RGS Turns 85!

Happy Birthday RGS!

Society turned 85 on April 12th

The Rochester Genealogical Society is 85 years old. What a wonderful testament to the founders and all the volunteers and members who have kept this a vital organization for that length of time.

RGS started as the Genealogical Section of the Rochester Historical Society.  J. Arthur Jennings, the then President of the historical society wrote to Board members "that the study and presentation of family history is a subject in which many have a deep interest...".  At the organizing meeting on April 12th, J. Sheldon Fisher, the man who saved and then created the Historic Valentown Museum, was the first Chairperson.

Dues of $.50 were first collected in 1942 and as of 1946, there were 86 members. In 1977 the Genealogical Section disbanded and its members formed the Rochester Genealogical Society, an independent organization. In April of 1988 three founding members, J. Sheldon Fisher, Katherine Thompson, and Charles Shepard, spoke at the meeting celebrating RGS' 50 years.

In its long history, RGS has presented hundreds of high-quality programs for its members; published several books including the indispensable Genealogical Guide to Monroe County, New York  by Dick Halsey; co-sponsored a 1996 national genealogical conference in Rochester; and created a vibrant website and Facebook group.

Today we have over 300 members. We hope you'll come to celebrate our 85th birthday at our June 13th picnic meeting. Details will be announced soon.

Thanks to our current Historian, Peter Bush, and to Robert J. Gustafson, whose 1988 Hear Ye Hear Ye article was referenced for this piece.