In the fall of 1982 a group of individuals, organized by Ohio Genealogical Society District Representative, Sylvia Hargrove, Sharon Chuvalas, Cris Reed and Nancy Underwood, met in the meeting room of a local New Lexington bank. These individuals were drawn together by their common interest in Perry County, Ohio family history. The following officers were elected: President—Sharon Chuvalas, Vice-President—Susan B. Summanen, Corresponding Secretary—Carol A. Smock, Recording Secretary—Evelyn D. Wolfe, and Treasurer—Mary Lou Roberts. From this meeting, the Perry County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society was born. They received their charter at the OGS Convention in 1983.
The first library collection was housed in a file cabinet in the Perry county library, on Main Street, New Lexington. Later the collection was moved to the Junction City library, and finally found a permanent home when the new library was built on Jackson Street in New Lexington. Donations of genealogical materials and books are accepted by Society.
The Perry County Chapter has spent the intervening years endeavoring to collect, preserve, and perpetuate the genealogical and historical records of our ancestors, especially those in Perry County, and aid individuals in their family research. This is done by offering help and advice to those people who wish to learn more about their ancestors, as well as acquiring and maintaining an extensive collection of books, family histories, and other materials at the Perry County District Library in New Lexington.
In February of 1983 the Society’s first publication was the, now out of print, Infirmary records. In 1984 the 1870 census index, donated by Margaret Scott and Medrith Mollenkamp, was published. Maxine Fisher and Norma Ortman copied the tombstones in Thorn Township cemeteries, and complied them into a book, which was published in 1985. The Society has published over 30 books of Perry County material, such as cemetery records, census, birth and death records, as well as marriage and military discharge records. The Society also publishes a quarterly newsletter, the Perry County Heirlines.
Members of the Perry Co. Chapter OGS have worked with local government officials to preserve records. They helped Recorder Barb Fox move materials out of the Court House attic and into the accessible Archives. At the Health Department, birth and death records were put into archive safe sleeves in notebooks, and indexed.
In 2012 the Perry Co. Chapter OGS celebrates their 30th Anniversary as a chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. They were presented a 30th Anniversary Certificate at the OGS Convention in Cleveland, in April.