History of Alleghany Highland Genealogical Society, Covington, VA


The Alleghany Highlands Genealogical Society is a grass roots, non-profit, non-stock corporation, chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1994. The Society is governed by a Board of Directors composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian and three Members At Large. Membership is open to any applicant interested in furthering the objectives of the society without regard to race, creed, religion or social status.

The AHGS began meeting in 1991 to bring together persons interested in the history of families of the Alleghany Highlands. The first meeting was held in the Charles P. Jones Memorial Library. Later, meetings were held in the basement of the Alleghany County Courthouse. Subsequently, a room was made available in the former Rivermont School Building. The Society had used this location since March 10, 1994.  In 2011 the Society moved to a larger facility in Jeter-Watson Center, formerly Jeter-Watson Elementary School Building.

Since its inception, AHGS membership has grown as well as the volumes of information available to those interested in researching their family history. To date, the work of the Society has utilized volunteer labor, without paid staff. Our outreach services include an on-going member recruitment program, publishing a quarterly newsletter, providing research assistance and information exchange with persons throughout the United States who have an interest in past and present inhabitants of our area.

The society has published many books containing previously unpublished records of births, marriages, deaths, indexes and inventories of cemeteries. We have published a pictorial book depicting people from the Alleghany Highlands. This book also includes genealogical information of some families. Through this work we have preserved pictures for future generations. Our vast amount of death records have been used in documenting ancestors throughout the Alleghany Highlands.

We have assisted hundreds of people in filling gaps in their family histories that otherwise might have eluded them forever.

Users of the Society's services are typically over the age of 40 and mostly female. They are people of intelligence and talent, who are interested in leaving written evidence of the family's history. In previous times, such information was passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. With the onset of the computer age, rapidly changing life styles and the fragmentation of families, opportunities for sharing this kind of information have been drastically reduced. Our clientele are researchers, professional and family, who want to close the gaps in information about someone's heritage. The resultant documentation will have its value in years to come. Today's researchers echo each other when they say, "if I don't do it now it will be lost forever."

Our clientele are located throughout the United States. The AHGS is their link to locating information about places, dates and events, which took place in Alleghany County, Virginia and surrounding areas.

The AHGS Library is open to the public three days each week and we try to accommodate by appointment those who must travel for some distance and cannot visit Covington on these days. Work groups meet on alternate days to carry out various tasks which cannot be completed during hours of public access or which would interfere with researchers working within the 550 square feet of available floor space.

Researchers who contact the area's public libraries, neighboring genealogical and historical societies, the Chamber of Commerce, as well as Courthouses, are usually referred to the Alleghany Highlands Genealogical Society.

AHGS Library Business Hours
Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday
10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Other times by Appointment:
Call: Inna Henderson at 540-962-1501

or write

Alleghany Highlands Genealogical Society
515 East Pine Street
Jeter-Watson Center
Covington, Virginia 24426

or email

Inna Henderson  InnaMcAlli@aol.com

Linda Tucker  LTucker@yahoo.com   or



This page last Updated on February 23, 2012 Donna Dressler-Miller