Although we continue to add tombstone photos, obituaries and other articles of interest, this year seems to be evolving into the year of the Civil War. It started over a year ago when the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War approached and research at the Society began in earnest to identify how our ancestors coped with this war. It has been educational for us and our hope is that it will also be for you.
This is some of what has been accomplished so far. More than three thousand Civil War soldiers with Gallia County connections have been identified. More than one thousand obituaries for these veterans have been found and are published in our Civil War Families section. More than 120 photos of soldiers and nurses have been found and published. Also in the Civil War Families section you will find about twenty articles that concern Gallia County and its residents during the war. There are many rosters of Civil War regiments in which many Gallia County soldiers served. Some of the material being researched may come out later in book form or in articles on the web site or in the newsletter.
There is an ongoing project in which letters written by soldiers in various military units and sent to the editor of the Gallipolis Journal are being collected and published on the website. The research and transcription of these letters is being done by one of our members, Eva Swain Hughes. The letters from the start of the war up to the spring of 1863 are already online and can be seen by clicking on the link “Soldiers’ Letters” near the bottom of the left hand column on the Civil War Families page. Also the very bottom link in the left hand column brings you to the Gallipolis Journal articles found by Eva that the newspaper ran on both news of the war and non war items on the home front during those years. It all makes for fascinating reading and who knows, maybe the name of an ancestor will pop up.
Thanks to the volunteer efforts by numerous people who continue to send us photographs of tombstones in various Gallia County cemeteries. There are now more than 20,000 cemetery entries that are associated with photos of the tombstones. There are slightly more than 45,000 cemetery entries and so that represents about 45% of the total. Because many of the tombstone inscriptions are very old and no longer readable, and because there are numerous burials that have been added from other sources such as obituaries, funeral home records and submissions by relatives or friends of the deceased, there will never be a 100% total, but there are still many thousands of stones waiting to be photographed and some nice spring weather ideal for snapping pictures coming up. Many of the cemetery entries are also linked to obituaries. There are now more than 7000 obituaries in our online collection and many of them can be accessed by clicking on the link in the (cont.)
miscellaneous column in the cemetery entries. Obituaries contain a wealth of genealogical information.
Remember also the History and Photo sections which have been placed here for your browsing pleasure, and the surname section which can connect you to others researching the same surname. Also look over the Links page. There are links to the genealogical and historical societies of neighboring counties and links such as an inflation calculator that will tell you the value of old money in today’s timeframe and a perpetual calendar that will give you the day of the week in any year, and many more links to other sources of genealogical information. The publication page has thirty-six publications any or all of which can be very helpful to search for Gallia County ancestors.
Please keep in mind that we are here to answer your questions and to help you with your genealogical research and we value your comments and ideas.
Neil Elvick, Webmaster
We had a great Christmas gathering and enjoyed visiting with members and friends. Mary James made a beautiful quilted hanging or throw for which we had a silent auction along with several fleur de lis items. Christmas cookies were in abundance and the office was festive with our tree and decorations.
Not too many visitors are coming out in this weather but the lineage applications have already started to come in and by the end of January we had eight First Families and five Civil War approved. We like getting them early as that allows us to get them checked and not be overwhelmed at deadline time. So, keep them coming!
We ended last year with more members than ever and since we incorporated and set out on our own, membership has increased yearly. We get so many compliments on the newsletter and website and we know that many of our members join as a result of using them. In the meantime, work continues in the office…steadily forging ahead on the Civil War project. We are amazed at the number of soldiers we are finding…it grows weekly. We are trying very hard to make sure the information we use is accurate. This will be a great resource once it is completed. If you think we might not have your soldiers or even if you think we do, do not hesitate to remind us again for we want them all.
We were pleased to hear from a family who used our website…the children were home schooled. They located a new link which they thought we might like and Neil has added it under Links. Check them out; there are a lot of good ones there.
In March we were at the Tourism Expo on the second at the University of Rio Grande and then in April we will be attending the OGS Conference in Cincinnati. If you want to save postage on purchases, let us know in advance and we will be sure to have those with us.
Do join us on Facebook by requesting to become a member at Gallia County Genealogical Society, OGS Chapter. Be exact. Happy Hunting.
Henny Evans, President