History of the Jonesborough Genealogical Society


The Jonesborough Genealogical Society was founded in 1990 by five members. 



Rosa Russell, President

Anne Shaw, Vice President

Janice Teinert, Secretary and Genealogical Services Chair

Ruby Russell, Treasurer

Mildred Kozsuch, Program & Project Chair

Loraine Bennett Rae, Genealogical Library Chair and the Jonesborough Record Editor

Elaine Scott Cantrell, Digging for Your Roots Editor


Judge John L. Kiener, President

Mildred Kozsuch, 1st Vice President

Rosa Russell, 2nd Vice President

Betty Senn, Secretary

Loraine Bennett Rae, Treasurer

Loraine Bennett Rae, Jonesborough Record Newsletter

Elaine Scott Cantrell, Digging For Your Roots Editor

Caroline Moore, Jonesborough History

Marion Birdwell McKinney and A.Z. (Zeno) Howard, Black Family Histories

Ann Cosgrove Shaw, Library Collection

James Dykes and Elaine Scott Cantrell, Cemetery Updates

Margaret Sherfey Holley and Rosa Russell, Copying Records

 Jim Houlette, Computer Services


Rosa Russell, President

John L. Kiener, 1st Vice President

Anne Shaw, 2nd Vice President

Carolyn Moore, Secretary

Jim Houlette, Treasurer

John L. Kiener, Digging for Your Roots Editor

Loraine Bennett Rae, The Jonesborough Record Editor

Genealogy and History Center

As early as March of 1990, the society began the process of establishing a Genealogy and History Library and Archives at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library. In May of 1990, the library board turned down the first proposal of almost 80 letters plus a petition. To see this petition click here: JGS- Library Petition May 1990

Article by Chad Bailey on the JGS – Library Petition: Click Here.


Digging For Your Roots

“Digging For Your Roots” was first published in the Jonesborough Herald and Tribune on August 22, 1990, with an article by Lorraine Bennett Rae called “Serendipity,” about the newly founded JGS. In addition, the first article entitled, “On the Trail of Tombstones in Carter County,” by first editor Elaine Scott Cantrell. The “Digging For Your Roots” has been published each week since. 


Jonesborough Record

The Jonesborough Record was first published as the society’s newsletter in August of 1990. The Jonesborough Record was a quarterly newsletter that became bi-annual, and then yearly. The newsletter was discontinued in 1995, but was revived in 2015. It has been printed yearly ever since. 



In 2000, the Society turned 10 years old. 


In 2010, the Society turned 20 years old. 


In 2020, the Society turned 30 years old.