The Four Rivers Genealogical Society was founded in 1986 by a group of Franklin County residents who had a shared interest in genealogy. The Society is dedicated to promoting genealogical research, assisting members and others in researching and documenting their family histories. It is also responsible for maintaining and enhancing the Ralph Gregory Library which is housed in the Washington Historical Society Museum. It derives its name from the four rivers located in the area: the Bourbeuse, Gasconade, Meramec and Missouri.
The Ralph Gregory Library features books, manuscripts, microfilm, and selected-original official County records that are owned by the Society as well as the Historical Society. It is the most comprehensive collection of reference material on Franklin County including donated family histories, obituaries, cemetery readings, church records, newspapers, atlases, military records, and other historically significant information. To facilitate research, volunteers have compiled indexes to much of the reference material. Annually, more than 1,000 individuals, from across the United States as well as Canada, visit the Library to browse the collection.
For individuals having ancestors who lived in Franklin County and/or the surrounding area, but who are unable to come to the Library, volunteers perform research. The Society also presents programs and provides speakers at the Museum, the East Central College and for groups interested in genealogy or local history.
The Society membership of well-over 100 individuals including many local Franklin and Warren County residents as well as many people from across the United States.