of Gallipolis). They asked if we had anything on him and we said yes. The lady said that she wanted everything we had.”
Evans went on to share that they passed on roughly 100 documents regarding research around LeMoyne.
“Who Do You Think You Are?” is an American genealogy documentary series. It is based and adapted from a British BBC show of the same name. The show is known for guiding celebrities through their family history. Evans said the show will air sometime this spring and name the as yet unknown celebrity with Gallia County ties. Evans said the society named the celebrity as an honorary member of Gallia’s “First Families.”
According to the Gallia Genealogy Society newsletter, the group recently had an update in studies done on the well-known Gallipolis landowner and constructor named John Gee.
“In August, the Gee family researcher, Dawn Pinkham, received the results of the Y-DNA test (which means direct line male DNA which never changes) from a great-grandson Gee descendant,” said the letter.
Gee had been rumored to related to the late U.S. President William Henry Harrison through the writings of early Gallipolis journalist P.T. Wall. However, the DNA evidence revealed the Harrison was in fact not a relative of Gee.
The society also recently held its 27th lineage banquet. Inductees are listed in this current issue.