The Franklin County Genealogical Society
A Brief History
The Franklin County Genealogical Society began as just a genealogical society receiving its charter in November 1970, a few months after Dr. Helen Wikoff held the first meeting with 17 members. Several decades later historical preservation was included and the name was changed to Franklin County Genealogical and Historical Society
The Society found a home in 1980 at 1725 Alum Creek Drive in a county-owned building called Benson Hall. Unfortunately Benson Hall was deteriorating so we relocated in 1985 to the 200 year-old Harrison House in historic Franklinton.
The late Preston Wolfe, co-owner of the Columbus Dispatch, was a distinguished and dedicated member of our chapter, and was instrumental in our move to the Harrison House where we remained for 25 years before moving to the Grove City Area Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Over the years our members have produced ancestor charts and card files, preserved cemetery and vital records, created surname indexes, held workshops, founded the Pioneer Families Program and annual banquet, formed committees for projects and programs, participated in community events, sponsored seminars, partnered with the Ohio Historical Society, and published our research in our own publications. Every issue of our newsletter, The Franklintonian, named by member Mary Piton, is packed with genealogical and historic information, current events, and photographs by seasoned genealogists and historians, as well as contributing members. We also publish a calendar of events that is mailed with The Franklintonian.
Our annual Pioneer Luncheon is one of our biggest events. In October 1985, then Vice President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, was inducted in absentia as one of 16 members that year to receive Franklin County Pioneer Status, his ancestors having arrived in Franklin County in 1816. His grandfather, Samuel Prescott Bush, was president and general manager of Buckeye Steel Casting. His home in Marble Cliff still stands. Members Emily Garner and Meg Scott share Mr. Bush's ancestry.
Our annual joint meeting of our Board of Trustees and our Executive Board, combined with a luncheon is another important activity in our Chapter. This last big event of the year includes an informative genealogical and historical program by a local presenter.